MLA report July 13

    Hello Chestermere! Thank you so much for the pancakes, great conversation, and community spirit.  It has been wonderful seeing everyone out and about, having Stampede breakfasts together.
    The government has been busy this week giving $1.5 Billion dollars supposedly from the very overused carbon tax to the City of Calgary for the new Green line piece of the LRT.  My favourite part of the conversation was when we were told that if we become government, that we better find a way to fund it when we cut the carbon tax.  
    For those of you who missed our Prime Minister’s speech, contrary to his belief, Alberta is still a part of the country.  It did not get lost somewhere over the Rockies.  I realize that people make mistakes–I have personally and regrettably forgotten names on lists, and important people when I have been asked to speak.  It happens, and there is 1 simple solution to that problem.  Apologize!  Our PM had a responsibility to apologize, not the glib response that he forgot us somewhere over the Rockies!    Albertans would have appreciated the effort.  The more disturbing situation is that our Premier did not respect her province enough to stand up for us, but I suppose that is really not that surprising given the fact that this is a pattern for her.  I have to say, that I work with many of the government ministers and have had some success with issues that we in our office are dealing with.  We have to give credit where credit is due.  What I will never understand is how this group of people can not see that we are worthy of standing up for, that we are worthy of respect.  The Premier has on many occasions said in the legislature that she is not going to scream and yell to get her way.  That she is going to use tools like…the carbon tax to get us pipelines, paying thousands to anti oil sands activists on the Oil Sands Advisory Panel, and a 100 mega-tonne cap on the oilsands to buy our “social license”.  Well, I would like to say to the Premier, your “quiet” diplomacy has bought us nothing but heart ache and neglect from a Federal government that does not even know if we exist.   Just some “fun” facts from economist Daniel Fields from the National Forecast:

    “Equalization was created to address fiscal disparities among the provinces. The calculations for equalization payments are based on the average fiscal capacity of a province (its ability to generate revenues) and where that province lies relative to the average of all provinces. If a province finds itself below the average, it is deemed a “have not.” These provinces then receive transfers from the federal government to bring their per capita fiscal capacity in line with the average across Canada” 
    We have sent over $190 Billion dollars in equalization payments to Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and the Maritimes and we can not even get a shout-out much less an apology on Canada’s 150th birthday.  I think we deserve a little respect.  
    We all watched the Omar Khadr settlement unfold. I believe as Canadians all of us sat back and questioned the legitimacy of this choice.  We are absolutely the most fortunate people in the world to live in Canada, and have a constitution that protects us from Government.   We have a responsibility to uphold those precious freedoms.  Danielle Smith gave a very good description of how Canada was involved in this situation, and I would recommend going into the CHQR 770 vault and listening.  What was most concerning, aside from the fact that Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen and fought against our allies, and he was child when he was arrested, but worse, he was taken over to the middle east and trained to murder and kill, a child soldier created in part by his father. His father was released from charges in Pakistan over bombing the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad after Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien intervened.  Omar’s father then took him to Pakistan and had him trained under the Taliban.  The question of whether or not he killed Sgt. Christopher James Speer may never be answered.  Should a 15 year old boy be taken to Guantanamo Bay and tortured…no!  Should the Liberal government of the day have helped him? They asked to have him removed from Guantanamo Bay, and the Americans said no.  The Liberal government left him there.  Did they violate his constitutional rights? Yes.  The Supreme Court has ruled on this.  The question is whether or not 10 million dollars should have been paid.  Isn’t the privilege of living free in a country like Canada enough especially given his history?  Will this money make up for the torture? No.  The Liberal government owes an apology to Canadians.  For letting them down, and for allowing this situation to fester.  The Conservative government that followed should have also intervened, but just continued the problem. So what have we learned from this?  I wish I could offer some wisdom, but as usual I sit and look at my sons, and my desire to protect them is fierce and real.  As a mother I cannot imagine my 15 year old son being trained as a terrorist, then to be tortured, and then to be forgotten. Worst of all it was the Liberal government that had his father released which resulted in this young man being ripped from a country of freedom, into a life of killing, yanked into torture, only to be paid out by governments that should have done something a long time ago.  What do you think?  
    As always we love to hear from you