Democracy and People

Damien Kurken Cutout

Things have been busy in the capital over the last couple of weeks. I have been encouraged by Parliament’s ability to get back to work. This has affirmed my position that it has been a travesty that, over the last eight months, the current government seemed to do everything they could to reduce Parliament’s ability to fulfill its essential role in our nation.

In this column, I wanted to share a submission that I made to the Provincial Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee. This committee has been tasked with reviewing a number of key elements of Alberta’s democratic infrastructure. Canada’s strong democratic tradition is not something that should be taken for granted. I will always advocate for ways to strengthen our democracy while respecting our traditions and history.

In my submission, I voiced my support for citizens’ initiatives. These provide a process for policy change directly from the people. This is so important, regardless of which party is in power as it empowers the citizenry. I also asked the committee to ensure they find the right balance in their framework to ensure initiatives are not unnecessarily disruptive to necessary stable governance while also ensuring that the process is accessible to all engaged citizens.

I also shared my support of recall legislation. This legislation plays a critical role in the ability for the people to hold a government and specific elected officials to account between elections. This is a step that gives a measure of confidence. It proves all citizens have a role to play to ensure their lawmakers are fulfilling their constitutional obligation to uphold peace, order, and good governance.

Finally, I made it clear that I supported the continued practice of electing senators from Alberta. As members of Canada’s Upper House in our national bicameral legislature, Senators play a vital role in the legislative process, one that would benefit from voices being chosen by the people to serve their region’s best interests.

I commend Premier Kenney and the Provincial Government for facilitating this review. It is important to understand that the involvement of people in our democratic process, during elections, and each day in between, is key to instilling trust in our Legislative and Parliamentary institutions. A trust that has been eroded by the actions of the Federal Liberal Government’s complete disregard for our democratic institutions.

If you have any suggestions for ways to make our democracy stronger, please reach out. Further, if you have questions related to COVID-19 or any program of the Federal Government, or just want to voice your concerns, do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to help.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column you are encouraged to write Damien at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, text 403.575-5625, or e-mail damien.kurek@parl.gc.ca. You can also stay up to date with what Damien is up to by following him on social media @dckurek.