Understanding Canada’s international relationships

This week Canada hosted Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India for an official visit.

This week Canada hosted Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India for an official visit.

For many Canadians this was a rare and exciting opportunity to see a world leader visit several parts of Canada where large crowds turned out in greetings.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit is also a reminder on the importance of positive international relationships between Canada and other countries. One announcement made during this visit is that roughly seven million pounds of uranium concentrate from Saskatchewan will be sold to India for electricity generation over the next five years.

Canada is the second largest uranium exporter in the world, with annual exports exceeding $1 billion from an industry that support roughly 5,000 direct mining related jobs.

Also on the a similar theme of international relations, Canada announced this week that a contingent of roughly 200 Canadian Armed Forces training personnel will be deployed to Ukraine to assist with military training of Ukrainian forces.

The training activities relate to explosive ordinance including dealing with improvised explosive device disposal, military police training and medical training.

Flight safety and logistical assistance will also be provided to the Ukrainian National Guard.

Many of these efforts will also be coordinated with the United States, who is also providing assistance to help ensure that Ukraine can better defend, maintain its sovereignty and provide for more stability in the region.

This fulfills a request for assistance from the Government of Ukraine and will not be a combat role.

On a different subject, these past two weeks have been a welcome break from Parliament Hill.

I have been meeting directly in different parts of Okanagan-Coquihalla with many citizens, groups and even a class of middle school students.

On Thursday of last week I received an email from a concerned citizen that I believe is deserving of mention.

The issue raised in the email was the subject of teenage suicide. It is not an issue often discussed and in fact it has been a long standing tradition that suicide is often reported in a way that intentionally does not disclose the means of death.

While there are those who continue to support suicide being reported on in this manner, it has also been suggested that doing so fails to reveal the true extent that the incidence of suicide and attempted suicide occur in our communities.

The purpose of why I mention this subject today is to ask citizens for your input and experience on this topic. Has youth suicide or attempted suicide impacted you or someone you know? I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experiences on this subject.

All responses will be treated as strictly confidential and as mentioned in a previous report, communications shared with elected Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies are exempt from freedom of information legislation requests.

Next week the House of Commons will again be in session, with the 2015 Budget set to be introduced along with the tabling of balanced budget legislation.

Your comments and questions are welcome and can be sent to dan.albas@parl.gc.ca  or 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the MP for Okanagan Coquihalla.