With his recent leadership win behind him, United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney has wasted no time getting to work.
He announced his shadow cabinet in Edmonton Oct. 31.
“In the coming months, our United Conservative Party critics will get to work ensuring the best interests of Albertans is at the heart of public policy in Alberta,” said Kenney.
Chestermere-Rocky View MLA Leela Aheer will be continuing as the critic for the Status of Women and will be taking on the role of critic for Children’s Services to replace her former critic’s position on Energy.
She has also been named as Deputy Leader of the party.
Aheer said that she is honoured to be taking on the new critic’s role, her fourth since the 2015 election.
“I am truly grateful to be able to advocate on behalf of our children and continue to advocate within the Ministry for the Status of Women,” she said.
When it comes to Children’s Services, Aheer believes that communication and support for front line staff are the biggest issues within that Ministry.
“We have huge gaps in communication when children are in vulnerable situations and need immediate action to be taken to protect them,” she said.
In her opinion, these issues don’t stem from a lack of funding but from how the funds are managed.
“We have some of the best trained…front line social workers in the country, but they lack the supports they need to be effective,” said Aheer.
In continuing as the critic for the Status of Women, Aheer said that violence against women is her utmost concern.
“I would like to be able to see this change by promoting strong advocates and allies in powerful positions helping to change the discussion,” said Aheer.
Despite the new responsibilities with the UCP, Aheer said that her first job is to represent the residents of her constituency as best she can.
“I will always strive to be your voice in the Legislature,” she said.