Wine export bill goes to review

On Tuesday, MP Dan Albas's private member's bill will reach committee stage as review begins.

This promises to be an exciting week on Parliament Hill as the House of Commons will again resume after a one week hiatus for spring break. Monday will be the first official day in the House for new NDP leader Thomas Mulcair who represents the Montreal, Quebec riding of Outremont.

Mulcair ran a strong campaign and will no doubt set a new tone as the leader of the Official Opposition.

On Tuesday my private member’s bill (C-311) that proposes to put an end to wine prohibition in Canada will reach committee stage as review begins by the standing committee on finance.

Review stage is a technical process where expert witnesses have an opportunity to discuss proposed legislation with an all party panel of Parliamentarians. It has been very rewarding to have opposition support for my bill thus far and the passionate interest from the emerging wine industry of Nova Scotia has also been very much appreciated.

The review process is scheduled for the next two weeks and following that process potentially would be reported back to the House of Commons for third reading debate. If there is passage from the third reading debate the bill would be referred to the Senate, the final process before royal assent can be granted.

Wednesdays are traditionally the busiest in Ottawa as it is caucus day where the various caucuses will meet to discuss the current parliamentary agenda and other issues of importance.

For the opposition this will likely be a very busy week as changes will be made to accommodate the transition to the new leader.

Thursday of this week will be a very unique one as this will also be budget day in Ottawa. This will be one of the more anticipated budgets in recent years largely on account of the need to reduce spending in light of the current economic situation. It will also be the first budget in recent memory from a majority government.

As an observer of past federal budgets I noted there was often a trend where spending was increased in a variety of different areas in order to secure support for the budget passage in a minority government. In my report next week I will provide more information regarding the budget and I also encourage taxpayers with questions to contact me if there is an area of spending you would like more information on.

On Friday the budget debate will begin and I expect it will be a vigorous if not voracious debate, and more so as the debate will not be tempered by potential for a confidence vote as was the case in previous budgets during minority governments.

On Saturday I will be back in Okanagan-Coquihalla country and in the community of West Kelowna to celebrate the municipality in being named as one of the five finalists in the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville competition. As one of Canada’s newest municipalities winning the Kraft Hockeyville contest would be a great way to lay a foundation for a future hockey legacy that the Okanagan is becoming well known for.

Congratulations to co-chairs Adam Less and Andrew Dean and all of the volunteers and community members from West Kelowna who have shown great community spirit in reaching the top five final. On Sunday, I will fly back to Ottawa to continue to advance the work being done on these items.

As we can see, there are a number of issues on the agenda in Ottawa that are important to Okanagan-Coquihalla, that directly affect the quality of life for our residents.

Whether we are talking about opening up the market for B.C.’s wine industry through lifting long standing interprovincial trade barriers, increasing funding to important social programs like health care or ensuring that we return to balanced budgets in the medium term.

These are important issues and I appreciate the input I receive on regular basis from taxpayers who want to see these and other issues addressed.

Dan Albas is the MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla and be reached at


Just Posted

Steam to face Posse in hockey action

Summerland Junior B team in second place in division

Nomination period closes for Summerland Chamber awards

More than 130 submissions received for 81st annual Business and Community Excellence Awards

Death Café returns to Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Summerland events toast touchy subject

Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

Family Day long weekend expected to be sunny and cool in South Okanagan

Flurries forecasted for the first half of the weekend, followed by bluebird skies and milder temps

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Memorial for popular Lake Country teen to be live streamed

A memorial service for Derek Flowers-Johnson will be held at 1 p.m.

Okanagan mental health facility takes holistic approach to recovery

Healthy Essentials Clinic is more than a medical arm in Lake Country

Tribute to well-loved Shuswap teacher enables outdoor learning

Family, co-workers raise funds for Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Most Read