Plenty of funding coming to Wetaskiwin-Camrose

By Bruce Hinkley, MLA Wetaskiwin-Camrose

Congratulations to Valerie Aubey of Bawlf on her recent appointment to the provincial Marketing Council. As part of her duties on the Council, Valerie will be in charge of many of the rural commissions.

Congratulations to Kent Sjolin (Best Western Wayside, Wetaskiwin) and Kara Brown (Ramada, Camrose) who, with their staffs, are recipients of the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association "Housekeeping Award" recognizing high quality of accommodations achieving excellence in cleanliness, comfort and maintenance.

Congratulations to Noel Ratch and all the staff/members/sup porters of Reynolds Alberta Museum (RAM), Wetaskiwin. I recently had the privilege of receiving keys to the 1975 Top Fuel Dragster known as "Wheeler Deeler" on behalf of the Alberta Government, who will place it in RAM to join the fleet of historic vehicles. Wheeler Dealer has a value of $285,000.

I am also thrilled by the 2017 budget announcement that Reynolds Alberta Museum will receive funding, after a decade of denied project applications, to build an additional facility to store a further $25 million in artifacts, continue with their world renowned restoration programs and dramatically expand display areas for public enjoyment. This project will provide construction and staffing jobs for the Wetaskiwin area and go a long way to growing rural tourism in our area.

The City of Wetaskiwin has received approval from Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan for a grant to assist with doing a needs assessment to support the development of transition services for Indigenous people moving into Wetaskiwin. An additional grant from Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley was approved for the Wetaskiwin Community Inclusion program to encourage municipalities to strengthen and advance their plans and strate gies for building welcoming and inclusive communities where all Albertans can participate in and contribute to the cultural, social, economic and political life of the province.

Minister Feehan approved a grant to Montana First Nation to assist with the energy assessment for Diamond 5 building, administration office, daycare and school. This support will provide the Nation with beneficial information to guide decision making on reducing energy costs, improving building operation efficiencies and reducing the community’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson has accepted the municipality operating spending plan for 2016 from Mayor Debnam of Bittern Lake. The Minister has also approved funding for the County of Wetaskiwin for the Argentia Beach Nature Trail construction and a grant for their second year Municipal Internship program for Finance Officers which will help cover the costs of supporting intern Chantel Nakonechny, as she continues with the County for a second year. The City of Wetaskiwin received a similar grant supporting the costs for intern Jacqueline Pelechytik returning for another year.

Congratulations to Tyson Persson and family of rural Millet as they mark their family farm’s 100th anniversary in Alberta - another fine example of the farming community built by generations of hard-working Albertans who are devoted to agriculture and their rural community.

Happy Birthday! Happy 105th birthday to Tena Combs of Wetaskiwin. Tena was born April 5, 1912 in Bow Island, Alberta. Tena spent most of her life in the Falun area and while there was inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 for her involvement in soft ball. Tena was still driving her car at 100 years of age. Fantastic!

Good news for Albertans:

The 2017 budget includes $14.5 million to hire 35 Crown prosecutors in addition to the 15 already being recruited, and court clerks to help reduce the case load backlog as an effort to deal with crime issues in Alberta.

An Alberta company, Canadian Natural Resources, has purchased $7.2 billion of oil sands assets from a foreign country. This puts us back to 52 per cent ownership of our own resources.

We are working to make life better for residents of rural Alberta by investing more than $14 million to upgrade affordable housing units. In particular, seniors will benefit as most of the investment will go towards renovating and repairing seniors’ housing. As part of our Alberta Jobs Plan, $1.2 billion will be invested over five years in seniors and affordable housing to renew and generate over 6000 units.

Camrose seniors’ housing will receive $1.2 million for upgrades.

Here are some of those seniors’ projects in our constituency: Bosco Homes, Wetaskiwin: $18,000 for special needs.

Briganta Place, Camrose: $66,000 for special needs.

Camrose Association for Community Living: $18,000.

Camrose Canadian Mental Health Association: $18,000.

Wetaskiwin and District Association: $18,000.

Alberta Wild Rose Villa, Camrose: $249,192 for roofing.

Alberta Luthor Manor, Wetaskiwin: $51,000 for roofing.

Legion Arms, Wetaskiwin: $75,000 for roofing.

Kiwanis Court, Wetaskiwin: $55,000 for roofing.

Wetaskiwin #3: $75,000 for roofing

Wetaskiwin #5 (FCLS): $15,000 for roofing.

This is $658,192 of infrastructure maintenance funding required for our constituency.

Maybe this spring, but more likely in the fall, my Motion 516 may come to the Legislature floor. It reads: "Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to support renewable energy projects that are fully or substantially owned by co-ops, communities, farmer associations, First Nations, Metis and individuals."

It is my intention that the above-named groups and individuals may be able to put onto the grid as much renewable energy (such as electricity from solar panels) as they are able to produce (not just equal to what they consume). You, as an individual, would then be able to install solar panels to produce enough renewable energy for your home/personal needs but also much more for supplemental income.

The process will be first to get the motion passed, then for the Government to create such legislation. Letters of support for this motion would be appreciated. Thanks.

Some helpful government contacts:

1.An online resource for people concerned about mental health issues and addictions (such as opioids):

2.To talk to a case worker about AISH supports and issues: call 1-877-644-9992.

Take care everyone.


First published in the Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser Wednesday March 29 2017