(Ed. Note: This is in response to an earlier letter you can read by clicking here).
It is with much regret I feel compelled to respond to the letter from potential Liberal Party of Canada candidate Connie Denesiuk to your publication. Why reluctantly? From my experience citizens are tired of public office holders and those aspiring to be public office holders engaging in negative personal attacks and public spats. Such actions are indicative of old school partisan politics of the worst kind and it saddens me to respond to them.
Why respond at all? Unfortunately many of the claims stated by Connie Denesiuk are false and patently untrue and as such, are deserving of response.
With respect to the interview I had with CBC radio unfortunately CBC only broadcast on air less than two minutes of what was a ten minute interview. Had Mrs. Denesiuk listened to the full interview both my support for individual rights found in the Charter and our Supreme Court process was made very clear. The issue that I did raise in the interview was a local one involving the City of Penticton and a lawsuit from a group of business owners over the hospitality room tax. As a former city councillor I know that there are many citizens who believe a democratically elected Mayor & council and not unelected business interests should have the ability to set local taxation policy. When an issue like this becomes entangled in litigation, it means that funds intended to promote local tourism are instead spent on lawyers and I believe most would agree that is a regrettable outcome.
With respect to the comment from Connie Denesiuk that no Conservative MP can make a “public statement without the express permission of the Prime Minister’s Office”– this is also an untrue and patently false comment. Each week I write an MP report that is sent out to local media organizations as well as hundreds of citizens who voluntarily subscribe to them. For the record my MP reports are not vetted or otherwise approved by anyone and it is greatly disappointing for Mrs. Denesiuk to state otherwise.
Although I seldom write letters of this nature generally it is my preference to conclude on a positive note. Sadly in this case I am forced to convey disappointment. I have known and worked with Mrs. Denesiuk for many years and have valued our positive working relationship. While I respect that public office can be at times an adversarial process we should all be careful to not allow partisan politics to compromise our principles in working constructively on behalf of citizens.
Dan Albas MP
Constituency 1(800) 665-8711 (BC based calls)
Parliament Hill (613) 995-1702