In last week’s report I raised the topic of debt and government spending.
Since that time, Standard and Poor’s has taken the unprecedented move of lowering the United States credit rating.
My understanding is that this is the first credit downgrade in United States history.
What was also stated in last week’s Member of Parliament report is that Canada’s triple AAA credit rating has just been reconfirmed indicating support for our country’s fiscal management.
Fortunately another positive development occurring in the past seven days was recent Statistics Canada data that confirms more net new jobs were created all across Canada with July being the second largest monthly gain on record.
Locally over the past few weeks, I have attended many grand openings and ribbon cutting events that have put more citizens back into the workforce. It is also important to recognize that investment and major projects are what helps to create jobs and all too often the policies that support these initiatives may be opposed.
One other area of concern that I have heard from many of you recently pertains to high gas prices and in particular, why gas prices in some areas of Okanagan-Coquihalla are higher than others.
As I pointed out on my blog recently, Government both federally and provincially must share some of the blame for taxation that is contained within the price of gasoline.
However there are still other variables that remain unexplained.
It is my intention to investigate this matter further as a Member of Parliament and report back to you with my findings.
To date I am in the process of meeting with either those who have been previously or who are currently involved within the industry for further information.
It is important to hear all sides of an issue for a more informed perspective and to date I have found the general lack of information available from the gas companies to be an area of concern that I share with many of you.
The buzz out of Ottawa this past week has been revelations that the new interim leader of the NDP, Nycole Turmel, was recently a member of the Bloc Québécois and, until last week, also held a membership in a hard-line Quebec sovereignty association.
Apparently holding a membership in another political party is contrary to the NDP constitution and many critics have expressed concern over the prospect that a potential separatist may be the leader of a federalist party.
While the concerns are not without merit I believe we must not overlook that Nycole Turmel is an interim leader for the NDP as we all hope for a speedy recovery of Jack Layton in his courageous battle with cancer.
Interim leadership positions are often difficult but they are also temporary.
I would rather our attention in this case be focused more on the fight against cancer that many Canadians are bravely fighting each and every day with slowly improving outcomes.
Those battles are hard fought and not always won, but let us make sure that no one fights them alone.
Dan Albas is the MP for Okanagan Coquihalla.