Albas: Conservatives about to get tougher on human smugglers

This past week was a very enjoyable one being back in the riding for Canada Day, visiting Peachland, Okanagan Falls, Summerland, West Kelowna and Penticton.

  • Jul. 7, 2011 3:00 p.m.

This past week was a very enjoyable one being back in the riding for Canada Day, visiting Peachland, Okanagan Falls, Summerland, West Kelowna and Penticton.

In particular, I would like to sincerely thank the organizing committee for  Westside Daze. It was a great community celebration.

Over the past few weeks, one of the more common concerns that I have heard from many of you across the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla is over Bill C-428, a Private Member’s bill introduced by former federal Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla.

This legislation called for amendments to the Old Age Security Act that would see newly arrived citizens entitled to a monthly pension payment after just three years of residency instead of the current 10 year requirement.

It should be noted that this bill was introduced into the former 40th Parliament and has no official standing in the current 41st Parliament.

In the event that a similar bill is proposed by another member, based on the overwhelming opposition that has been expressed to me, I would not support such a bill.

Another topic of concern that came up in my recent door knocking travels relates to illegal human smuggling and  jumping of the cue in immigration matters.

Canada has some of the most generous immigration laws in the world,  yet there are those who will attempt to profit or circumvent our immigration laws solely for personal gain.

These acts cannot only put lives at risk, they can also unfairly impact those who are legitimately going through the process, following the rules and procedures.

Our government  has introduced Bill C-4, the  Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigra

This legislation will create new tools to allow government to have more flexibility in responding to these situations should they arise in the future.

Criminals who profit from human smuggling, should not be able to do so at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.

In my last MP’s report, I mentioned that I was intending to use much of the summer as an opportunity to meet people from across our riding.

I am pleased with the warm response of my listening tour thus far, but I would like to again ask individuals, not-for-profits, businesses and local government representatives to  let me hear your thoughts, views and priorities.

We live in a unique and diverse riding, one with many points of view that need to be heard, and voiced, to Ottawa.

Contact my office at 250-770-4480 or via email at

Although I have been your Member of Parliament for a relatively short period of time, every moment has been rewarding and enjoyable in spite of being a very steep learning curve. I am certainly not alone; according to a recent report, our newly elected Parliament is a younger and more diverse one with a record number of female MP’s and more members from careers other than law or medicine which was not the case in Parliaments past.

What doesn’t change is that all of us must work together constructively.

Debate through dialogue and agreement into action are hallmarks of what has made this country great; we all must make sure that future generations inherit a Canada that we can all be proud of.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla.


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