Hello Chestermere! I would like to start this column with some words about two remarkable Chestermere residents. Some sad news and some happy news. First, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of long-time Chestermere resident Ada Rawlins, who left us too soon at age 78 on April 1, 2016. Ada was a great advocate for Chestermere and will be remembered for her service to our city. She was a force behind the drive to bring a library to Chestermere and the library serves as a living testimonial to her passion for her fellow citizens. She will be sadly missed.
On a happier note, I was thrilled to be able to nominate Elaine Peake, one of our longest Chestermere residents, to represent Chestermere – Rocky View in the Hundred Years Of Suffrage ceremony at the Legislature April 19. This celebrates the centennial of women being granted the right to vote in Alberta with a special re-enactment of a famous photo on the steps of the Alberta Legislature building. Each riding in Alberta has nominated one special woman to participate along with the female Alberta MLAs. Elaine’s record of service to Chestermere and Alberta speaks for itself. A spry 91, she raised a family and then launched second and third careers in politics, serving as Chestermere’s first female Mayor, a representative to the AUMA and on the Bow Valley watershed panel established by Ralph Klein, and as an author, writing for the Rocky View press, the Anchor, and several government publications. She also wrote several books on the art scene and Chestermere history. Elaine is one of the founders and still active members of the Whitecappers and serves as an inspiration to all of us. Our current Mayor commented: “I couldn’t think of a more deserving person.”
As I write this, National Volunteer Week is drawing to a close. The two women I have just spoken of show how volunteers can bind a community together. It is the spirit of the people within it that truly defines us. Please take the time to volunteer if you are able. You will be richly rewarded.
To close this week, I have a simple question for the current government (and, truth be told, the federal government) upon the release of the budget: “Why do you want to make Albertans poorer?” The Wildrose are firm believers that to achieve important environmental goals there must be economic viability, and a plan of how to reach those goals. Plans that allow all Albertans to enjoy their current standard of living, while protecting the environment. Plans that encourage people to put their money, not tax dollars, into the innovation we need to develop our resources in a way that benefits us all. Do the premier and prime minister truly understand that pipelines are in the national interest? We do and we will keep fighting for Albertans. Sadly, the debt that our government is taking on to serve their socialist ideology will haunt us for a generation. I cannot understand why they insist on pursuing policies that will mortgage the future of our children and leave all of us poorer in the long run.
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