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  • MLA report April 12

    Hello Chestermere. This week seemed fairly normal for most of us, the usual grind, the regular day in and day out and then in a micro second, 15 people are gone. No one knows for sure what happened just outside Tisdale, Saskatchewan. All we can ascertain at this point is that according to RCMP, the accident happened when the tractor trailer going west on Highway 335 collided with the Broncos team bus, which was going north on Highway 35. This intersection has seen this type of tragedy before, and there are memorials set up for 6 fatalities that occurred in 1997. The entire country held its breath as pictures started to emerge of those we lost, painfully slowly as many of the families had not received details yet and were awaiting the RCMP confirmations as to the what had happened and the condition of their loved one. We all watched as the NHL teams honoured the losses, 15 in total in their various games throughout North America. We stayed close to our social media as to read the stories of the families, and their lost loved ones, and heaved sighs of relief to hear of survivors. So many of us have sent our children on buses for tours for band, hockey camps, out of province games, and some of our best memories as kids and as parents were those long road trips where you bond with new families, celebrate wins and cry over defeats. It is such a part of our culture, and we all hope that our kids get these opportunities to travel. It is so familiar for us, the small towns, the Tim Hortons, the excitement of the game, for these young men, seeing their other families, their billet homes, and for the coaches, driver and others, getting them there safely. We all understand that. We all can imagine this tragedy and that is what brings all of us to tears and unites us. For us here in this lovely city, we have endured great loss in our own community of several of our youth, and for those families, I would like to pass on my deepest love as I know that this must be unbelievably difficult for you. To those of you who know someone who passed in this tragedy, or someone who was injured, know that our love and prayers are with you and your families. These are all “our boys” as the former mayor Eaton said in the Saskatchewan StarPhoenix. To the volunteer firefighters, first responders, and citizens who were first on the scene, we cannot imagine what you saw there, and we thank you. To the critical care physician Hassan Masri, we cannot imagine what it must have been like to see this tragedy first hand, and we thank you. The image of RJ Patter the father that posted that picture of teammates holding hands in the hospital brings tears to our eyes. This tragedy stunned all of us, and has stunned the world. Now we need to help get these families through this tragedy with support to the communities, and parents and survivors. Please go to the “go fund me” page and lets help out these families. As I drive to Edmonton and leave my family for another week, I squeeze them so hard, and I look deep into their eyes. We will all remember where we were on April 6th, 2018 when we learned about this tragic event. Be careful out there folks, and as always we love to hear from you.