MLA for Calgary-West PC Caucus Critic: Justice & Solicitor General, Service Alberta
As a former sergeant with the Calgary Police Services, I was pleased to take on the critic’s role for Justice & Solicitor General, with Service Alberta the other portfolio I will monitor.
Because of the size of our caucus, we all have many opportunities to speak in the House and ask questions of the government. I took advantage of every opportunity I was afforded during the summer session to address justice-related issues and I believe I made a positive impact.
To begin with, I addressed the tragic death of Const. Daniel Woodall, the Edmonton police officer killed the week before while participating in an arrest. For my first question, I asked the Justice Minister about her government’s plans for protecting police and the public from future violent incidents. I also asked the Minister how the government plans to deal with the extremist group known as Freemen on the Land.
Early the next week, I made a statement in the House on behalf of our PC Caucus immediately after attending Const. Woodall’s memorial service in Edmonton:
The two other questions I posed related to penalties for impaired driving and reforming the bail hearing process.
A couple of days after I asked the bail reform question and offered my assistance to the Justice Minister, she invited me to meet with her to discuss my recommendations. It was the beginning of what I hope is a positive relationship to improve a judicial process with the aim of better protecting emergency workers and the general public.
While I focused my efforts on my critic areas, I also participated in debates on the legislation the NDP brought forward in the House. Our PC Caucus provided a voice of reason in opposing the increase in corporate taxes, the minimum wage hike, and the addition of $800 million in spending for this fiscal year.
As representatives of the former PC government, we were gratified to learn on June 30 that we left Alberta on firm financial footing with a $1-billion surplus, $8 billion in the contingency fund, and another $18 billion in the Heritage Fund.
My caucus colleague, Calgary-South East MLA Rick Fraser, has introduced Bill 201, which would legislate savings through use of the Heritage Fund. Bill 201 passed first reading and will return in the fall. I will also monitor the fund through my appointment to the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Fund.
Moving forward, our PC Caucus will continue to maintain a common-sense approach to all pieces of legislation and the upcoming NDP budget. Our caucus has the experience and expertise to help ensure Alberta doesn’t stray from its centrist roots, and we will do everything we can to provide the kind of fiscal and policy balance Albertans appreciate.
Please email or phone my Edmonton office (780.644.2520) if you have any comments or questions.