Albas: Voice your opinions about country’s financial priorities
As a former Penticton city councillor, I often worked with local media and enjoyed getting to know the many personalities that make up our local print, radio and TV voices.
So I was most happy to participate in a live radio program to discuss my latest MP report, specifically on concerns that I had heard about human smuggling.
There was some surprise expressed that the taxpayers in Okanagan-Coquihalla took issue with our immigration system being manipulated by criminals trying to illegally smuggle in human cargo for profit at the same time as also trying to jump the immigration line.
The manipulation of our immigration system by criminals for profit at the expense of Canadian taxpayers is a subject that many have told me they would like to see our government take action on.
As we got further into the interview, it seemed that there was a misunderstanding as to the purpose of my weekly MP Report.
The intent behind it is to report to the constituents I represent in this riding as your MP.
I believe it is important to report on my activities, to ask for your input and share what I have been hearing both locally and in Ottawa.
The actual distance from points within Okanagan-Coquihalla to Ottawa may be roughly 3,000 kilometres, but to many people here, that distance seems more like 30,000 kilometres.
By submitting these reports, reading your emails and letters, and also attending community events that allow me to meet with many citizens in person, my goal is to ensure that I am on the right track.
Government must listen to taxpayers. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper has observed, Canadians do not like surprises. As a government, we must recognize the wide diversity of Canada.
We must not lose sight of the challenges that many citizens face and at the same time we must have a vision for the opportunities that we need as a nation to prosper with secure jobs and a strong economy.
While we have witnessed the creation of close to 600,000 net new jobs since July 2009, we must not forget those Canadians still looking for work.
This fall, the standing committee on finance will be asking taxpayers to share your ideas at the annual pre-budget consultation hearings.
Submissions can be made in person or in writing.
July 29 is the deadline to apply to appear in-person.
The committee is scheduled to visit numerous cities across Canada. If you wish to appear before the committee, please contact the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Finance and indicate three locations where you are willing to appear.
The deadline for written submissions is Aug. 12. Submissions should be no longer than five pages in length, with up to three recommendations that reflect your ideas on taxes, potential new investments, or cost savings related to the federal government.
Your submission, along with your contact information, can be sent to the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Finance at the following address:
The Clerk of the Standing Committee on Finance
Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
The contact phone number is 613-992-9753, fax number is 613-996-1626 and email address is FINA@park.gc.ca.
What is truly unique about our country is that we always develop ways and means for everyone to have their say and to test and challenge those ideas. We can all feel proud that when the last spike is hammered, the last soldier returns home or the last vote is counted, that it’s our country and we can play a part in it.
Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla.