This week the federal government will introduce legislation with an intent to put an end to the current Canada Post impasse.
This will likely also create my first opportunity to vote on an important issue about which I know my Okanagan-Coquihalla constituents hold differing views.
I would like to say that I value Canada Post. I believe it is an important service for all Canadians to depend upon.
However, I also recognize that a major service disruption would not only adversely impact many Canadians, it can also harm the long term viability of Canada Post as many citizens increasingly look for paperless alternatives in their day-to -day lives.
I believe that as elected decision makers, we must take action to protect our Canadian institutions, one of which is Canada Post, and we must also protect the greater interest of all Canadians.
I’m mindful that my position on this will not sit well with some members of the public, in particular many within organized labour.
There are legitimate concerns about the right to strike. As Canadians, we have many rights and entitlements afforded to us.
But we must also be mindful not just of our own rights, but also of our responsibilities to our country and to our fellow Canadians.
In this case, I have heard from people on both sides of the Canada Post labour debate. I have also heard concerns from many citizens about a Canada Post strike or lockout causing delays in financial assistance payments or holding up the mailing of important medical lab test results.
Hearing these concerns and also believing in the importance of the long term viability of Canada Post, I do intend to vote in support of legislation that will put our national postal service back to work.
Late last week I had an opportunity to witness our Canada Action Plan in action at ribbon cutting events both in Okanagan Falls and with Penticton Indian Band Chief Johnathan Kruger.
In Okanagan Falls, we helped open a new cross-laminated timber manufacturing plant. This is an exciting and innovative product that will create more jobs in Okanagan Falls and help revitalize our local forest industry.
The initial demand for cross-laminated timber is already sufficient that plant expansion is now a topic of discussion. That is good news for job creation in Okanagan Falls and elsewhere.
The second event was the opening of the Penticton Indian Band’s new Outma Sqilxw Cultural School.
This is an amazing new school and one that I know the band elders, children and families can be immensely proud of and an important legacy for future generations.
As the House of Commons is soon to adjourn, it is my goal this summer to visit every community and region within the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla.
If you would like to meet with me at your home, business, coffee shop or wherever else, please send me an email to help prepare a schedule of when I will be in your community.
Email me at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca.
Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding.