COLUMN: Preparing for the start of the 43rd Parliament

Canadians elected a minority government in order to see greater cooperation and compromise in Ottawa

By this time next week it is expected that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have announced his cabinet choices for the upcoming 43rd Parliament.

In turn the Opposition parties will also announce their respective official critics in response.

The first week of December, Canada’s 43rd Parliament will be convened to elect the Speaker followed by the Liberal minority government delivering its first Speech from the Throne- an outline of the government’s priorities.

The content of the Throne Speech is still unknown, although this week the Prime Minister has been meeting with leaders of the other opposition parties as well as some provincial leaders.

As I mentioned in last week’s report, it is important to recognize that the Prime Minister only requires the support of one of the three major parties in order to secure enough votes to prevent the government from falling.

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For opposition parties, while it is easy to oppose, there must also be awareness that if all of the three major opposition parties oppose the Liberal minority government, it would fall and trigger an election.

I believe that Canadians elected a minority government in order to see greater cooperation and compromise in Ottawa.

The Throne Speech presents an opportunity for the Prime Minister to reflect that sentiment or it may also be used to gain the support of one opposition party at the expense of others in a more divisive manner.

At this point, I am working on future private members legislation as well as preparing issues of local importance to raise with new cabinet ministers, once they have been announced.

It is also my intention to work with our Okanagan MP’s on a regional level to address areas of common concern such as the threat of invasive species to Okanagan Lake from freshwater mussels.

The struggles of the B.C. forest sector and the loss of local lumber mill jobs is another concern, more so as we increasingly see B.C. forest companies investing and creating new jobs in the United States.

These situations affect all of us and hopefully within a minority government, front and backbench MP’s can better work together across party lines to see more results being achieved and less photo-ops staged for political reasons.

This leads to my question for this week:

On the local or regional level. what challenges do you see where increased leadership from the federal government can play a role?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.

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