135676
Dan-in-Ottawa

Liberals feel entitled

British Columbia wineries have become political pawns — shut out of the Alberta marketplace — in the trade war between the two provinces.

I find this completely unacceptable.

This situation wasn't created by the B.C. wine industry, but is a politically motivated campaign by two NDP provincial governments.

The greater challenge is the Trudeau Liberal government has repeatedly stated the Trans Mountain pipeline project is in Canada’s national interest and will get built.

However, missing from the Prime Minister's statements is when the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built and the measures he is prepared to invoke to ensure that federal jurisdiction is not impugned.

In the absence of any federal leadership on this file, B.C. and Alberta have been left alone to duke it out.

As the Official Opposition, we attempted to encourage the Liberals to show some leadership this week with a motion we tabled in the House of Commons.

The motion was as follows:

“That, given the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the national interest, will create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets, the House call on the Prime Minister to prioritize the construction of the federally-approved Trans Mountain Expansion Project by taking immediate action, using all tools available; to establish certainty for the project, and to mitigate damage from the current interprovincial trade dispute, tabling his plan in the House no later than noon on Thursday, Feb.15, 2018.”

I participated in the debate over this motion and also voted in support of it.

Unfortunately, the motion was defeated. 

It was no surprise when the NDP opposed this motion. In the House of Commons, the NDP have consistently opposed pipeline projects.

It was a surprise when, not only did the Liberals oppose this motion, they did so unanimously.

That means even Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia voted against a motion that would support their B.C. wine industry and direct the Prime Minister to do his job, show federal leadership and end this dispute that is causing serious harm to the BC wine industry.

This follows a similar pattern. Last week, Liberal MPs voted against a motion that directed any costs incurred to taxpayers as a result of a member of Parliament receiving a gift or hospitality benefit found in a conflict of interest, be repaid by the member. 

We already know that if a single parent is declared not to be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit, any benefits paid can result in a bank account being seized or wages garnisheed to recover those benefit payments.

From my perspective it is not unreasonable to expect that MPs receiving benefits they are not entitled to receive should also be repayable to taxpayers, if a cost is involved.

The Liberals are demonstrating an attitude of being entitled to entitlements. However, the Liberals continue to point out there is no law that suggests benefits obtained through a conflict need to be repaid if a cost occurs to taxpayers. 

My question this week:

  • If an elected official receives a benefit that is in a conflict of interest should any resulting costs to taxpayer be repaid?

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.



More Dan in Ottawa articles

134629
About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



133854
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories



52157


52157