In roughly three week’s time Canadians will gather on the 11th day of the 11 month at the 11th hour to honour those brave Canadians who made the supreme sacrifice in defence of freedom and democracy.
On Oct. 19, it was encouraging to see one of the largest electoral turnouts in over two decades as Canadians attended the polls and advanced polls in large numbers for our nation’s 42nd general election.
Locally in our new riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola our voter turnout of 71.8 per cent was even higher than the national average of 68.5 per cent.
I believe this can be attributed to the fact that we had some very good candidates representing our national political parties who all ran very robust and honourable campaigns.
It is also fair to say that increased turnout was reflected as a result that voters wanted a change — a change in government and also a change in official opposition.
While some will be happy with the election results and others disappointed I think we can all agree it is exciting to live in a free and democratic country where citizens can come out and vote for change. It is also incumbent upon elected officials to hear and respect the message sent from voters.
As the newly elected Member of Parliament it is a great honour to represent this region in Ottawa and I would like to sincerely thank citizens for their support and also the other candidates who ran campaigns that talked about the issues and how we can best build stronger communities in this riding.
I would be remiss if I also did not point out that a majority of citizens in this riding voted for other candidates.
Ironically my share of the vote at 39.5 per cent was identical to the share of the Liberals who formed a majority government also with a 39.5 per cent share of the vote that was similar to the 39.6 per cent majority of the Conservative government in 2011.
One of the many promises of the incoming Liberal government is to implement electoral reform, a topic that I welcome your views on.
From an Ottawa perspective there will now be many hectic weeks during the transition period as the new government must logistically move into place, staff must be hired and other arrangements made not unlike what will occur with many newly elected Members of Parliament, including here in the Okanagan.
On that note I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank our local departing MP Ron Cannan for his many years of service to our region. Ron worked tirelessly on behalf of the entire Okanagan region and his representation was always honourable and positive.
Currently the new government has not yet set a date when Parliament will be recalled although the new cabinet is expected to be announced in early November.
As a member of the official opposition I am looking forward to the opportunity of holding the new government to account on your behalf and continuing to bring your concerns to Ottawa.
Citizens deserve to be heard and my commitment to work on your behalf begins today.
I welcome your comments, questions and concerns and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-665-8711.
Dan Albas is the MP for Okanagan Coquihalla.