Regional alienation, national unity and protests were among the topics MP Dan Albas addressed at a Summerland Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday.
The luncheon was presented in partnership with Black Press.
More than 20 people were in attendance.
Albas, the Conservative Member of Parliament of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, said federal politicians from all parties need to focus on the needs of the country as a whole.
“We have a growing alienation that is very real,” he said, adding that government leadership includes finding ways to unite the country.
The sense of alienation is also shown in protests and demonstrations, including the recent demonstrations at the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday, as protesters backing a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters had rallies to coincide with the provincial throne speech.
“When people feel isolated, they are going to strike out in other ways,” Albas said. “We are stronger when we recognize legitimate concerns.”
Despite issues surrounding unity and alienation, Albas said many federal politicians, from all parties, are focussed on working for the bests interests of Canada.
“On both sides of the aisle, it’s Team Canada,” he said.
At the same time, he said solutions are needed which can unite Canadians.
For example, Albas said there is an ongoing problem with professional credentials in Canada as a doctor from another country may be approved to work in one province but not another.
Other regulations affect interprovincial sales of packaged goods.
Albas, the Conservative Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion has worked to address interprovincial barriers related to wine sales.
“We need leaders to determine what is in our national interest,” Albas said.
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