This week the new official opposition leader, the Hon. Erin O’Toole, announced his appointments to serve as his shadow cabinet critics.
I have been honoured to be named as the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change.
This new role is of great interest to me as it relates well to our region in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.
As we all know, living in the Okanagan region over the past decade, we have all witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts of flooding as our climate changes.
The “once in 200 year” flood has come and gone twice in recent years.
It is not uncommon to see temperature records being broken on any given day.
The added heat and tinder dry forests can create wildfires of a size and scope rarely before seen.
These conditions, as we are again experiencing this week, can become so severe that air quality is seriously compromised.
However we also have other important challenges to be aware of.
We know that in many regions of Canada there are vulnerable species are at risk.
Here in B.C., the mountain caribou is a prime example of this.
We are also very aware of the ongoing threat of aquatic invasive species to our freshwater lakes, particularly here in the Okanagan, remains a serious problem, from freshwater zebra and quagga mussels.
All of these challenges require federal leadership as well as partnerships with provincial and local governments including First Nation communities.
I am looking forward to working with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, who is also from British Columbia.
My intent is to focus more on areas where we can agree and to spend less time debating areas of disagreement.
I believe that Canadians expect us to get to work to produce results.
All to often results in this area get lost in endless debate and lofty promises.
I look forward to this new challenge and working with our great team of talented and hardworking MP’s in Ottawa.
My question this week: From your own views on the environment and climate change, what are your top concerns?
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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