Hello Chestermere! Happy last week of Christmas shopping, exams, crazy parking lots, and my personal favorite, school Christmas concerts. I have had the privilege of attending many of our local student Christmas concerts and plays this week, and I can tell you that it makes my whole day, if not my week. Peter Tindall, my assistant, and I have truly enjoyed all of this years concert season, Christmas with Dignity, the Christmas fair at the Chestermere Recreation Centre as well as many other festivities around the wonderful constituency of Chestermere-Rocky View. We will soon see the shortest day of the year this week as we pass through the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2017. I love all of the beautiful Christmas lights around our beautiful little city, and it makes me so happy to see so many of our residents out on the paths enjoying these mild evenings. We know that it is difficult for our local paper to keep up with us so we post all of our pictures of all of the events we attend and participate in on our Facebook page so you can see what we are up to. We love to see you at the many events we are invited to, and we enjoy our time with you very much.
I would like to pass my deep congratulations to the Leader of the United Conservative Party Jason Kenny and his decisive win in the constituency of Calgary-Lougheed this past weekend. It was amazing to see our party come together and elect our leader so that he can be in the legislature alongside the rest of us to keep our present government accountable to the people of this amazing province. I would personally like to thank my husband Malkeet and our kids Akesh and Sehran for their huge effort door knocking and working at the campaign office this past couple of weeks. My family along with several hundred volunteers, MLA’s both present and past worked every day to great success. The NDP Government sent in many of their Ministers and the Premier and were only able to take 17% of the vote. I guess their “fear and smear” campaign backfired on them. Thank you to all of you for this amazing effort. I am truly honoured to be able to represent you under our new United Conservative banner with a strong leader at the helm, and a mandate to work hard for you. You deserve nothing less.
On the Federal front, our Prime Minister’s poll numbers are definitely suffering. This might have something to do with the cumulative tax burden this government is saddling us with, or their Disabilities Minister who is quoted as saying that “everyone has a sob story” to a group of courageous thalidomide survivors who have shortened life spans, as well as many other challenges. This was degrading, and though the Minister apologized, it is difficult to understand. Where is the compassion, dignity and respect that our citizens deserve?
Did you know that foreign money is still allowed in registered third-party groups as long as the donation occurs six months before a Federal Election. The Prime Minister’s party was the beneficiary of millions of dollars in support for campaigns against Conservative candidates. Senator Linda Frum through Bill-S-239 wants to ensure that the regulations are cleaned up, but unfortunately this not in the interest of the Feds presently. I am worried, and I believe like many Canadians that this kind of undermining of our democratic process should be a priority.
Do you remember when once upon a time, getting a lump of coal in your stocking meant you had been bad all year? Coal now itself is viewed as being the bad guy of energy even though technologies have improved significantly, and it is abundant and affordable. In places like Japan and Demark, Germany and China there is amazing technology being applied to coal fired plants that increase their efficiency, and reduce pollution. Clean coal is a possibility, and if governments rewarded good behavior, the industry would push the abilities of power plants to design cleaner and more efficient practices. The fossil fuel industry wants to make sure that their products are the cleanest, and governments need to know that fossil fuels will be in the mix of energy for a long time to come. Closing down coal mines is not the way to create change.
Finally, as oil prices rise, we see our own heavy crude from the oil sands hit some serious lows at a $25 discount to world price. Not having access to tidewater or other pipeline capacity means we have to sell our oil at a discount to our biggest competitor. This is presently costing us over $20 million dollars A DAY. We will see even lower prices in the new year if production continues at this rate. We need new infrastructure, and we need our government to make sure that our province and the prosperity that we bring to all Canadians is a priority in the new year. Instead you get to see your carbon tax increase by 50% with none of the promised “social license”. You can thank your NDP Government for that lovely little Christmas gift.
As we come together as families and with our friends for celebrations, please remember that many people are suffering at this time of year. Please make sure you give generously to your local food banks and other not for profits that work to ensure that Albertans are not alone, and that they have gifts for their little ones when times are tough. As always we love to hear from you.