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Albas: Canada on solid financial ground

In the wake of my column last week on the topic of debt and government spending, this week Standard and Poor’s has taken the unprecedented move of lowering the United States credit rating.

My understanding is that this is the first credit downgrade in United States history.

Meanwhile, I indicated last week that Canada’s AAA credit rating has just been reconfirmed, reflecting support for our country’s fiscal management.

Fortunately, another positive development occurring in the past seven days—Statistics Canada revealed that more net new jobs were created all across Canada, with July being the second largest monthly gain on record.

Locally over the past few weeks, I have attended many grand openings and ribbon cutting events that have put more citizens back into the workforce.

It is also important to recognize that investment and major projects are what helps to create jobs and all too often the policies that support these initiatives may be opposed.

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One other area of concern that I have heard from many of my constituents pertains to high gas prices, In particular, the question I often get asked is why gas prices in some areas of Okanagan-Coquihalla are higher than others.

As I pointed out on my blog recently, both the federal and provincial governments must share some of the blame for taxation that is contained within the price of gasoline.

However, there are still other variables that remain unexplained. It is my intention to investigate this matter further and report back with my findings.

To date, I am in the process of meeting with either those who have been previously or who are currently involved within the industry for further information.

It’s important to hear all sides of an issue for a more informed perspective. I have found the general lack of information available from the gas companies to be an area of concern that I share with many of you.

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The buzz out of Ottawa this past week has been revelations that the new interim leader of the NDP, Nycole Turmel, was recently a member of the Bloc Québécois and, until last week, also held a membership in a hard-line Quebec sovereignty association.

Apparently, holding a membership in another political party is contrary to the NDP constitution. Many NDP critics have expressed concern over the prospect that a potential separatist may be the leader of a federalist party.

While those concerns are not without merit, I believe we must not overlook that Turmel is an interim leader for the NDP, as we all hope for a speedy recovery of party leader Jack Layton in his courageous battle with cancer.

I would rather our attention in this case be focused more on the fight against cancer that many Canadians are bravely fighting each and every day with slowly improving outcomes. Those battles are hard fought and not always won, but let us make sure that no one fights them alone.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla.

 

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