Hello Chestermere! I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend with your fathers, uncles, grandpas, and other father figures. Did you know that Father’s day was originally brought to the United States of America from Europe by the Spanish, It was called St. Joseph’s day and was and still is celebrated in Europe on the 19th of March. It was not proclaimed a holiday for fathers until Sonora Smart, the daughter of widower, pushed to have fathers honoured and was eventually successful in 1910, but it took several presidents (Wilson, Coolidge and Nixon) before the holiday was actually proclaimed making it an official holiday in 1972. In Canada it is not a statutory holiday but we have “adopted” it.
I would like to start by saying thank you. We met with some fabulous folks this week and we would like to thank them for their time and for sharing some great information. We had a tour of the Western Irrigation District areas around Chestermere and Rocky View. It was amazing to see it through the eyes of the experts and we are truly grateful for the wisdom and the experience these folks bring as well as the ability to understand droughts and floods. Check them out at www.wid.net.
We released a pod cast this past week with Ron Bell, and I am so grateful to him for asking my opinion on many things, but most of all for the opportunity to speak about some very important issues. We spoke about everything from financial issues surrounding the proposed merger of our conservative families to the history of the first public school in Alberta. It was an absolute honour to speak with him and you can listen to the full hour interview on his blog, Sensible Alberta (www.sensiblealberta.ca). Thank you again Ron for this honour.
I would like to take a moment to speak about a very important issue. You may recall early in the last session, Informed Albertans had flagged the fact that sexually graphic and explicit materials had been offered to children K-12. This material was taken down from the website immediately, and I asked questions and gave a statement with respect to this situation. The government offered feeble excuses over their lack of oversight with regards to material being offered to children in schools. As you know (and you may be one of these parents) many parents petitioned the government and sent in letters to be tabled in the legislature. There were 700 letters that were given to me at the end of our session. I have tabled 5 so far, and will continue to table the letters as I read them in the next session. I want to thank you if you took the time to write to me. Creating safe and caring spaces for all our children is the responsibility of government, schools, school authorities, teachers, administrators, and parents. Our job is to build communities, and create environments where all of our children are welcome and truly cherished. This government has created division, broken the bonds of community, and has tried to turn families and communities against each other due to a lack of clarity and common sense. This tactic will not work, and we must more that ever come together to make sure this kind of government only lasts one term.
We had such a busy week, and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying some time together. We saw you at many events around the city, and most notably was last Saturday, Neighbour Day. We were sure kept hopping. We started out our day with Alex Halat and the Chestermere Langdon Oilmen and the Bike Ride Against Bullying. All proceeds went to Synergy, and it was wonderful to participate. We have all the pictures on our Facebook page. We followed that with Telus Spark’s 50th birthday, where Akesh Aheer sang the National Anthem and Happy Birthday. We left there to follow our Chestermere CTC Martial Arts crew to watch them test and receive their apprentice and full black belts from their grandmaster. We are so proud of our kids, and congratulations to the Gilbert family (Mam, and Sir) for their contribution to our communities and families in this art form. Peter Tindall of our office attended and participated in The Whitecappers scavenger hunt (on bicycles!) with Jason McKee, and then we proceeded to the library for High Tea with Belle, and performed before a room full of princes and princesses. Thank you to the fabulous library staff and the City of Chestermere for what will become a Chestermere tradition for sure. As always, we love to hear from you.