MP Dan Albas aired concerns about the cancellation of flights to Penticton’s Regional Airport in Parliament’s question period on Dec. 7. (Cable Public Affairs Channel)

MP Dan Albas aired concerns about the cancellation of flights to Penticton’s Regional Airport in Parliament’s question period on Dec. 7. (Cable Public Affairs Channel)

COVID-19 pandemic saw parties work together, Okanagan MP says

MP Dan Albas said Liberals and Conservatives cooperated to bring about relief in 2020

For MP Dan Albas, 2020 was a year of working together, across party lines, to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albas, the Conservative MP for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, recalls how elected officials were able to work together to provide relief to Canadians affected by the pandemic.

“We came together to try to make things work,” he said.

In mid-March, when the first pandemic restrictions were introduced in Canada, the federal government quickly rolled out funding to provide support.

Albas raised concerns with the federal minister of employment about the eligibility for students and about other gaps he saw in the funding system. These concerns were addressed, he added.

READ ALSO: Okanagan Conservative MP downplays push for fall federal election

READ ALSO: MP Albas drafts legislation to open floodgates on interprovincial booze sales

“Now the system seems to be supporting a lot of people,” he said.

He said his role as an opposition member in the House of Commons is not just to point out flaws in government decisions but to also work on finding ways to make improvements.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was foremost in the minds of many Canadians in 2020, the Conservative party also faced internal changes as the party selected a new leader.

In August, Erin O’Toole was selected as party leader, replacing Andrew Scheer, who had been the leader of the party since May, 2017.

“Leadership is fundamental in politics,” Albas said, adding that he believes O’Toole has the experience and substance needed for the role.

He believes the choice of O’Toole as party leader will bring a change to Canadian federal politics.

“Too much time has been spent discussing our disagreements rather than the things we can agree on,” he said.

For his constituents, Albas has continued to work over the last year on his efforts to remove barriers to interprovincial alcohol sales.

In December, he tabled a private member’s bill that would allow Canada Post to offer direct-to-consumer sales of out-of-province alcoholic beverages across Canada.

At present, four Canadian provinces — British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia — allow the interprovincial sale of alcohol directly to consumers. For several years, Albas has been working to expand this to include all Canadian provinces and territories.

Looking ahead to 2021, Albas believes the COVID-19 pandemic will remain a priority for the federal government.

He believes vaccination will be a key component of the coming year. Businesses will also work to recover from the effects of the pandemic, although not all will succeed, he said.

The numbers associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are staggering, with more than 500,000 cases in Canada to date and more than 15,000 deaths as a result, but Albas said the story is about more than just the numbers. He said there is an individual and a family behind each of the numbers from the pandemic.

In addition, Albas wonders if a federal election will come in 2021. He said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leader of the federal Liberal party, put out a call in December seeking candidates to run in the next federal election. If an election is called, Albas said he is prepared.

“I’m always ready for an election,” Albas said. “I work very hard for my constituents.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Federal Politics

Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read