Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Imagine some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, with industrious, creative citizens who have a spotless record of selflessness. Picture these beautiful people being rocked by a devastating catastrophe that killed almost 9,000 men, women, and children and injured more than twice that many, turning entire villages into dust in seconds. That’s what happened one year ago, when a horrific earthquake struck the majestic mountain kingdom of Nepal.
Countless huge aftershocks have followed to this day, and hundreds of thousands of people are still living in temporary shelters. An inspirational Albertan volunteering in Nepal, our friend Elsie James, wrote to me a few weeks ago to say that the trauma and damage is still very much in your face and that the reality is as fresh as yesterday. Last Saturday’s quake scored much higher on the emotional scale for many and brought back many difficult memories, not to mention the daily power blackouts, border closures, fewer tourists, failed businesses, a lack of essential commodities, and no transit to jobs or schools. Let’s pray that political and nonpolitical will work together, putting aside individual wants in their desire for unity, to rebuild. Mr. Speaker, sound advice for us all.
In response to this tragedy, our PC caucus issued a news release. In it I was honoured to offer a perspective of our fallen friend, the hon. Manmeet Bhullar, who stated:
"Nepalese workers and their families who came here on work permits have no permanent home to return to . . . Alberta is now the only home they have. Let’s give these hard-working families some hope right now by allowing them to stay in Alberta as permanent residents."
Perhaps the government can give us an update on Meeta’s suggestion.
In the meantime, Mr. Speaker, as we together try to build the best Alberta possible, please let’s remember to be good Sherpas for our friends and neighbours who are in dire straits around the world. Namaste, Mr. Speaker.
On April 20, 2016, Dave Rodney recognised the anniversary of the Nepal earthquake and Albertans' responsibility to respond.
PC Caucus in the Legislature
PC Caucus members have proposed and passed bills, amendments and motions. Read about them here.