Column by MP Dan Albas.

I am honoured to be named as the official opposition Shadow Minister for Environment & Climate Change under the leadership of our new leader, the Honourable Erin O’Toole.

Living in the Okanagan region of British Columbia over the past decade, we have all witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change.

The “once in 200 year” flood has come and gone twice in recent years. It is not uncommon to see temperature records being broken. The added heat and tinder dry forests create wildfires of a size and scope rarely before seen. Conditions can become so severe that air quality is seriously compromised.

There are also other important challenges. We know there are regions in Canada where raw sewage is still discharged into sensitive marine habitats. We also know that many vulnerable species are at risk.

The ongoing threat of invasive aquatic species to our freshwater lakes, particularly here in the Okanagan, is a serious problem.

All of these challenges require federal leadership as well as partnerships with provincial and local governments as well as First Nation communities.

I am also looking forward to working with Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. While there are some seriously significant underperformers at Prime Minister Trudeau’s cabinet table, I do not consider him to be one of them.

As the new Shadow Minister for Environment & Climate Change, I am hopeful that we can spend more time focusing on areas where we agree and less time debating our differences.

Canadians expect us to get to work for them, and that is what I plan to do.

I look forward to this new challenge and working with a great team of talented and hardworking MPs in the new Conservative Shadow Cabinet under the leadership of Erin O’Toole.