With the House now fully back in session, it has been another whirlwind week in Ottawa. Most notable was a special address to Parliament by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Although the media characterized this speech as being primarily focused on the world economy, there were other important and overlooked topics that are deserving of mention.
It is often said that as Canadians we are our own toughest critics. There are some days in the House of Commons where the discussion and debate does not acknowledge that ours is truly a great nation that continues to help make the world a better place. It was refreshing to hear David Cameron share a different perspective, some of the history of Canada’s contributions and sacrifices on the world stage for the betterment of others. Indeed sometimes in the heat of House of Commons debate we as Parliamentarians forget that Canada has in fact charted a course that other nations continue to struggle to set.
History aside though, we must also be mindful of the future. Prime Minister Cameron remarked on the importance that as countries we must keep our citizens safe and we must work hard to ensure there are jobs. To achieve these goals we will need to work together and recognize that debt is the crisis that can no longer be ignored. We must also prioritize our spending wisely and recognize that international aid and helping to educate the youth in developing countries are investments today than can yield long-term benefits down the road. Diplomacy and international investment must be measures not overlooked given the immense cost, on all levels, of military campaigns.
In order to tackle the debt crises we must stay focused and apply strong leadership. We cannot ignore today’s problems as they will surely become larger problems tomorrow. Tackling debt will not be easy but it is important that we demonstrate strong political will. There were those in attendance for the speech who clearly did not agree with the comments from the British Prime Minister. From my perspective I believe that David Cameron’s speech is an important one, and I say that both as a Member of Parliament and as a Canadian. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to hear and ponder some of the challenges that we will all face in keeping Canada and our allies strong. I am also thankful that the majority of those in the House of Commons are united to work in this regard. On a daily basis I meet many of my caucus colleagues from around Canada and am greatly impressed with the dedication and passion of those MPs with whom I am fortunate enough to work..
As David Cameron reminded us, during some of the world’s darkest times, Canada was there and continues to defend and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law, the values that shaped this great nation. After hearing the British Prime Minister’s Speech I felt proud to be a Canadian.
This week in the House the debate will focus primarily on Bill C-4 Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act and Bill C10, The Safe Streets and Communities Act. Also this week will be debate on a motion to extend the mission in Libya for a further three months. If you would like further information on any of these or any other Bills please contact my office at 250-770-4480 or toll free at 1-800-665-8711
Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.