Update from the MLA

By Bruce Hinkley, MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose. First published in the Camrose Canadian Sept. 1, 2016

Congratulations to the Earl Runte family, which has been awarded an Alberta Century Farm and Ranch Award celebrating the family’s 100th anniversary on their farm.

Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier said, “The farming and ranching community in Alberta has been built by generations of hard working Albertans who are devoted to agriculture, family and their rural communities. For 100 years, this family has cared for the land and helped to build a vibrant and sustainable agriculture industry in our province. The resourcefulness and determination of Alberta‘s farm and ranch families have helped position our agriculture sector as an integral part of a diversified and sustainable Alberta economy.”

There have been two recent announcements for job creation pertaining to drilling investments that will help increase jobs in the remainder of 2016 under the Modernized Royalty Framework, and one about Alberta‘s provincial park system, which will receive a $239 million injection of funds over the next five years.

A $1 million grant is being provided to support farm families with irrigation investments to improve water management, environmental sustainability and agriculture.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman has announced that Covenant Health and Alberta Health Services will be starting the redevelopment in Killam of the current 45 long-term care beds to an operation of 50 continuing care beds. This project will go a long way to meeting the current and future needs of the community.

Hoffman also announced a $1.95 million grant for the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta that will be used to continue support for people living with dementia.

Some specific recent grants to our constituency include: $3 million to the City of Camrose for Aquatic Centre upgrades, $2,165,000 for road and bridge replacements and another $1 million for road rehabilitation. Also, our constituency has been given $1,479,106 from the First Nations Development Fund for celebrations, housing, community initiatives and peacekeepers.

Rarely would I quote Calgary Herald reporters, but this time I will: “That’s how the NDP sees the world - from down below. After decades with a government that was more comfortable with a corporate view, it takes getting used to.”

Yes, it will take some people time to get used to our new, progressive government. We will not be a four year wonder. Our support is still greater than each of the opposition parties.

It is irresponsible and unacceptable to believe that because other countries are polluting we should do nothing ourselves. It is better to be a leader in reducing carbon emissions than to make excuses that we cannot help.

In his Aug. 17 piece, “How the NDP thinks about everything,” Don Braid continued: “They (the NDP) believe economic power starts at the extra dollar in a single mom’s purse than a million in a CEO’s portfolio.”

Yes, we promised to support families, and Braid lists some of those examples: “… minimum wage hikes; strict new controls on predatory payday loans; child tax benefits; investigating the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council; the controversial farm safety bill; a review of condo deals; allowing victims of family violence to break residential leases; an apology to victims of mistreatment in residential schools; recognizing gender identity and expression; and a post-secondary tuition freeze. There’s more, a lot more …”

I would like to close with a few more myth-busting comments.

Myth: Alberta NDP is killing the coal industry 

Fact: a quote from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “We are phasing out in Canada through regulations, we are phasing out the use of traditional dirty coal. It’s going to go to zero in the next 15 years or so.” Twelve of 18 coal-fired plants have already been closed. The plant at Hanna was already scheduled for closure in 2026. What our government is doing is taking leadership in replacing that lost energy source with “renewable energies” which will create jobs and reduce our electrical costs. Coal is not king.

I am proud of our Climate Leadership plan because even though China and the United States produce more pollution that we do as a country, our per capita rate of polluting emissions is equally high. It is irresponsible and unacceptable to believe that because other countries are polluting we should do nothing ourselves. It is better to be a leader in reducing carbon emissions than to make excuses that we cannot help.

Myth: Linear assessments will be lost under the NDP.

Fact: it is still part of the new Municipal Government Act proposal.

Next week I will have an update on our education funding and projects as we get ready for another great year of school and learning. For example, we are opening about 30 new schools this fall. Yahoo! Take care, everyone.