Alberta government continues to invest in communities

By Bruce Hinkley, MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose

Congratulations to the Camrose Family Violence Action Society on their award of a grant from the Status of Women to deliver programming in support people who have experienced or have been exposed to domestic violence to support their healing and prevent perpetration of the cycle of violence. Thank you Sheralyn Dobos and your team for the excellent work you are doing.

Another way we are helping make life better for Albertans is by supporting other community minded organizations which in turn provide benefits to Albertans.

For example, the Battle River Watershed Alliance received a Community Facility Enhancement grant to help further development of the Stoney Creek Nature playground and day use area so that we can all enjoy our experience there.

The Royal Canadian Legion of Camrose is also upgrading their facility for better use.

Both the Camrose Arts Society and the Camrose Library will be using Community Initiatives funding to host “Arts in the Park” and purchase equipment, respectively.

The City of Camrose application for the CARES program - Community and Regional Economic Support - has been approved.

Thank you to all these groups doing what they do to make life better for Albertans. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

The Classroom Improvement Fund flows from the central agreement reached with the Alberta Teachers Association in May that ensured teachers remain in classrooms and protected jobs without pay increases.

Across the province, 45 school boards and teacher groups have already agreed on how to spend part of the $75 million improvement fund.

It is anticipated this will create over 225 teaching jobs and 175 support positions. Since school boards decide how to spend funding provided by the province, it would be best to direct questions regarding staff to them.

The CIF is set up to improve the classroom experience for our students and can be used for hiring additional teachers, support personnel, or addressing other needs and improving the student experience in Alberta classrooms.

Our government believes that spending money on education is one of the best investments we can make on our province’s future and that is why we have had increased enrollment funding for three straight budgets and will continue to do so in the future.

We recently approved new rules to protect Albertans’ interests when they buy condos. Albertans deserve to be protected when they make a purchase, and no purchase is more important than buying a home. A quarter of all Albertans live in condos, so we want to make sure we have fair, modern rules in place that will protect condo buyers and strengthen the industry. This will increase consumer confidence in the market, which will benefit our economy and make life better for Albertans.

Alberta‘s condominium legislation, prior to these changes, was out of date, and Albertans have suffered as a result. For example, developers were providing insufficient point-ofsale disclosures, boards were issuing unfair bylaw sanctions, there were no qualifications for condominium managers and disputes often had to be taken to court.

These new rules are the first set of changes we will be making to make life better for condo dwellers. Since 2015, we have consulted with Albertans and listened to their concerns on both buying and living in condos. The new rules we developed are a result of what we heard from a wide range of stakeholders including condo owners, managers, legal and real estate professionals, as well as business and industry associations.

In this first set of improvements, we have made life more affordable for Albertans by increasing transparency and accountability so Albertans can be confident about their condo investment. New home buyers will now be given more information from developers at the point of sale, including a move-in date they can count on.

To comply with a Supreme Court ruling we are eliminating “adult only” housing but retaining “seniors only” housing starting at 55 years.

Our action on poverty, which is a lack of resources, income and assets necessary for a standard of living that supports economic security, physical stability and social inclusion. We are working with community partners to help Albertans reach their potential by taking part in our economy, communities and cultural life.

We are investing $5.1 billion into programs and initiatives in 2017-18 that prevent and reduce poverty by: making life more affordable, supporting wellness and social inclusion, supporting affordable housing and homeless supports, enhancing skills, education and employment opportunities.

Our progressive reformative work to make life better continues and I am proud to be your MLA making it happen. Until next time, take care.

First published in the Camrose Canadian, Nov. 16, 2017