Hello Chestermere! Well it has been a very interesting week at the Legislature in Edmonton, and we started off on a particularly low note. We were to have a vote in the Legislature for Deputy Chief of Committees, so a Government candidate was nominated and our very own Prasad Panda was nominated to run for this very important position. The doors were symbolically barred by Pages once the vote started as only those who had shown up by 9 am to start the session were supposed to vote. We began casing our votes when all of a sudden several Government MLAs ignored the Pages and entered the room to vote. This is a clear violation of the rules. It was obvious that something was amiss and our Wildrose House Leader, Nathan Cooper, was not pleased. He objected and as a result, the Speaker allowed a chaotic re-vote, and the government candidate won the position. Now let’s be clear that the running of the legislature is a complicated job, not a little, but extremely complex and detailed. We have three clerks that sit with us throughout our sessions to help us understand and comply with the rules and regulations set out, but as you can imagine this can be confusing. The most frustrating part of all of this is that there is such a lack of understanding from the side of our government. It would have been one thing to make a simple error, apologize and move on, but instead it turned into a truly dramatic and wasteful use of the precious time we have at the legislature to get the work done that can only be done when we are all together under one roof. We as the opposition took a lot of criticism last session for questioning the validity of starting session so early in the morning. Why? Because we are in our offices by 7 AM having stakeholder meetings, or we are privileged to be invited to groups that have morning programs and conferences such as AUMA and the Diabetes foundation. Well, here we are on our first day of the new session and the Government chose not to show up for work. We almost won the vote by the way, and that is because most of us were there. The story ends with an apology from the Government, but the glaring incompetence is concerning.
My week would not be complete if I didn’t speak about the importance of Market Access. This week the government in the Speech from the Throne promised to make it a priority. Many of the Government side mentioned the importance of Pipelines in their speeches as well. Perhaps we are getting through to them. One can hope. We have a few years to work on them. Stay strong Alberta, and know that we are resilient and amazing. I love my Province, and I am proud of our resources. As always we are here to help and we love to hear from you.
RIP Patricia Anne Maillot. You were a wonderful person, wife, mother, and grandmother and will be sorely missed. Those we love all leave us too soon.