Opinion

Albas: Making a commitment to bring up local issues back in Ottawa

I believe it is important that Members of Parliament not only listen to the concerns of the citizens who elect us, but also that we share those concerns in Ottawa as well.

Over this past week, my office has received a number of questions and concerns regarding the census that has been taking place over the past several weeks.

Much of the concern relates to reminder notices being sent out to households that have already submitted their census.

This in turn creates a concern that either their census submission has not been received and processed, or that there is waste of taxpayer resources in sending out these reminders.

My family has also received such a reminder notice even though it was sent in close to a month ago.

I have raised this issue with the minister responsible to ensure that there is awareness about that issue.

Another area of concern for many citizens in Okanagan-Coquihalla is the price of gas.

While we have seen some good things over the past few years in terms of reducing the government’s share of gas taxes through the reduction of the GST from seven to five per cent and beefed up enforcement measures of faulty scales at the pump, it is still a growing concern.

Treasury Board president Tony Clement has invited refiners, distributors and retailers to appear in Ottawa to answer questions on this very subject. I will be reporting back to you with the information and answers that arise from this upcoming meeting.

I was glad to be in Ottawa on Friday evening to hear a speech from my predecessor,  Stockwell Day. “Stock,” as he is affectionately known by many on Parliament Hill, spoke about a number of important points:

• Living in a country of free speech and the importance of showing respect for others and their views

• The rise of China and need for to work on our competitiveness as a country through education, productivity and innovation

• The three people who most influenced his political career, who to the surprise of many were not former politicians or world leaders but rather constituents he met along his journey in provincial and federal politics; and

• Recognition of his biggest supporter—his wife Valorie.

In my travels around Ottawa I have come to realize and appreciate what a popular and significant influence that Day had with many colleagues and staff here on Parliament Hill.

The parting thought that Stockwell left with me is to never forget that it is serving the hard working people who have made this country one of the freest, most prosperous and peaceful places on Earth that we should never take for granted.

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Albas is the

Conservative MP for

 

Okanagan-Coquihalla.

 

 

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