Hello Chestermere! I hope that your garden is growing with the wonderful rain this past week. As everything becomes a beautiful deep green we are finishing up graduations, exams, and finally changing out our winter tires cautiously hoping we have seen the last of the snow. We are wrapping up Seniors Week, and I would like to thank our Minister of Seniors and Housing who did a fantastic tour of seniors facilities and joined many seniors in their activities around the province. Right here at home I would like to thank the city of Chestermere for their incredible work this past week, and the work that went into the Seniors Expo. A special shout out to Sharron Matthewman for the time and energy that goes into these events as well as the volunteers and participants who made Seniors Week so successful. I was also honoured to speak at the Langdon Walk/Run this past Sunday. Thanks to the Langdon OK club, Corrie Corrobourg, and the other volunteers for organizing this fun event to close out Seniors Week.
Thank you to my assistant Vicki Welsh for attending many events and grads on my behalf this past week as I was in session. I would like to give a shout out to Chestermere’s Mary Ann Termeer who along with her family hosted a charity BBQ for Hope In The Dark. This is a Canadian registered charity that helps marginalized children and their parents in Columbia. These children live in slums that are ruled by drug lords, and most of the youth become addicted to drugs by the age of 10 and are forced to traffic themselves for food and drugs around the same age. I am honoured to have attended and met such amazing people who are trying to change the world “one child at time”. To find out more and help please visit www.hopeinthedark.ca.
I was proud to participate in the longest running sitting day in the history of this province, as the Official Opposition filibustered our Bill 2 legislation. The Open for Business Bill will change of the minimum wage for those under the age of 17 for the first 28 hours per week. This Bill will help the 30,000 young Albertans who are out of work to get their first job. Anything over 28 hours per week goes to the regular minimum wage. Bill 2 also restores a mandatory secret ballot for all union certification votes and the return to a 90-day period for unions to provide evidence of employee support for certification. It is difficult to understand why the previous government felt that the secret ballot, which is fundamental to democracy, was a bad idea when it came to union certification. Bill 2 brings back a choice for businesses and their employees to decide on time off in lieu of overtime or to be paid the time and a half rate. Many non-profits asked for this as the flexibility it provides worked very well for them in the past. We campaigned on this legislation and we are through second reading at this point. We will continue to debate through committee of the whole in the following weeks as we work through the next few weeks in session until August.
Happy Pride Month! This year we commemorate the 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York. Many LGBTQ2s+ people faced and continue to face discrimination in the work place and in the legal and health systems. LGBTQ2S+ rights are human rights, and as we celebrate this month with our friends and family, stand together strong in our communities, support families and gender diversity, we inherently celebrate the human rights of all people and the amazing country we live in where we respect all people.
The world needs more Canadian energy! The world needs more Canadian energy! Say it with me folks! The world needs more Canadian energy! There are close to 600,000 jobs on the line and the sector is the biggest Indigenous employer. As I write this article close to 200,000 people have lost their jobs and their livelihood. The Federal government is destroying our industry and are on side with environmental activists who would see us shut down completely. The impact to every Canadian family is palpable and growing. World demand for oil continues to rise, and we are missing out on the opportunity to supply it. Chances are pretty good that a barrel of oil that does not come from Canada is coming from a jurisdiction with weak or no environmental regulations and no respect for human rights. If you really want to make a difference, you want our energy! Stop apologizing Alberta! We have so much to be proud of! As always, we love to hear from you.