The House of Commons resumed session this week and what began on a feisty note with the anointment of a new leader for the Liberal Party of Canada has very quickly become a reflective one, given Monday's events in the United States.
In times of immense tragedy, words often fall short to convey our deepest condolences; thoughts and prayers for those who have been victimized by traumatic events are often difficult to put into perspective. Specifically, the recent events at the Boston Marathon are among those occurrences that are truly beyond such words. Senseless violence and attacks on innocent victims are reprehensible actions that Canada, as a country, has always stood opposed to. May we all take a moment to reflect on these unfortunate events and stand with our neighbors in condemning those who are responsible for these senseless acts.
Back in Ottawa, the wheels of Canadian Parliament will continue to move forward with a number of issues on the Parliamentary calendar for the week ahead. While the business of supply debate continues on the budget there will also be a number of private member's bills coming before the House. Bill C-475 An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (order-making power) will begin second reading (first time debated). Despite the announced budget measures to double the current Last Post Fund in late March, Motion 422 on the Last Post Fund will also come forward for debate (first time debated). Resuming debate at second reading will be Bill C-266 Pope John Paul II Day Act, while Bill C-394 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act (criminal organization recruitment) will reach Report stage. Later in the week Motion 412 “Hydroelectric project” will come before the House for a vote and on Friday Motion 230 “Anaphylaxis” will be debated for the first time.
This week’s opposition day motion will involve debate on the temporary foreign worker program– a concern that I share in hearing from many constituents and also referenced in my MP report from last week. Over the past seven days I have been hearing increasingly from citizens, employers and organizations regarding the TFW program and many important points have been made on this issue. I welcome your comments on this or any subject and if you have not had a chance yet to share them directly with me please do not hesitate to do so. I can be reached toll free at 1-800-665-8711 or via email at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca . Your views are extremely important to me as I often reference the concerns I hear when in the House of Commons.
As the British Columbia election period is about to get underway I would like to formerly thank all departing MLA’s for their years of service to our region. Locally both MLA John Slater and Speaker of the House Bill Barisoff will not be running for re-election and I would like to take a moment to thank these individuals for their efforts in public office. As a former city councillor, I valued having a strong working relationship with both MLA’s and wish them well in future endeavours. I would also like to pass on my appreciation for all of the candidates who will be spending a great deal of time campaigning over the next month and hope citizens take the time to meet with all of the candidates and express your concerns in the process. It should never be overlooked that democracy is not a spectator event and is enhanced when people get involved.
Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla. His blog isDaninOttawa.com and previous MP reports are on line at http://www.danalbas.com/
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament elect for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.