Year In Review
We started 2015 recognizing the challenges that laid ahead for Alberta, recognizing the need to stand up and secure our fiscal future. We asked Albertans for a mandate to lead this province, but we did that without listening, and without acknowledging the concerns that Albertans had raised. The results of the election were a call to restore the core values and principles that our Progressive Conservative team had always been built upon. Since May 5, we have had an opportunity to renew and rebuild, and most importantly to listen. We have had to ask ourselves the tough questions, and to be honest about what needs to change as we work towards the future. We have spent the last several months engaging with Albertans across the province to take stock of what went wrong, what we can do better, and how to move forward together.
While we didn’t come out of the election as government, we did come out with a small but mighty team of elected officials and experienced legislators, representing more than half of the 16 MLA’s to be re-elected in the province. As we work to restore the trust of Albertans, we are committed to listening and representing each and every voice in this province; working to ensure that all Albertans are heard over the next four years.
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The PC Caucus will continue to advocate for enhanced consultations with the farming and ranching communities, and push for the development of a clear and responsible regulatory framework.
Working across the bench
Sandra Jansen, MLA for Calgary-North West, has showed time and time again this session her commitment to maintaining and pushing for respect and decorum for all as Member of the Legislative Assembly. In a Status of Women Estimates Committee Meeting, Ms. Jansen defended the work of Alberta’s public servants over the last several years for their work on the prevention of violence against women against the government negative rhetoric towards the previous government. Ms. Jansen demonstrated her ability to work across the legislature as she put forward the first opposition amendment to be accepted by the government on Bill 5.
Mike Ellis, MLA for Calgary-West, has been a relentless advocate for saving lives against the fentanyl crisis emerging in Albertan communities. Mr. Ellis pushed the government for robust consultations with police and community stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy for drug prevention policies and dealing with access to fentanyl on the streets. Further he asked for the Minister of Health to better equip first responders in dealing with fentanyl overdoses by giving them the ability to administer naloxone; Three days after once again urging her to take action that was within her ministerial purview, the Minister made the legislative change that puts naloxone in the hands of emergency workers. In highlighting this public health crisis, he has become a strong voice in Canada calling for government to immediately address this issue.
Building strong and successful Aboriginal relationships has been one of the strengths of the PC Team, and as opposition caucus continues to focus that effort. Dave Rodney, MLA for Calgary-Lougheed has held the government accountable on its declared plans to forge a new relationship with Aboriginal peoples. During session, Mr. Rodney asked the Premier why there was not one single specific commitment in the throne speech regarding either the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People or the Truth and Reconciliation Report. Less than a week later, as an act of reconciliation, the Premier made an apology on behalf of Albertans for the government not taking a stand on the residential school system. Mr. Rodney has continued to highlight the absence of relationship building including the lack of Aboriginal membership on the Premier’s Council on Economic Development.
As the rookie MLA on the PC Team, Richard Gotfried (Calgary-Fishcreek), wasted no time in becoming a force in the legislature and posing tough questions to the government on an issue close to his heart, seniors and affordable housing. Mr. Gotfried questioned the government on their commitment to the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) spaces initiated by the previous government, citing the delay of projects by over one year and counting. Further Mr. Gotfried emphasized the need to work towards creating partnerships between the public and private sector on this issue, and noted the good work and of not-for-profits on providing land and commitments for creating living spaces.
Rick Fraser, MLA for Calgary-South East, worked across many issues this past session getting things done not only for his constituents, but for all Albertans. Rick worked to ensure new school projects announced by the previous government continue to stay on track and get built. The constituency of Calgary-South East continues to grow, and we continue to be proactive to that growth. Further, in his role as Energy and Environment critic, Mr. Fraser asked the important questions and developed meaningful dialogue with the current government, challenging them to take action, and fighting for the best possible outcome for Albertans. Mr. Fraser has been an accessible, responsive and helpful resources for his constituents, always bringing their issues forward and fighting on their behalf for appropriate action.
Remembering Manmeet & Our Commitment to Calgary-Greenway
PC Caucus has committed to working with Calgary-Greenway as they deal with this loss, and will continue to provide all support for their team.