Originally published on the DaninOttawa.com site on September 22, 2011.
I have been in Ottawa for roughly one week now and it has been a whirlwind of activity. The House is now fully back in swing with many different meetings on an ongoing basis and regular daily sessions of Parliament. There is still a level of excitement in the precinct and many after hours receptions by various organizations and interest groups that are keen to meet with newly settled and returning MP’s. It is often said that as an MP you can attend a different event almost every evening and to date that has mostly proven to be true. Another aspect of life in Ottawa as an MP is Parliamentary Friendship Groups….there are literally dozens and dozens with a very diverse range of shared interests although many promote friendships with other countries or groups of citizens from said countries now living in Canada. I have found my plate is very full at the moment and have not joined any friendship groups as of yet. For me personally, when not attending to my Parliamentary duties along with related committee and caucus work I have also been working extensively on my PMB (Private Member’s Bill) I am fortunate to now have a staff member working with me in Ottawa and the work on the PMB has been ongoing. I will share more about my PMB in the weeks ahead.
For those who know me on a personal level, I have also been fortunate to locate and join a local martial arts studio that practices disciplines such as jiu jitsu and kickboxing. Although I have only been able to attend a few times I enjoy the workouts and opportunity to clear my mind. On average most days in Ottawa are twelve to fourteen hours long.
As a western based MP I like to return phone calls to my constituents at the end of the Okanagan-Coquihalla work day which is typically around 8pm here in Ottawa. Returning phone calls to citizens back home has become my favorite time of the day. Some of the daily debate in Ottawa at times has me wondering if some of my colleagues on the opposition bench live in the same country. Of course they likely wonder the same thing of those of us who sit on the Government side of the House (Conservative Corner Caucus notwithstanding). Hearing from the taxpayers of Okanagan-Coquihalla on a daily basis serves as an important reminder that the challenges we face in our communities and the need to work constructively here in Ottawa to find solutions are important. I very much appreciate hearing from all of you back home and would like to thank those of you who take the time to pass on your comments and your concerns.
In addition to his weekly MP Report. the Dan in Ottawa blog is another resource for residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Chronicling Dan’s personal experiences as he travels to Ottawa and throughout the riding as your MP.
For more information about Dan Albas, click here.