Okanagan athletes prepare for Sochi

This will be a very busy week given that the House of Commons is again sitting.

This will be a very busy week given that the House of Commons is again sitting.

On Monday I was scheduled for a Member’s statement and was proud to recognize our local athletes who will be participating in the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi.

Competing in both the two-man and four-man Bobsled from Summerland is Justin Kripps.

I would also like to congratulate Justin and his brakeman Bryan Barnett from Edmonton for winning their first world cup two-man bobsled event in Germany this past weekend.

Also headed for Sochi from Penticton is Matt Margetts, a talented freestyle skier competing in the exciting half pipe event.

Finally Penticton’s very own Duncan Keith will return to the blue line as a member of our national hockey team for the second time.

These young athletes are great role models for our future leaders and I know that many local citizens join me in wishing our athletes great success in Sochi.

Also occurring in the House of Commons on Monday is an emergency debate on the situation in Ukraine.

At this point the outcome of the debate is undetermined, however many Canadians are strongly concerned at growing violence that has resulted in the death of Ukraine citizens.

The right of peaceful protest is an important one in any democratic society.

As our Prime Minister recently pointed out in a speech to the Knesset “the ideals of freedom, democracy and the rule of law are not mere notions. They are the things that, over time and against all odds, have proven to be the only ground in which human rights, political stability, and economic prosperity, may flourish.”

I believe these thoughts should not be lost on Ukraine, as citizens in that country face some very serious challenges.

There will also be a number of votes this week largely on private member`s bills. Bill C-475, An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and Bill C-513, Retirement Income Bill of Rights are two Bills coming forward while debate also continues on Government Bills C-2, The Respect for Communities Act and Bill C-12, The Drug-Free Prisons Act.

The Opposition day motion and related votes will also be coming later in the week and may possibly involve recent Canada Post announcements regarding future door to door mail delivery.

The Minister of Finance has also announced that the budget will occur earlier this year than recent years, the exact date for the budget has been set for Feb. 11, 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

If you have a comment or concern on matters before the House of Commons or would like further information please do not hesitate to contact my office.

During the House sessions I am generally available after dinner B.C. time. I can be reached via email at dan.albas@parl.gc.ca or toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the MP for Okanagan Coquihalla.