COALDALE - At the end of the fall session of the Legislature, I was appointed to the Shadow Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. It is a large portfolio, and I am currently in the process of becoming familiar with the file. I am aware that there are challenges and innovations that are taking place across the province in both of these industries, and I look forward to working with them. I have made a few contacts in the industries and will be following up with them.
Both my Vulcan and Coaldale offices had open houses recently, and I appreciate those that took the time to stop by and enjoy some coffee, refreshments and conversation. Your feedback on issues is always important and allows me to be your voice in Edmonton.
I want to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate Kevin Auch of Carmangay for being re-elected as Chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission. They do good work over there at the Wheat Commission on behalf of farmers. Between research, innovation and market development, the Commission’s mission is to increase the long term profitability of wheat and wheat producers in Alberta.
I attended the monthly Coaldale Chamber of Commerce meeting in February. Derek Fildebrandt was passing through the riding on a Provincial tour, so the Chamber graciously allowed us to come to their dinner meeting and ask questions about business in the area. We also got a good sense of the activities and concerns that the chamber has.
I attended a Town Hall meeting in Bellevue that was put together to allow folks from all across Alberta to come and be part of a discussion by users in regards to the government’s proposal to close down the Castle area to Off Highway Motorized Vehicles and random camping. About 800 people attended that meeting. I also attended a rally in downtown Lethbridge, along with MLA’s Brian Jean, Don MacIntyre and Pat Stier that was put on by the Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad. The Castle Provincial Park Draft Management Plan has been very disturbing to many Albertans that have enjoyed use of the area for their entire lives. The common theme of complaints has been lack of consultation with users. These folks are engaging the government to try to find a balance between industry, recreation and environment.
I encourage everyone to provide their input into the Castle Management Plan before the deadline which has now been extended to April 19, 2017. The survey is available at https://talkaep.alberta.ca/CastleManagementPlan . You can also write a personal letter…which I highly encourage…to Minister Phillips and the Premier. Please copy my office, as well as MLA’s Pat Stier and Todd Loewen. As well, I encourage you to watch closely for the nearest town hall meeting that is being hosted by Alberta Environment and Parks starting during the week of March 10 and plan to attend. Everyone’s voice is important and needs to be heard.
Alberta’s nonprofit/voluntary sector provides services and supports that contribute significantly to vibrant communities across our province. I presented a number of grant checks to the Camp Carmangay Childrens Foundation, Project Playground Coaldale East Association, Western Railway and Historical Society and to the Vulcan and District historical Society.
Watch for my next article which will include information about the Speech from the Throne. As always, contact one of my offices with any concerns. Vulcan (403-485-3160) and Coaldale (403-405-5200). Email at [email protected]
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