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    MLA report October 18

    Hello Chestermere! It has been an incredible week between the Carbon Tax rally, the Stop Bill C-69 rally, the Special Olympics Alberta Awards, Rocky View Schools Retirement and Long Service Awards, meeting with the Primary Care Networks,  the Chamber of Chestermere Small Business Week, meeting with many of you, the very first GSA (gay-straight alliance) and Diversity summit to ever be held in Canada in Strathmore, and finally the wonderful “Can You Hear the People Sing” put on by the Library.  The talent, ambition, savvy and professionalism that oozes out of the folks in Chestermere is always inspiring, and I would like to give a shout out to a few fantastic people who really went above and beyond this week.  But before I get to that, I would like to thank Jason Kenny for his amazing and inspiring speeches that he delivered at both of the rallies. There were more than 1500 people at the carbon tax rally and as he stated:

    “There is no compassion in telling seniors on a modest fixed income that they can’t have an active life just so you can feel virtuous by imposing this Carbon Tax on Albertans!”

    This tax was not in the NDP’s platform, and it does not alter the pollution footprint in any meaningful way. It makes everything more expensive from running schools, transportation of our students, driving to work, farming, and keeping our houses warm during this season we have called winter.  It makes the US a more attractive destination for investment.   The Premiers of Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and PEI know this.  Not the Alberta NDP who have falsely stated that their Climate Leadership Action Plan has created jobs, and that it is reducing pollution.  Downtown Calgary is a jobless desert, and the Carbon Tax does nothing to help our pollution footprint or “diversify the economy” to use Finance Minister Ceci’s language.  We are not doing anything “bad” by heating our homes or running our small businesses, and we should not be punished.

    Bill C-69 is a bill that will overhaul how energy projects are approved in Canada, replacing the arms length non-political National Energy Board (“NEB”) with 2 highly political agencies: the Canadian Energy Regulator (“CER”) and the Impact Assessment Agency (“IAA”).  This Bill is a disaster.  There is no mention anywhere about potential economic benefits from resource development, like …oh, I don’t know, …jobs, national prosperity and unity, investment or a growing economy!   We need to make Canada competitive, and we have resources that the world needs, resources that would fetch a world price if we could make it to the ocean.  The Liberal Federal government, the Alberta NDP Government, and the courts are letting us down.  Thank you to all of you who take a stand every day!

    And now, some shout outs:

    I would like to thank Glenn Carr and his staff at Lakeside Greens for hosting the Chamber Small Business Awards Week. We are so grateful for this incredible venue.  Also thank you to Darlene Tuck, Michelle Eldjarnson, and Catherine Proulx for their amazing work in putting this week all together, and to Preston Pouteau for his keynote speech for the opening ceremonies.  It was wonderful to connect with so many of you and thank you to council for attending as well.

    Thanks to the Library and all of the people involved in the incredible evening of song that was provided by some extremely talented people.  What a treat to listen to the music from Les Mis.  Congratulations to all involved from performance side, to costumes and sets.  What a fabulous night of culture, home grown talent and so much to be proud of.

    I would like to speak about a fabulous young man in Strathmore, Gregory John. Gregory John is the director of the Strathmore GSA Diversity Summit. He spoke to students at Strathmore High School and he spoke publicly about his experience with his sexuality and sexual abuse. He realized opening up was key in his healing process. Kyle Larson, the principal at Strathmore High School, said they have been an accepting school for a while, and the summit was an opportunity to share what they practise with rural communities that might not have an example to follow.  Thank you to His Worship Pat Fule and councillor Bob Sobol for attending this fantastic event.

    On a sad note, our community has suffered a huge loss in the passing of Melissa Howes. I would like to share part of the page that Laurianne Schell wrote on her Facebook:

    “Melissa Roste Howes led worship at Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere. Her voice was angelic. She was a true GEM of a human being. She always had an ear to lend and broad shoulders to hug, and to cry on if needed. She was strong, beautiful, and larger than life and her bold personality shines through the screen in the most radiant way. I thought this before but more so now. She positively *gushed* when she spoke about Dahlia and Leeland. Not to mention her husband, Ben Howes.

    She noticed the little things and brought them to our attention. She kept track of numbers and statistics that might be inconsequential or trivial to some but they mattered to her. Every day mattered. Every hour. Every minute –  She seemed never to let harsh circumstances get her down.

    She pressed on and would have been finished her Psychology degree in a few months. Melissa was there for people. Every person mattered. She was always present and engaged. She paid attention. She actively listened. She enthusiastically agreed. She was supportive, attentive, and encouraging. She was everything a friend should be and more. The piece I gave her of myself doesn’t seem like it was enough, and yet to her it probably was.

    She was the kind of person who gave freely without expecting anything in return. She lit up the lives of so many. She was so proud of her work at Boys and Girls Club. She was animated when she joyously shared stories about the children and the staff she coached. She unabashedly exclaimed to me how she was good at her job and I have no reason whatsoever to doubt that, especially reading what her coworkers have written on her GoFundMe page. She was, and is, and will always be here for us. I am proud to have had Melissa as my friend. I am richer for having known her and she will continue to inspire me. She has built a legacy. She was wholesome and pure and true and good. We should all aspire to be more like her.”

    Thank you Laurianne for those inspiring and beautiful words.

    As always we love to hear from you.