Dan Albas

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Dan Albas
MP
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Okanagan—Coquihalla
Incumbent
Assumed office
May 30, 2011
Preceded by Stockwell Day
Personal details
Born (1976-12-01) December 1, 1976 (age 37)
Victoria, British Columbia
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Tara
Residence Penticton
Profession martial arts instructor

Dan Albas (born December 1, 1976 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian politician, who was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2011 election.[1] He represents the electoral district of Okanagan—Coquihalla as a member of the Conservative Party. In the 41st Canadian Parliament, Albas was appointed to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and introduced one piece of legislation, a private members bill called An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use) which would allow individuals to import wine from another province for the purpose of personal consumption.

Background[edit]

Born in 1976, Dan Albas' family moved to Penticton when he was three years old. With his two sisters, he was raised in mostly in Penticton by a father who worked as a lawyer and was active in conservative politics and a mother who worked as a social worker.[2] The family spent a short time living in Whitehorse, Yukon, but moved to Alberta to seek medical treatment after an accident left Dan with severe burns over much of his body.[2] They moved back to Penticton where Albas attended Penticton Secondary School and Okanagan University College.[3] He worked as a martial arts instructor and in the late-1990s he opened his own martial arts studio, Kick City Martial Arts (later renamed Premier Martial Arts). In 2005 his studio held a fund-raiser in which pledges were taken by students who would break boards with martial arts moves in support of a Hurricane Katrina-related charity.[4] The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce named Albas the 2005 young entrepreneur of the year.[5] In the same year Albas became a board member on the Chamber of Commerce[6] and was appointed to represent the region on the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce.[7] He helped merge the independent Chambers of Commerce in Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos into the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.[8] He ran the regional United Way fund-raising campaign in 2007 and again in 2010.[9][10] In 2008 he became active with a community group called the Penticton Housing Coalition advocating for affordable housing in the city, like secondary suites.[11]

Municipal politics[edit]

In the 2008 local government elections the 31-year-old Albas ran, and placed first with 5,656 votes, for a seat on the Penticton City Council.[12] Albas became known as the most fiscally-conservative councillor on an already fiscally-conservative council.[13] Beyond the measures agreed to by the council, Albas sought to avoid having the city purchase or pay for a fire-rescue boat,[14] the restoration of the SS Sicamous,[15] landscaping improvements at the South Okanagan Events Centre and the beaches,[16][17] mobile radar speed signs,[18] building an agricultural centre in the downtown area[19] and unsuccessfully tried to defer the hiring of additional fire department officers[20] and eliminate a 2.1% raise in councillor salaries[21] (though all were approved by council despite Albas opposing the motions). He voted against opening public library on Sundays to avoid the extra costs[22] and against raising the electricity rate to match FortisBC rate increases (the city purchases power from FortisBC and sells it to citizens),[23][24] and requiring developers who work with the city to have professional liability insurance,[25] though all were approved by council. Initiatives that Albas began or assisted with included bylaw enforcement fines for aggressive pan-handling,[26] keeping a Canada Post outlet in the downtown area.[27] Believing public transit should be funded through user fees, he voted against acquiring new buses from BC Transit unless it was paid for through higher fares[28] and later sought to raise fares by 25% to fund operational costs.[29] He drew criticism as a councillor for interfering with staff management[30] and for posting speculative comments on his blog regarding privatization of city services.[31] Albas was appointed to be a director at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen where he was successful he reducing the Regional District's contribution to the Okanagan Film Commission by 50%;[32] Albas became an alternate director in 2009 and 2010.

Federal politics[edit]

In March 2011, after Stockwell Day, the MP for Okanagan—Coquihalla for the last 11 years, unexpectedly announced his retirement, a nomination election was held to seek his replacement as the Conservative Party nominee.[33] Albas faced two other candidates: Marshall Neufeld who had worked as Day's parliamentary assistant and West Kelowna landscaper Russell Ensign.[34] A fourth candidate, Chamber of Commerce president Jason Cox, campaigned but missed the deadline for submitting his nomination papers.[35] The nomination election came under criticism from Conservative Party members for being rushed; the vote was held only 10 days after Day's announcement leaving several potential candidates unable to participate and leading to accusations that the three candidates had been given advanced notice of events.[36]

The 2011 federal election campaign began soon after the nomination vote. Albas faced former Summerland councillor David Finnis of the New Democratic Party,[37] semi-retired Ashcroft businessman John Kidder for the Liberal Party,[38] Penticton marketer Dan Bouchard for the Green Party, Penticton doctor Dietrich Wittel (independent), and West Kelowna real estate agent Sean Upshaw who campaign in protest of the Conservative Party nomination process which he felt excluded from due to its rushed vote.[39] Albas won the election in the Okanagan—Coquihalla riding with 54% of the vote and his Conservative Party formed a majority government. When the 41st Parliament began Albas was appointed to the 'Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities' and the 'Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations'. In the House of Commons, Albas introduced Private Members Bill C-311, entitled An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use) (Bill C-311) which would allow individuals to import wine from another province for the purpose of personal consumption. The existing law, which dates back to the Prohibition era, only allows provincial liquor boards to do this.

Some 83 years ago during the prohibition era, a law was passed to make it illegal for everyday citizens to transport or ship wine across provincial borders. It is, for all intents and purposes, an interprovincial trade barrier, meaning that a winery in Quebec cannot legally send a bottle of wine to a customer in Alberta. Here is where it gets more redundant. That same Quebec winery that cannot legally send a bottle of wine to Alberta can send that exact same bottle of wine to Texas. Many small Canadian wineries can access markets outside our borders more easily than they can inside our own great country.

—Mr. Dan Albas (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC), October 20, 2011[40]

Bill C-311 received first reading on October 3, second reading on December 7, 2011. It received unanimous support by all parties at third reading on June 6, 2012.[41]

Election history[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011: Okanagan—Coquihalla
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Conservative Dan Albas 28,525 54% -4.5
     New Democrat David Finnis 12,853 24% +7.5
     Liberal John Kidder 5,815 11% -1
Green Dan Bouchard 5,005 9% -4
     Independent Sean Upshaw 860 2% n/a
     Independent Dietrich Wittel 180 0.3% n/a
Total Valid Votes 53,238 100%
Total Rejected Ballots 121 0.2%
Turnout 53,359 62%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Election 2011: Okanagan—Coquihalla. The Globe and Mail, May 2, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Walkinshaw, Bruce (April 19, 2011). "Upbringing gives Albas a diverse perspective". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  3. ^ Morrison, Dean (May 2, 2011). "Albas is vying to become your next Conservative M.P.". The Merritt Herald (Merritt). p. 1. 
  4. ^ "Locals aim to aid Katrina victims". Penticton Western News. September 9, 2005. p. 11. 
  5. ^ "Chamber of Commerce awards local businesses". Penticton Western News. January 29, 2006. p. 4. 
  6. ^ "Penticton gets new chamber". Penticton Western News. December 9, 2005. p. 8. 
  7. ^ "Albas elected to B.C. Chamber". Penticton Western News. April 23, 2006. p. 10. 
  8. ^ "In Brief". Penticton Western News. September 23, 2007. p. 10. 
  9. ^ "Albas heads United Way campaign". Summerland Review. April 12, 2007. p. 13. 
  10. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (September 7, 2010). "Albas to head United Way campaign". Penticton Western News. p. 9. 
  11. ^ Depner, Wolf (June 4, 2008). "City opening door to secondary suites". Penticton Western News. p. 1. 
  12. ^ "Albas tops polls for council". Penticton Western News. November 15, 2008. p. 1. 
  13. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (March 24, 2011). "Albas wins nomination race to replace MP Stockwell Day". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  14. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (April 30, 2010). "Council throws rescue crews a lifeline". Penticton Western News. p. 16. 
  15. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (April 1, 2010). "Sicamous in need of bailout". Penticton Western News. p. 13. 
  16. ^ "SOEC gets makeover". Penticton Western News. September 24, 2009. p. 15. 
  17. ^ Patton, Kristi (August 17, 2010). "City shores up plans for Waterfront Park". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  18. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (October 7, 2010). "City flashing signs to speeding drivers". Penticton Western News. p. 17. 
  19. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (March 10, 2011). "Agricultural centre takes root". Penticton Western News. p. 4. 
  20. ^ Michaels, Kathy (April 16, 2009). "Council redirects funds to fire department staffing". Penticton Western News. p. 5. 
  21. ^ "Councillor pushes for pay cut". Penticton Western News. May 12, 2009. p. 5. 
  22. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (November 2, 2010). "Sunday openings back on the books". Penticton Western News. p. 1. 
  23. ^ "City council votes to raise electricity rates". Penticton Western News. September 22, 2009. p. 3. 
  24. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (October 7, 2010). "City electric customers could be in for a shock". Penticton Western News. p. 1. 
  25. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (December 29, 2009). "City makes insurance mandatory". Penticton Western News. p. 4. 
  26. ^ Michaels, Kathy (June 18, 2009). "City takes tough stance with aggressive panhandlers". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  27. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (October 6, 2009). "City maintains push for postal outlet". Penticton Western News. p. 4. 
  28. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (March 30, 2010). "Council approves purchase of eight Olympic buses". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  29. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (December 30, 2010). "Transit rolling out study of Penticton service". Penticton Western News. p. 1. 
  30. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (December 10, 2009). "Councillor takes flak for staff criticism". Penticton Western News. p. 5. 
  31. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (July 15, 2010). "Councillor's comments draw feedback from union". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  32. ^ Langerak, Joyce (March 5, 2009). "Regional district pares back budget". Penticton Western News. p. 5. 
  33. ^ "Albas sets sights on Conservative candidacy". Penticton Western News. March 15, 2011. pp. 1–2. 
  34. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (March 24, 2011). "Albas wins nomination race to replace MP Stockwell Day". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  35. ^ Walkinshaw, Bruce (March 22, 2011). "Cox misses deadline for nomination". Penticton Western News. p. 3. 
  36. ^ Ward, Doug (March 24, 2011). "Race to replace Stockwell Day was 'rigged'; Okanagan Conservative candidate hopefuls say there wasn't enough time to submit documents". The Vancouver Sun. p. 2. 
  37. ^ "NDP to acclaim Finnis as federal candidate". Kelowna Capital News (Kelowna, British Columbia). March 19, 2011. p. 1. 
  38. ^ Depner, Wolf (March 30, 2011). "Kidder to run as Liberal candidate". Summerland Review (Summerland, British Columbia). p. 3. 
  39. ^ "Disgruntled Tories to run as independents". Trail Times (Trail, British Columbia). March 28, 2011. p. 4. 
  40. ^ "October 20, 2011". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (Canadian House of Commons). Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  41. ^ "B.C. 'Free My Grapes' bill off to senate after MPs vote to revise outdated wine law". The Vancouver Sun. June 7, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]