Since I was first elected I have used the summer months, generally passing on speaking opportunities, and embarking on a listening tour -- throughout the riding -- to hear the concerns of local citizens.
One of the greatest things about this riding is the vast diversity of the people who live in our various communities. Some within more densely populated urban areas -- others in smaller towns and there are those in unincorporated rural areas.
In turn each fall when the House resumes, I share the concerns raised in Ottawa.
This year, unlike any other, there is a different tone to what I am hearing.
Affordability, given record high inflation and the direction of our governments at all levels has been a concern in many communities.
Healthcare, such as the inability to get a doctor or having to travel significant distances for a health care related services, are ongoing challenges.
Many citizens have talked about the sheer frustration of trying to drive in and out of Kelowna either via Highway 97 or the Coquihalla and the ensuing traffic gridlock adds stress and anxiety that some have said left them unwilling to make the trek.
Overall, there is a sense that various governments are failing to provide basic core services and are more focused on other areas that many view as non-essential.
There is also a concern of increased government secrecy and in inability to get simple, clear answers why services are delayed and when they will be restored and/or available locally.
From my own perspective there is no question that, even as an elected official, it has become more challenging to obtain information from the federal government departments and agencies that I often deal with.
Likewise, I have heard of similar challenges from citizens attempting to obtain information from Interior Health.
From a traffic standpoint, aside from the flood related damage to the Coquihalla that is currently under repair, that last major Federal/Provincial partnership projects to decrease traffic congestion within this region was the widening between Summerland and Peachland as well as significant widening of portions of Hwy. 3 between Princeton and Hope.
Both projects were completed prior to 2015 and there has been significant growth since.
The intent of this week’s report is not to pick on any one level of government or agency/department related to government but rather to ask a simple question.
How satisfied are you with the current state of government service delivery in your community?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.