MPs not slated to return to Parliament until late November

Long wait for MPs return

This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally announced his new cabinet, after waiting more than a month since the Sept. 20 election.

Not unlike what occurred under former prime minister Stephen Harper, the new cabinet announced yesterday by Trudeau is significantly larger with 39 members, one fewer than the 40, the largest appointed by Harper in 2015.

For contrast, the first cabinet announced by Harper in 2006 had just 26 members, likewise Trudeau’s first cabinet in 2015 that had 31 members.

In total, there are eight rookies in the new (Liberal) cabinet, and one former minister returning to cabinet, while two current Liberal MPs were dropped from the cabinet.

Unfortunately, we still must wait until Nov. 22 before Trudeau recalls Parliament.

On a personal note, I am frustrated by the long wait for Parliament to return. One reason for that relates to the expiry of Canada’s pandemic response benefit programs on Oct. 23.

By now you have likely heard the Liberal government has not renewed those programs but, instead, announced new assistance programs that will be more targeted. The government further announced the new programs will be more focused on incentivizing a return to work.

For the record, I fully support the stated goal of the government in this regard. However, I believe this same principle should apply to Parliament and getting MPs back to work in Ottawa as well. As is often the case with government programs, reading the fine print is always the key to ensuring the programs are working as intended and are accessible to those in need.

In this case, the details of many of these programs require clarification and proper Parliamentary scrutiny and oversight is an important part of this process.

Another challenge with Parliament not sitting is it limits the ability to raise issues of concern in the House of Commons. One example of this is the continued closure of direct flights to Kelowna’s Airport from other countries, in particular from the United States.

Recently I have heard from several in the accommodation and tourism sector who are losing tens of thousands of dollars of revenue as frequent customers from U.S. destinations who are instead booking direct trips to other Canadian airports that have had their international flight status restored.

As one small business owner recently vented in frustration, they do not want “government handouts,” they simply want the opportunity to host their guests again.

They have also correctly pointed out this can save the government from providing expensive support programs.

My question this week:
Do you support the Kelowna Airport being re-opened to International flights, as have been many other airports in Canada?

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

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the official Oppositions's finance critic.

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.

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

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

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

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

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