Caucus donates pay hike to charity

With Easter here and springtime looming, I think it is a perfect time to share a positive political story with you.

With Easter here and springtime looming, I think it is a perfect time to share a positive political story with you. Don’t laugh — there is such a thing from time to time.

Last week my Wildrose colleagues and I were able to share details on a principled decision that we made a while back and I am thrilled to be part of it.

Not long after the election, the PC-dominated legislative committee voted to increase MLA pay by eight per cent. Yes, in an era when we’re asking everyone else to hold the line or take rollbacks, they voted themselves a raise. Well, we didn’t approve and didn’t vote to support it. In fact, we feel so strongly about this sending a wrong message to Albertans, we decided to do something about it.

We have created the Wildrose Caucus Foundation so we can give this money to charity. Every one of the 17 Wildrose MLAs is donating the PC-mandated pay hike to the foundation. I am proud to be part of a team that is putting our money where our mouth is. It’s too easy in politics to criticize and demand leadership while not showing it yourself. Our leader, Danielle Smith, summed it up like this:

“Our caucus was united in our opposition to the MLA pay hike the PCs brought in and we are united in deciding to do something about it. I am proud of every single Wildrose MLA for stepping and doing the right thing and I look forward to being able to help out hard working charities that do invaluable work for our communities.”

It sure felt good to present that first cheque to a much deserved charity. We wrote our first cheque, in the amount of $25,000 to The Little Warriors Foundation. This charity directly supports children who have been victims of sexual abuse.

The donation will go toward the creation of the Be Brave Ranch, a first of its kind long treatment centre for kids who have been sexually abused in Canada.

Our hope is, that by donating the pay hike to charity, we can help those that make a difference in society, make more of a difference. It’s also our hope that MLAs from all parties will follow our lead, although that seems highly unlikely.

Look for more positive announcements throughout the year from the Wildrose Caucus Foundation.

As we move into spring — and here’s hoping we are now in for a nice long stretch of warm weather — I hope the rebirth of nature that happens each spring will bring about good things for all my constituents.

To contact me at any time, please feel free to email: Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca or write #101 4892 46 Street, Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4 or phone 403 782 7725.