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  • MLA report February 6

    Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers! All of us know someone who has affected by the scourge of addiction. It destroys lives, families, and hope. On February 1, Premier Kenney and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason announced over 4 million dollars in funding to create 2,172 more treatment spaces over the next 3 years. We know that recovery is possible with treatment, compassion and strong programs to help pull our loved ones out of addiction.  Access to these programs is one of the issues faced by many who are caught in this cycle. When they are ready for treatment, we want to make sure they have access to programs without daunting financial barriers. You should not have to remortgage your home to get help for yourself or someone you love.

     This funding includes:

    o       Up to $1,566,459 per year to create an additional 294 spaces over the next three years at Fresh Start Recovery Centre in Calgary (98 spaces per year).

    o       Up to $518,300 to create 156 more spaces over three years at Sunrise Healing Lodge in Calgary (52 spaces per year).

    o       Up to $2,211,900 to create 574 more spaces per year at Thorpe Recovery Centre. This includes both residential addiction treatment and medical detox spaces (261 treatment spaces per year and 313 medical detox spaces per year).

    “If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please know the Alberta government is working for you. We will continue to add publicly funded mental health and addiction treatment spaces across the province because we believe all Albertans should have access to life-saving treatment, regardless of their financial situation.”

    Jason Kenney, Premier

    “I am pleased to partner with such reputable and respected residential addiction treatment providers to create much-needed publicly funded treatment spaces. Our government is ensuring every Albertan who needs it can get the opportunity to get well and find their path to long-term recovery, regardless of where they live.”

    Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

    This initiative is part of the government’s $140-million commitment to recovery-oriented addiction and mental health care.

    On February 6th we celebrate zero-tolerance day for female genital mutilation or FGM.  This is the 1000 years old practice of mutilating a young girls clitoris and/or labia, by slicing it off, clipping or pricking the clitoris, or sewing the labia almost completely closed or some combination of that in the belief that it makes girls from infancy to about the age of 15 cleaner and keeps them from becoming “promiscuous”.  There are no medicinal benefits to FGM, just control.  There are close to 200 million girls and women world wide who have been cut and about 3 million a year who are at risk.  This is not a violation that is “over there”, it is happening on Canadian soil, in secret, or young girls are being sent overseas during the cutting season to carry out this ritual.  It is not a religious practice, and it is not mentioned in any religious writing and is carried on every continent in the world and in every religion.  Make no mistake, this is child abuse. Please join me on February 6th as we declare “zero-tolerance” day official in the Province of Alberta, and tweet out or Facebook message in support of our girls and women around the world.  Thank you to Giselle Portentier for her film “In the Name of Your Daughter”.  Please watch this documentary and learn about FGM, and the strength of those who are survivors, and those who have fought back.

    Happy Black History Month. We hope you have a chance to get involved and enjoy some of the many celebrations around the province acknowledging our friends and neighbours of African and Caribbean descent.  Did you know that Black Americans facing extreme racism and lynching in Oklahoma came to this rough and frozen terrain, and along with Ukrainians, Germans and other settlers set up home in Amber Valley, established in 1909 north of Edmonton. When they homesteaded here they overcame racism as well. I hope to see you at some of these events as we dedicate this month to these incredible, resilient folks who are part of our Alberta fabric and our history.

    I want to send a quick message to our friends in Carseland who are being impacted by the blockade at the Co-op.  This is another blow to this small community after the ATB breakins and the Post Office breakins where so many Christmas presents were stolen. I know and understand your frustration, and the impact this is having on your community.   We hope that negotiations are quick and that a resolution is found immediately.  To the parties involved in this dispute: the people in Carseland and the surrounding area are deeply impacted by this situation.  Please resolve this quickly.

    As always, I love to hear from you.