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    MLA report Feb 25

    Hello Chestermere
    We were honored to attend the Chamber of Commerce event at the food bank this week. With Canada’s inflation rising to two percent, we are seeing large increases at the grocery store. We are seeing increases of 4 percent for the cost of food, and up to 18 percent for vegetables and 13 percent for fruits. Chestermere’s food bank is going to need a lot of extra love, so lets get out there and support our local food banks. We are so grateful for their efforts and their presence in our community.
    We were extremely proud to see the leader of the Opposition Brian Jean having the courage to have an open discussion around equalization and transfer payments. Did you know that Alberta puts in roughly 2 billion dollars a year, and Quebec is the biggest recipient receiving a generous 9 billion plus per year. This would be laughable if it was not so concerning on so many levels. The most obvious and frustrating aspect is the outright destruction of market access by denying necessary pipeline infrastructure for the resources that provide a huge chunk of that generous hand-out to the have-not provinces. The provincial government will be provided with the outcomes of the Equalization Fairness Panel that will hopefully give our Premier the courage to stand up for this beautiful province, and the resources that give Alberta and Canadians the quality of life that we have come to expect.
    This will require all parties and ideologies to get together and discuss what is best for the country beyond partisan lines, and take an honest look into the necessary reforms to the program and the equalization formula. We all face challenges whether that is at a Federal, Provincial or at Municipal level. It is difficult to sit at a table together at all levels and have discussions that may not deliver the results we are looking for. We need to inform people and have these difficult and sometimes divisive discussions that could potentially lead to some reconciliation and compromise. Brian Jean is showing true leadership in this regard. He is trying to work with the Governments both Federally and Provincially to help create a solution that is fair and thoughtful. All Albertans and Canadians will benefit from this, and we can all take something away as to how we work with people from all different sides of an issue. Discussion and debate builds trust, and it builds communities.
    Speaking of Community! On April 2, 2016, we are holding a fundraiser in Delacour. We challenge you to bring your best chili recipe and team to a chili cook-off. All the money raised goes to Inclusion Alberta, and the “Light is up Blue” National Autism Day. We want to bring business together with our very able, talented special needs work force, and untapped talent pool. The Chili will be judged by a panel and by you the public There is no cost to attend, but we will be accepting donations at the door for Inclusion Alberta and “Light it up Blue”. So come on Chestermere–put together a team. The event details will be up on our facebook page this week. Please check us out at “light it up blue in Delacour” and like us on facebook. We are also looking for businesses to donate items that will be listed on our facebook page.(hint:table cloths, buns, salad stuff, water bottles, venue costs…etc)
    As always it is such a privilege to have this opportunity to communicate with you each week.