Hello Chestermere! It has been an amazing week meeting with you and spending time with all of you at various events around our city and the surrounding communities. Thank you to everyone who has come out to our recent events in Langdon and Strathmore. We are so honoured that many of you would come out to visit with us and speak about so many important issues, especially given everyone’s busy schedules. Look for me at an event in Chestermere in the near future.
Did you know that Alberta has had 90 human trafficking violations since 2009? This involves trafficking for labour as well as sex trafficking. There are vulnerable populations that are at risk and we wish to increase public awareness around this horrific violation of human rights. This requires legislation that empowers victims and survivors of this horrible act to have civil sanctions that would hold perpetrators accountable, and to name businesses who have participated in trafficking people in the labour market. We have the third highest rate of human trafficking in Canada, mostly impacting women and children. Please check our campaign announcement on this very important issue.
I would like to chat about the NEB decision to approve the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. When we look at the $9.3 billion of your money that is going into this pipeline, you would assume that some answers would be forthcoming regarding when shovels will be in the ground, but there is no such information for us, the people of Alberta. There are already threats that more court and legal challenges are beginning, and keep in mind that the Federal government directed the NEB to relook at the project after the Federal Court killed the approval of the pipeline last year. The Trudeau Government chose not to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. When you see the words “The Trudeau Liberals bought the Trans Mountain pipeline” -the old infrastructure, remember- the government did not buy it, you did, and you deserve answers as to why we ended up here? Why have we allowed Governments who are anti-energy, and anti-prosperity to continue to run our country and our province. Just this past week another major international oil company announced they were leaving Alberta. Energy projects could end poverty in many First Nations and would provide huge benefits to Canada as a whole. Investment is fleeing fast, and our Governments are effectively saying “Spend your money elsewhere”. How do we continue to fund much needed social programs, and how do we provide for the people of this country when we handcuff ourselves and our prosperity and for what? To pretend that we are improving our environment? When are we going to acknowledge the incredible strides we have already made, and continue to be leaders in responsible resource development. When is Canada going to be seen as the leader it is in energy and in turn sharing our incredible changes with the rest of the world, helping them to improve their own environmental footprints. When will we stop shaming our country and our industry and tout the incredible work that is being done here, and the innovation that happens without government subsidies? How many British Columbians worked in the oil patch in Alberta when the BC economy was in trouble? It is time to stop apologizing. Are there Canadians that truly do not use any of our natural resources and can honestly say that we have alternatives that will replace how we heat our homes in the winter? Diplomacy did not work, and the policies laid out by the NDP have hurt our economy and our people. We have always said we need to stand up strong for our province, our resource stewardship, and our citizens, and this Government has failed us in this respect.
As we reach the end of Black History Month, I would like to thank The Black History Heritage Society for their work in the inauguration of the impassioned and eloquent Virnetta Anderson, the first Black Alderwoman in Alberta. We were proud to bring forward the proclamation of Black History Month, and it was fascinating digging into the archives of the City of Calgary to find out about the amazing work she did during her term from 1974-77 and thereafter:
Her love of Alberta was shown in her incredible contributions not only in politics, and her love of democracy, but in her church that established her as a role model for men and women of every background. She was a strong and grounded woman. She was a nominee for the very first YWCA Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Awards. She was an orator, a natural born leader, and along with her husband Ezzret Sugarfoot Anderson, they were a power couple and strong Ambassadors for Calgary. A well-known Rotarian, she had a long history of community building and was a woman of stories, wisdom, and wit.
Celebrated in the community for her many years as a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer, leader, and contributor to her adopted city, she was honoured with the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal. The list goes on!
I was honoured to participate in the Proclamation Of Black History Month and the inauguration of Virnetta. The Black History Heritage Society’s motto, “One people, one community, one nation.” is an inspiring one.
Look for me at your doors in the next few weeks and as always I love to hear from you.