Hello Chestermere! I would like to begin by noting that Hayley Wickenheiser, who has made all Canadians so proud and taught so many girls that there is nothing they cannot accomplish, is “hanging up her skates” and heading to, get this, medical school at 38! Thanks Hayley for all you have done and will do. You are an inspiration to all of us.
Well, the truth is out and it seems that celebrities from California, where they produce some of the “dirtiest” oil in the world, know more about the oil sands, climate change and Canadian values than we do! Who knew? Well I guess in all fairness, the Alberta Government has done a bang up job propagating misinformation about our amazing industry, and now suddenly seems to running to the defense of the industry that is the economic engine of Canada. I guess that the Carbon Tax is just not going to bring in enough cash as the volatility of our resource market continues to deplete the provincial coffers. I find it interesting that we have managed to balance budgets on lower oil prices in the past. Our industry has forgotten to share its extraordinary accomplishments. We have proven and continue to prove that we are capable of both resource stewardship and environmental stewardship. When we speak about major national infrastructure projects like pipelines, we have to ask why do people fear spills, and safety risks along lines of disturbance. Why are folks inclined not to trust the regulator? The Alberta and Federal Governments have politicized the debate and cast doubt on our world class regulatory process for their own purposes, trumpeting the need for “social license” to give us the right to produce and move our clean petroleum products. Why do they say that diluted bitumen is bad to put into a pipeline, but a refined product is ok? Governments like ours feed off of this fear and perpetuate myths to help drive the ideology that developing our natural resources and getting them to tide water is bad for the environment. Your local voice matters more that ever before. We must always have genuine engagement with communities whether that is for a pipeline or a new road. Our province needs to build unity, build community, and build each other and not let the divisiveness of this Government eat away at who we are, and what we have accomplished. There is not a celebrity in the world that can break through that, they would not even try. Did you know that a large amount of the “green” fuel that is exported to Europe starts as Canadian bitumen? The activists need to get their story correct as they continue to attack our way of life. Stopping a pipeline does not help us create new, and better technology so that cars burn cleaner! Our Prime Minister needs to listen to Albertans and to the experts before declaring “we can’t shut down the oil sands tomorrow, we need to phase them out”. It’s interesting that he has no problem handing millions to the auto industry. When are Canadians going to stop apologizing for our incredible natural resources? Are we going to continue to be bullied by nations and activists that are pushing an agenda that creates fear and refuses to acknowledge the facts. Are we phasing out vehicles? Cellphones? Plastic? Our leaders need to lead, and realize that oil will be needed for long time.
In education we see that no matter what Albertans may think or want the Government is going to continue on with “Inspiring Education”. There is nothing wrong with having many teaching strategies in a classroom, however we also need to focus on content knowledge. Where is the stakeholder outreach, and why does this Government refuse to learn from past government’s mistakes? There is a time and a place for project based learning, but what about the facts? What about standards? It is yet another moment where we see the Government believing that they know better than parents to the detriment of our children’s education and well-being. As Shadow Education Minister and as a Mom I will continue to advocate for a system that respects parental choice be it public, private, Catholic, or home-based while ensuring parents know how their child is progressing.
I would like to acknowledge our local library and the beautiful dedication in honour of Megan Hackett, a library lover and Library Board member who sadly passed away last year. I was very privileged to attend and see the new self serve station. As always, we love to hear from you.