MP REPORT: Standing for our values

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

It has been just over one week since the tragic events in Ottawa and Quebec occurred that have given us all pause to reflect, mourn and in many cases share personal feelings on these disturbing events.

In turn I have also received a large amount of feedback from citizens on a variety of issues. Some of the issues I have heard from citizens on range from not repairing the bullet damage within the House of Commons for historical perspective, to ensuring that honor guard is armed and in some cases increased. Feedback I have also heard is for security to be increased within the House of Commons but generally not to the extent that Parliament Hill is off limits and inaccessible to Canadians.

While many citizens have expressed an understanding for changes to occur most are also concerned that changes are measured and carefully implemented. The need to achieve a balance and not significantly compromise rights and freedoms of Canadians is another concern I have heard from many citizens. Lastly, I continue to receive supportive messages and well wishes from constituents that have been greatly appreciated throughout this ordeal. I am listening to these concerns carefully and ensuring that they are passed on in Ottawa.

One Bill that has been introduced this week is Bill C-44 “Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act”. It should be noted this Bill was not drafted in response to last week’s events; in fact the Bill was due to be tabled into the House of Commons on the very day the shooting occurred and as a result was delayed until this week. Ultimately Bill C-44 seeks to modernize Canada’s ability to collect foreign intelligence and investigate threats including the ability to provide security assessments. In order to achieve these objectives Bill C-44 proposes a number of measurers that in large part will increase the investigative tools available to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Some of these measures include confirming the Federal Court can issue warrants for CSIS to investigate threats to our national security outside of Canada. Another measure is providing the Federal Court with “the authority to operate within the scope of relevant Canadian law when issuing warrants to authorize CSIS to undertake certain activities to investigate a threat to the security of Canada outside of Canada”.

It is also proposed to protect the identity of CSIS sources from disclosure in a similar manner as would be afforded to informants to Canadian law enforcement agencies. This same protection would also apply to employees of CSIS.  Although there was some speculation and concern raised that the identity provisions would be exempt from judicial oversight, the legislation does contain language that ensures judicial oversight is respected in this act. In more plan language this means that provisions within this act ensure a Judge ultimately has jurisdiction over identity protection.

Bill C-44 also proposes amendments to the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”  that will, and I quote directly “will enable the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who are convicted of terrorism, high treason, and treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received.“ Although many citizens I have heard from are supportive of individuals with dual citizenship having Canadian citizenship revoked in the event they engage in acts of terrorism there are others who disagree with such measures. As always I welcome your comments, questions and concern on this or any Bill before the House of Commons.

Before I close this week I would like to sincerely thank the many citizens who have taken the time over the past week to share your concerns, thoughts and feelings. In times of great tragedy and loss, the ability of Canadians to come together and collectively mourn while standing proud for our values and what we stand for as a country has helped many through what is a difficult time. Last week I expressed my concern that we do not allow events such as these to change Canada. After the past week I have been reminded that brutal acts of senseless violence will never change who we are as Canadians. That is what sets us apart and is what we collectively celebrate together on the 1st day of July for over 147 years.

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


Just Posted

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail near Naramata will be closed temporarily for upgrade work, including paving. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Upgrades plannned for trail near Naramata

Surface improvement work will mean temporary trail closure

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Skaha Bluffs climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga)
New parking lot and picnic area coming to Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

The city will turn the access point at Crow Place into a parking and picnic area

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

The location of the vehicle incident near Chase that currently has Highway 1 closed in both directions, according to DriveBC. (Black Press staff)
Hwy 1 closed in both directions east of Chase due to vehicle incident

Detour is in effect and drivers are encouraged to reroute to Highway 97 or Highway 97B

Most Read