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Kamloops News

ALBAS: All eyes on Ottawa

Dan Albas, MP Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Dan Albas
March 15, 2019 - 12:34 PM



Although this is a constituency week with the House of Commons recessed, much attention remains on Parliament Hill for a few important reasons.

Public safety was a primary concern, as Transport Minister Marc Garneau made the decision to ground the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in Canada.

This decision is following the recent tragic crash of a similar 737 Max 8 aircraft flown by Ethiopian Airlines that resulted in the devastating loss of all passengers and crew on board, including 18 Canadians, with several from B.C.

At the present time there is no schedule on when this order will be lifted.

Air Canada, WestJet and Sun Wing Vacations are all working, in support of this decision, to resolve the many impacts on Canadian travelers who will be affected by this order.

While on the topic of airlines, recently I met with Air Canada over the potential loss of flights at the Penticton airport.

Although Penticton is no longer in my riding, many citizens in communities that I do represent will be adversely impacted by this proposed new schedule as Penticton is their closest regional airport.

Air Canada is aware of the concerns and has made a commitment to look at how potential scheduling changes could be incorporated to help mitigate this situation.

Currently, the last flight in to Penticton results in the aircraft and crew staying in overnight before becoming the first flight out in the morning.

Any potential solution must bear this in mind as the new schedule no longer has the aircraft and crew overnighting in Penticton, which complicates the ability to schedule the early morning flight the next day.

We will look forward to what Air Canada comes up with in response to the concerns that were raised.

The other issue in Ottawa this week was the surprise move by the Liberals on the Justice Committee to use their majority to adjourn the meeting before any debate or discussions could occur over recalling former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

This discussion arises from recent statements provide to the Justice Committee by the Prime Minister's former Principal Secretary, Gerald Butts and the Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick.

These statements, that the Liberals also blocked from being given under oath, had some inconsistencies with the previous testimony from Ms. Wilson-Raybould.

Both opposition parties agree that in order to clarify these inconsistencies, Ms. Wilson-Raybould should be given the opportunity to respond.

To date, the Liberals have used their majority to block this from happening.

This action by the Liberals is leading some, including the opposition, to raise concerns over a possible cover-up.

My question this week: Do you believe that Ms. Wilson-Raybould should have the opportunity to appear before the Justice Committee for a second time to respond to these recent statements?

I can be reached at or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

— Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.

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