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Albas: Back to business in Ottawa
Having returned to Ottawa for the fall sitting of the House of Commons parliamentary session, with me came a book of condolences, cards and other mementos that many of you took the time to share in the memory of former NDP national leader Jack Layton.
I consider it an honour to deliver these condolences to his family. Many citizens have remarked to me that they are glad to see so many of their fellow Canadians across the country set aside partisan differences during this time of reflection and recognize Mr. Layton’s life of public service.
I would like to thank those of you who dropped by my office with a card or note and also who took the time to sign the book of condolences as it travelled around the area.
Also travelling back to Ottawa with me this time are the many responses and suggestions I received from citizens as part of my summer listening tour.
I would like to thank those that offered kind words of encouragement and warm wishes for my new position working on your behalf in Ottawa, and also for telling me what you think are issues of importance to you.
Issues that were mentioned most often were crime and the justice system, the need to control government spending, gas prices, the environment and employment.
Many citizens also voiced their support for Senate reform as well as the removal of the long gun registry.
Concerns with other levels of government were also common, as was immigration policy.
I welcome your input and will share your concerns with my colleagues in the weeks and months ahead.
One serious item of concern that did arise earlier this month was the prospect of an NDP motion being put forward by MP Libby Davies that would have resurrected much of former Bill-428 in seriously reducing residency requirements in order to collect Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Fortunately, the NDP quickly withdrew the motion referring to it as an error in submission. Rest assured, in the event that this motion or a similar one is introduced, I will be proud to represent the citizens from Okanagan- Coquihalla and stand with my Conservative government colleagues in opposition to such a costly and irresponsible assault on taxpaying Canadians.
I believe citizens who have worked hard for 10 years or more paying taxes and contributing to Canadian society should be entitled to receive Old Age Security and a Guaranteed Income Supplement and I can’t support this residency requirement being removed or reduced for newly arrived citizens.
This is one issue that I have heard overwhelmingly on from many citizens all across the riding, and all the comments I have received on this issue have been in strong opposition to any reduction in the residency requirement to qualify for taxpayer funded retirement benefits.
With Parliament back in session, I intend to keep taxpayers up-to-date on new bills that might arise. If there is a particular bill that you would like further information on or to be covered in one of my MP’s Report, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Now back in Ottawa, I will also be more active again on my daninottawa.com blog site.
As your elected MP, it is important to me that you can keep track of my activities on your behalf. My email address is Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca.
Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla.