MP REPORT: Nine Bills receive Royal Assent

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and writes this weekly report for his constituents.

Last Friday was the last sitting day of 2014 for the House of Commons as the House breaks for the holiday and allows Members of Parliament time to be back in home ridings before the session resumes in January of 2015.

However as is often the case while the House of Commons rises the Canadian Senate continues to sit for a number of additional days and on Tuesday evening of this week nine Bills became law as Royal Assent was received on Bills C-45, S-211, S-5, C-483, C-442, C-428, C-43, C-525 and C-266.

What are these new laws? Bill C-45 is a Government Bill and in this instance is an Appropriations Act. Bill S-5 is a Senate Bill – An Act to amend the Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve Act. Bill C-43 is a Government Bill and also the Governments Economic Action Plan budget for 2014.

A number of Private Members Bills also received Royal Assent.  Bill C-483 “An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act”. This act is an administrative one that transfers the authority to authorize a temporary escorted absence of a criminal convicted of first and second degree murder (within three years of full parole eligibility) to the Parole Board of Canada as opposed to a prison warden as is the current situation. Proponents of this Bill have suggested there is greater accountability to victims when the Parole Board of Canada is the authorizing authority in these types of situations.

Bill S-211 is “The National Health and Fitness Day Act” sponsored by BC Senator Nancy Greene-Raine; it is a Private Member’s bill first tabled in the Senate that designates the first Saturday in June as a day to promote increased participation in fitness and sports activities.

Bill C-442 was sponsored by BC MP and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and is the “Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act” – this is a Bill I voted in support of and also heard strong support from a number of constituents across Okanagan-Coquihalla.  Bill C-428 is the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act– and is the first private members bill passed by a First Nations MP in the history of the House of Commons. I voted in support of this Bill and wrote about it in my December 30th MP report of last year.

The final two bills passed this week were both private members bill as well. Bill C-525 is the Employees’ Voting Rights Act that provides for a democratic private ballot in matters of unionization and de-certification under federal jurisdiction.  Finally Bill C-266, the “Pope John Paul II Day Act” designates that April 2 of each year be recognized as “Pope John Paul II Day”– this Bill does not propose that April 2nd would be a holiday rather a day to recognize some of the achievements of Pope John Paul  II in promoting freedom and human rights.

Some of these Bill were strongly supported by all sides of the House of Commons while others were only supported by a small majority of votes. From my perspective while it is often disagreement that most defines the House of Commons the fact that a First Nations MP and also the leader of the Green Party with a caucus of just two Members of Parliament have introduced private members bills that have become law is evidence of the fact that diversity and debate remain healthy and vibrant in our Canadian Parliament. At times there will always be disagreement but across party lines there can also be consensus as Members of Parliament do work together in support on common areas of concern.

While it is often common to focus on the challenges and conflicts it should not be forgotten that collectively over the years our Parliamentary democracy, in spite of the many flaws and shortcomings has consistently helped to create the great country of Canada. It has been a privilege to represent the good people of Okanagan-Coquihalla over this past session that has also been a very productive one. As always I welcome your comments, questions and concerns on matters before the House of Commons.  I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and writes this weekly report for his constituents.

 

Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read