June 25, 2015
Although it has been reported that the 41stParliament is now dissolved, technically the House stands adjourned and is set to reconvene in September however as the election writ is expected to be dropped prior it is widely expected that this 41st Parliament will not sit again. The end of any legislative session is always a busy time in the scramble to see Bills passed from the House of Commons to make it into the Senate hopefully to make it through the upper chamber for Royal Assent.
This was a process I went through with my private member’s Bill C-311 on wine importation back in June of 2012 and was also a process that my colleague MP Michael Chong went through late last week with his private members bill on democratic reform. As many may recall the Reform Act of 2014 is one I have supported in Parliament and referenced in a few previous MP reports. It is also a Bill that has just received Royal Assent and is now law. I would like to thank the many citizens who took the time to communicate with me on that particular bill as well as others. On a similar theme this week I was also pleased to learn that the Province of Nova Scotia has now joined the “Free My Grapes” initiative and will also now be allowing direct to consumer shipping of BC wine to citizens in Nova Scotia and conversely BC residents can order some of the excellent wines of Nova Scotia. It is rewarding that four Canadian Provinces are now supporting the free trade of Canadian wine with potentially more to follow. On that note I would also like to recognize the BC Government who continues to work towards the removal of inter-provincial trade barriers in support of our local economies.
Near the conclusion of the 41st Parliament I had an opportunity to thank the many outgoing Parliamentarians and House of Commons staff who have worked very long hours away from family during the operations of the House over the past four years. On the same note I would also like to wish a happy retirement to Southern Interior Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko. MP Atamanenko represented a large and diverse riding and has worked hard over the past nine years in Ottawa. I know that Mr. Atamanenko’s friendly demeanour and sincere advocacy on issues will be warmly remembered by many of his constituents.
By the numbers the 41st Parliament was a productive one with the passing of roughly 117 Government Bills, 44 other private Bills and 30 motions from Private Members, all over the past four years. It has been reported that no other Parliament in the past two decades has had as much legislation pass through the House of Commons. The past four years have also witnessed two different leaders of the official opposition due to the untimely passing of former NDP leader Jack Layton as well as two Liberal leaders, once an interim leader was replaced with Mr. Trudeau. This Parliament was also described as one of the youngest when first elected and of course also the first with the NDP as the official opposition party as the Liberals were the third party in the House. In October of 2014 an armed assailant attacked the House of Common before being killed by security officers. This disturbing event was not actually the first of its kind. In 1966 an assailant blew himself up in a Centre Block bathroom while prepping a bomb. Overall the 41st Parliament has been through a number of events that has also included some all night sittings, extended hours, filibusters and of course exchanges of colorful and at times interesting language.
In roughly four months time Canadians will again head to the polls to elect Canada’s 42ndParliament. What the composition and structure of that Parliament will be like is up for Canadians to decide and that is one of the true privileges of living in a democracy.
With the House now adjourned I am available for meetings and welcome your phone calls. I can be reached via email at email@example.com or toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.
Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and writes this weekly report for his constituents.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament elect for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.