Central Okanagan–Similkameen–Nicola MP Dan Albas answered questions and heard concerns of residents during a town hall meeting, Saturday afternoon.
Held at the Westbank Lions Hall in West Kelowna, Jan. 14, Albas answered questions and had more than 20 community members in attendance, including: North Okanagan–Shuswap MP Mel Arnold and Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu.
Albas listed inter-provincial trade barriers and his role as Deputy Finance Critic as some of the items he has been working on in Parliament, before taking questions from the audience.
Q: What do you think about proportional representation and the electoral reform committees objectives? What would you do to have the electoral reform committee’s report implemented in time for the next election?
A: The government recognized the electoral reform committee started on a bad foot. The committee members put a tremendous amount of time in working with other members to form an agreement. There should be a Canada-wide referendum. I believe the people are never wrong. The process is important and I prefer a citizen’s assembly.
Q: What are you going to do about the income tax issue ongoing with campgrounds?
A: The finance committee agreed to a recommendation that the finance minister should change the Income Tax Act to make it clear that small campgrounds should not be put in the same category as multi-million dollar corporations.
Q: What are you going to do about the invasive species jurisdiction nightmare?
A: It’s the federal government’s role to stop the issue at the border.
MP Arnold jumped in, saying he is planning to focus his next private member’s bill on invasive species and plans to dig into preventative measures and providing education.
Q: Since the Conservative party is in opposition, have you changed your policy on PharmaCare?
A: There’s a difference between bulk buying and running an actual PharmaCare program. Canadians stand to gain around $2 billion in discounts if provinces agree to purchase drugs in bulk. Our role federally is to transfer money to the provinces. I’m leery of giving all the power to Ottawa to make decisions on behalf of what doctors can have. I support the concept of bulk buying with local autonomy.
For more questions and answers see the Wednesday edition of the Capital News.