Winter is here, and good things with it
By Danielle Larivee, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake
Any Game of Thrones fans out there who tell you, “Winter is coming!” obviously haven’t been to our region lately! Winter is here and here to stay. It is one of my favourite seasons in our community, and as we head into the holiday season, it is also a reminder to think of those less fortunate.
No one can accuse our communities of hibernation during the winter months. On a single day in late November in High Prairie, I was able to celebrate the Light-Up and Santa Claus Parade, have fun with kids at the Little Elves Christmas Party at the Children’s Resource Centre [Santa made an appearance!], decorate cookies with the Lesser Slave Watershed Council, visit the craft and mall
business sale at the Elks Hall and more.
The Santa Claus Parade in Slave Lake was another highlight of the season for my family. All of these community events are run by volunteers, and they deserve our heartfelt thanks. I was also pleased to have Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan join me in the constituency on Nov. 28. We met with Whitefish Lake First Nation and had the chance to present chief and council with a grant for their new playground development. The $125,000 grant comes from the Alberta Government‘s Community Facility Enhancement Program. If you work with a community group that is looking for assistance with upgrading, building or repairing community facilities, give CFEP’s Rural Alberta contact a call; Angela Schreiner can be reached at  422-9578.
As we reflect on our blessings, it’s important to remember that some families are struggling at this time of year. Families should not have to choose between groceries and clothing. This is especially true during the winter months. That’s why our government is making life more affordable and helping lower income families meet their basic needs.
As Christmas lights go up, and everyone starts to make their plans for holiday festivities, I’m reminded of the many blessings that we take for granted. I have to admit the winter driving conditions make my commute back and forth to the Legislature challenging. But at the end of that commute I get to spend time with my family in the community I love.
On Nov. 27, Alberta families earning less than $41,746 per year in family net income received the latest installment of the Alberta Child Benefit. If they haven’t already, Albertans are encouraged to file their tax return, where they can apply for the Canada Child Benefit. This will automatically enroll them for the Alberta Child Benefit. Albertans can access free tax preparation clinics offered to eligible taxpayers year-round by community organizations.
There are many good causes that rely on our generosity at this time of year to provide for the less fortunate. Please consider doing what you can to support charities that help families in our community.
First published Dec. 6, 2017, in the Lakeside Leader