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.