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By Alistair Waters - Kelowna Capital News
Published: May 28, 2011 8:00 AM
Dan Albas has now officially dropped the word “elect” from his his job title.
The recently elected Okanagan-Coquihalla MP was sworn in Thursday, along with the country’s other 307 MPs, in Ottawa.
Albus will get ready to take his seat in the House of Commons when Parliament resumes next week, first with the Speech from the Throne and the following day with the presentation of the federal budget.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” said Albas from his Ottawa office shortly after the swearing-in ceremony. “It truly is humbling.”
Albas, a Conservative, succeeds long-time local MP Stockwell Day as this area’s representative in the House of Commons.
Albas said in the weeks since the election, he has had a crash course in learning about Ottawa, Parliament and the rigors of setting up an MP’s office and hiring staff to look after constituents needs both in the riding and in Ottawa.
“It has been a sharp learning curve,” said the rookie MP, who was previously a Penticton city councillor.
Albas said he is currently working out of a temporary office on Parliament Hill as he puts the finishing touches on both his Ottawa and Penticton offices.
But while he has had a lot to learn about “official” Ottawa in the last few weeks, Albas said he has been helped by veteran fellow Okanagan Conservative MPs Ron Cannan (Kelowna-Lake Country) and Colin Mayse (Shuswap), both of whom easily won re-election in the May 2 vote.
Albas has yet to hear if he will be appointed to any parliamentary committees, but he has expressed a desire to work on heritage and agriculture issues because both came up repeatedly during the election campaign.
But so as not appear to be trying to influence any decisions, he said he’s not publicly saying which committees he has put his name forward for.
No matter what he is assigned to do, Albas plans to take all constituent concerns and issues to Ottawa to have them addressed.
Albas has been invited by the Capital News to contribute a weekly MP’s Report column to help keep his constituents aware of what he is doing as their federal representative. During his years in office, Day wrote a similar column that was well received in the community. In addition to the column, Albas has an Internet blog—daninottawa.com—to provide constituents with information and a way for them to directly interact with him.
Published: June 01, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: June 01, 2011 3:17 PM
For newly elected MP Dan Albas, it has been a time of learning as he has been introduced to the protocols of federal politics.
On May 26, Albas was officially signed in to Parliament.
“It’s been a very busy time,” he said. “I’m really enjoying learning about the traditions and procedures and meeting with the people.”
While Prime Minister Stephen Harper is preparing the various committees, Albas is waiting to learn where he will be serving.
“It’s a big country and there are a lot of things that need to be looked after,” he said. “Right now, our number one priority is the economy.”
While Harper’s Conservatives received a majority government in the May 2 federal election, Albas said issues must be addressed by the House of Commons as a whole.
He said he has already had the opportunity to meet with many of the other Members of Parliament from all political parties. “I’m looking forward to finding out how the new dynamic will work,” he said.
The majority government is the first elected since 2000.
The Conservatives won 166 out of 308 seats.
Despite the majority, Albas said much of his work as a federal politician does not deal with party politics.
“Constituency work is a top priority for me,” he said. “If they’re citizens of Okanagan Coquihalla, I’m their Member of Parliament. My office is non-partisan in nature.”
He said his role is to represent all constituents, no matter whether or not they supported him in the election.
“Every Member of Parliament is elected to represent the constituents first,” he said.
“It’s my job to make sure all are being represented.”
He said Stockwell Day , the Member of Parliament for the riding from 2000 to 2011, was an excellent example of an effective constituency worker.
by Grant Scott - Story: 60913
Mar 20, 2011 / 11:29 am
Three candidates will bid for the right to replace Stockwell Day as the Conservative party nominee for the Okanagan-Coquihalla federal riding.
Initially, there were four announced candidates.
Penticton City Councillor, Dan Albas decided to take a run at federal politics as did Realtor Marshall Neufeld, West Kelowna businessman Rusty Ensign and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce President Jason Cox.
Unfortunately for Cox, his paperwork was filed late, and as a result, found out his name will be left off the ballot at Tuesday's nomination meetings.
Stockwell Day had announced he would not seek re-election on March 12, leaving little time for candidates to get their paperwork in order.
The March 22 nomination meetings will occur at two locations.
The first will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Merritt Civic Centre, 1950 Mamette Avenue in Merritt, and then from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Penticton at the Ramada Inn & Suites, 1050 Eckhart Avenue West.
If you would like further information, call the Okanagan-Coquihalla Conservative Association volunteer office in Penticton at 250-493-6144.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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Dan Albas hopes to make the jump from municipal to federal politics.
Albas became the first official candidate Tuesday to seek the Conservative nomination in Okanagan-Coquihalla following MP Stockwell Day‘s retirement announcement.
Albas, who topped the polls as councillor in Penticton‘s 2008 civic election, said he had been approached by several supporters in the past few days urging him to run.
"It‘s an exciting time. Stockwell has left some big shoes for anyone to fill," he said. "I‘m looking forward to meeting with other (Conservative) members and talking about where we need to take our party here in Okanagan-Coquihalla."
Tory nomination meetings will be held next Tuesday - in Merritt from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and in Penticton at the Ramada Inn starting at 6:30 p.m.
"I agree that the time line (for campaigning) is very short, but at the same token I can see with an election looming in the background, they‘d want to take care of these details," he said.
"I can‘t emphasize enough how important it is to our riding and the constituents to have someone who is connected to the people and then going and standing up for his or her constituents in Ottawa."
Albas declined to comment on whether he would resign from Penticton council if he won the Conservative nomination, suggesting such speculation is premature.
He is a former president of the Conservative riding association in Okanagan-Coquihalla and has already launched his own campaign website at www.danalbas.com.
Councillor enters race for Conservative nomination By Bruce Walkinshaw - Penticton Western News
Published: March 15, 2011 4:00 PM
Updated: March 15, 2011 5:03 PM
Showers with a high of four degrees and a low of minus one.
Many of the Okanagan Coquihalla’s politically ambitious found themselves checking the weather forecasts for Ottawa at this time of year in the wake of MP Stockwell Day’s announcement Saturday that he will not run in the next federal election, leaving behind a tantalizing base of voter support.
Amongst the candidacy’s suitors is Penticton councillor, business-man and former Conservative riding president Dan Albas, who announced Tuesday that he is seeking the nomination.
“Over the past number of days, I have had a number of citizens, supporters and friends urge me to consider putting forward my name and seek the nomination to be your next Conservative candidate,” said Albas in his announcement posted on pentictonpolitics.com. “After much thought and discussion with family and friends, I have decided that I would like to put my name forward.
“While the role and responsibilities might change, my commitment to listen to people and take their concerns forward remains. I believe that people deserve public representatives who are accountable and will return phone calls and communicate regularly with the people they serve.”
Albas may be the first of many to put their names forward — for instance, Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton might have some interest although he has yet to comment on whether he will run.
“We have received some interest from some high-profile people already,” said Conservative riding president Doug Sharpe Monday.
“We are very fortunate here in the Okanagan Coquihalla because Stockwell Day and the (riding association) board have done just an amazing job of identifying the support,” he said.
“We know there are a tremendous amount of supporters out there and also we are arrayed to fight an election if it were to happen. And so, there are a lot of people who are quite intrigued who think that this is an excellent opportunity if they ever were thinking of public life.”
The deadline for filing a Conservative candidate form is March 21.
However, despite Day’s popularity at the polls, not everyone thinks winning the Conservative nomination is the best way to become the next Okanagan Coquihalla MP.
Both the riding’s NDP and Liberal constituency organizations see Day’s retirement as possible catalysts for a political shift in local fortunes at the polls.
“Stockwell Day was very well liked. He was a good community minded member. He served this riding well,” said NDP riding president Jeanette Wood, before noting that her party came in second in the riding during the last election.
“(Day retiring) improves our chances ... because Stockwell Day was very well-liked and I suspect that many people voted for him because they liked him as a person.”
So far, the NDP has one nominee that has come forward, with the deadline for submissions today at 5 p.m. and the nomination meeting to be held on March 26. David Finnis is a three-term Summerland councillor.
"We need transparency and honesty in our government to support the democratic system which will facilitate the participation of all Canadians,” said Finnis. “During my nine years on municipal council, I demonstrated my ability to work with my council colleagues on behalf of all residents. Now is the time to take this commitment to Ottawa and work on behalf of all Okanagan Coquihalla constituents.”
The local Liberals have three nominees — Ashcroft resident John Kidder, registered nurse Shan Lavell and high school teacher Gordon Wiebe — with their vote rescheduled for March 28 in a moving poll that will begin in Merritt, stop in Penticton and finish off in West Kelowna.
“One of the challenges for the Liberal party in this area is that there is not a lot happening. And so, we want to get the people not only knowing these candidates but to start getting people involved again,” said Liberal spokesperson Monica Sahlmark. “It has been quite convenient that Day decided to retire because now we are getting even more press.
“To me it definitely makes a more even playing field and hopefully even more people will get involved.”
by Wayne Moore
Mar 15, 2011 / 1:20 pm
Penticton City Councillor, Dan Albas, is taking a run at federal politics.
Albas announced Tuesday he will seek the Conservative Party nomination in the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla.
The riding has been held by Treasury Board President Stockwell Day since 2000.
Day announced on the weekend he would not seek re-election.
"Over the past number of days, I have had a number of citizens, supporters and friends urge me to consider putting forward my name and seek the nomination to be your next Conservative Candidate in the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla," says Albas on his website.
"After much thought and discussion with family and friends, I have decided that I would like to put my name forward to serve as your representative in Ottawa."
Albas is a former riding president in Okanagan-Coquihalla.
A date for a nomination meeting has not been set by the riding association.
No other candidates have come forward.
By Staff Writer - Penticton Western News
Published: March 15, 2011 12:00 PM
Updated: March 15, 2011 1:20 PM
City of Penticton Coun. Dan Albas is putting his name forward to run as the Conservative candidate in the Okanagan Coquihalla riding.
On Friday it was announced that MP for Okanagan Coquihalla Stockwell Day will not be seeking re-election at the end of this mandate.
Albas said since Day's announcement a number of citizens, supporters and friends have urged him to consider putting his name forward and seek the nomination to be the next Conservative candidate.
"While the role and responsibilities might change, my commitment to listen to people and take their concerns forward remains. I believe that people deserve public representatives who are accountable and will return phone calls and communicate regularly with the people they serve," said Albas on his blog Penticton Politics.
Albas added that over his time in council he has met many people and been fortunate to build strong working relationships with the senior government representatives.
"Through both my work as a councillor, and as a former riding president, I have been very impressed by the dedication and effectiveness of our Member of Parliament, Stockwell Day who has demonstrated the importance of strong representation of Ottawa. I do not want to see this important legacy diminsh," said Albas.
For more on this story see Wednesday's edition of the Penticton Western News.