Considering the politics of pipelines

The House of Commons has again resumed session this week after a brief five day recess.

This past weekend I participated alongside a group of citizens from the community of Merritt and surrounding areas as part of a search and rescue effort, looking for a missing local resident at Stump Lake Ranch.

Sadly, we were not successful in our efforts, but it is heartening that so many local citizens came out and helped in the effort to find a fellow community member.

I would also like to take a moment to thank the many volunteers who are involved in search and rescue organizations in our local communities throughout Okanagan-Coquihalla.

This challenging and highly valued service from so many volunteers is important for those who may be missing a loved one and is very community minded.

The House of Commons has again resumed session this week after a brief five day recess.

We will continue discussions on Government Bills C-2 “Respect for Communities Act” and Bill C-3 “Safeguarding Canada’s Seas & Skies Act”.

There will also be a number of Private Member`s Bills up for debate this week, including Bills C-428, “Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act”, Bill C-523 “Mandatory Disclosure of Drug Shortages Act”, Bill C-520 “Supporting Non-Partisan Agents of Parliament Act” and Bill C-461 “CBC and Public Service Disclosure and Transparency Act.”

If you would like further information on these or any other bill before the House of Commons do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Also occurring this week is a vote on the opposition day motion from the NDP that was introduced last week.

The motion suggests that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in Canada’s best interest. This has been an interesting debate as both our government and the federal Liberals are supportive of the Keystone XL project that the NDP has been actively opposing for some time.

On a related theme, this past weekend there was also an effort to organize and demonstrate against the Northern Gateway pipeline in front of my Penticton office.

As I was in Merritt and could not attend this gathering, I feel it is important to recognize that a number of citizens took the time to speak out against this particular pipeline project.

I also hear from a number of citizens who are strongly supportive of pipelines in general or in some cases supportive of certain pipeline projects but opposed to others.

This is certainly an area that I welcome further input from citizens on. While some have expressed opposition to pipelines, very few have proposed alternatives that do not include increased rail or truck transport that also carry risk.

Although the House of Commons is now in session until mid-December, if you have a comment, concern or question I am available by phone in the late afternoon and early evening here in B.C. while I am in Ottawa.

I can be reached via email dan.albas@parl.gc.ca or at 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the MP for Okanagan Coquihalla.