This week our Government will introduce Legislation with an intent to put an end to the current Canada Post impasse. This will likely also create my first opportunity to vote on an important issue that I know people within Okanagan-Coquihalla have different and in some cases strong views about. I would like to say that I value Canada Post and believe it is an important service for all Canadians to depend upon. However, I also recognize that a major service disruption would not only adversely impact many Canadians, it can also harm the long term viability of Canada Post as many citizens increasingly look for paperless alternatives in their day to day lives. I believe that as elected decision makers we must make take action to protect our Canadian institutions such as Canada Post and we must also protect the greater interest of all Canadians.
I am mindful that my position on this will not sit well with some members of the public, and in particular many within organized labour. There are legitimate concerns about the right to strike. As Canadians we have many rights afforded to us and these rights also provide entitlements for us but we must also be mindful of not just of our own rights, but also of our responsibilities. Our responsibilities to our country and to our fellow Canadians. In this case, I have heard from involved workers on both sides of this debate including those who are in support and those who are opposed to this legislation. I have also heard concerns from many citizens ranging from delays in financial assistance payments to important medical lab test results being delayed. Hearing these concerns and also believing in the importance of the long term viability of Canada Post I do intend to vote in support of legislation that will put our national postal service back to work serving the interests of Canadians.
Late last week I had an opportunity to witness our Canada Action Plan in action at ribbon cutting events both in Okanagan Falls and with Chief Johnathan Kruger at the Penticton Indian Band. In Okanagan Falls we helped open a new cross laminated timber manufacturing plant. This is an exciting and innovative product that will not only create more jobs in Okanagan Falls, it will also help revitalize our forest industry. Initial demand for cross laminated timber is already sufficient that plant expansion is now a topic of discussion. That is good news for job creation in Okanagan Falls and elsewhere. The second event was the opening of the new Outma Sqilxw Cultural School at the Penticton Indian Band. This is simply put an amazing new school and one that I know band elders, children and families can be immensely proud of. This will be an important legacy asset for future generations.
As the House of Commons is soon to adjourn it is my goal this summer to visit every community and region within the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla. If you would like to meet me with me at your home, business, coffee shop or wherever else please send me an email to help prepare a schedule of when I will be in your community. Emails can be sent to Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.