Looking back on a busy August

By Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA for Lethbridge-East. First published in The Lethbridge Herald Sept. 9, 2016

Every month as I sit to write my column I have a dilemma because there is so much to say and I have to try to complete this within the space available. So, here are my choices for the month of August:

I will begin with a reminder about the CNIB Night Steps walk at Nikka Yuko Gardens on Friday evening, Sept. 16. I was very pleased to attend and share a few greetings last year and look forward to doing so again this year as the Lethbridge walk’s co-marshal. This is a unique venue in the heart of my constituency. The funds raised at this event will go towards the CNIB to assist with the many services and programs they provide for people who are blind or partially sighted.

It was a very busy August of activities: we enacted Bill 204 (which enables people fleeing domestic violence to withdraw from their rental leases); I had the good fortune of attending multiple pancake breakfasts, the Afro-Caribbean Carnival, Farming Smarter Open house, the Dying with Dignity Summer Social, the Tour of Alberta and the Whoop-Up Parade with our premier, Rachel Notley and many of my legislative colleagues. I was so pleased that we could arrange to have our caucus meeting here which provided the opportunity for my colleagues to participate. All have expressed how much they enjoyed the experience and the warmth of our community. Many have expressed an interest in coming again next year.

Thank you to all of you for being and showing the wonderful community I know you to be.

I would like to share with you a little about some of the responsibilities I have as your MLA. As I write this column, I am in Edmonton to participate in the Economic Futures Committee. We are considering submissions from a number of groups on the Personal Information Protection Act pursuant to section 63 of that act, (PIPA) which is reviewed on a regular basis. “The purpose of this act is to govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by organizations in a manner that recognized both the right of an individual to have his or her personal information protected and the need of organizations to collect use or disclose personal information for purposes that are reasonable.”

Do you use a computer? Have you ever ordered something online or over the phone? What personal information have you shared? Is the sharing of your personal information important to you and do you expect to have it protected? If you have a moment you can look online or let me know and I will get a copy of the current act for you to see.

I am also chair of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Elections, Standing Orders and Printing. This committee will meet again next week. We are reviewing Motion 19 with respect to the sittings of the legislature since the inclusion of morning sittings last year.
I should say I spent a great deal of time knocking on doors to speak to constituents. When I come to your door, I am interested in learning about your concerns about our constituency, Alberta as a whole or any personal issues for which my office may be able to provide assistance. You are welcome to drop by the office to share your concerns, offer your advice or just have a quick visit. My office is located at 543 13 St. S. or you can phone 403 320 1011 or email lethbridge.east@assembly.ab.ca.