COLUMN: Fighting effectively for a better future

COLUMN: Fighting effectively for a better future

MLA Ron Orr speaks to the Alberta spring session and standing up for his constituents.

By Ron Orr

MLA Lacombe-Ponoka

The spring session of the Alberta Legislature wrapped up last week with little fanfare.

The NDP government continued to plow forward with an agenda of record deficits, higher taxes, frivolous spending and repeated ethical lapses.

Throughout the session I was honoured to effectively stand up for everyone worried about jobs and safety in our communities.

During the spring session, our team of Wildrose MLAs successfully passed legislation to protect victims, earned support for motions to fight for Alberta jobs, protect the environment, while putting forward bold new ideas to fix our justice system, reduce wait times, strengthen property rights and reform Alberta’s adoption system.

Some opposition MLA highlights from the session included:

• Announcing Bill 201 to provide accountability and transparency in Alberta’s justice system. Also introduced Motion 501 to reduce ballooning wait times across the province. Both times the government blocked these common sense proposals.

• Put forward Bill 204 to strengthen landowner protections and put an end to squatter’s rights. The legislation was voted down by the government.

• Presented new legislation that would make important reforms to Alberta’s adoption system. The legislation is still being debated.

• Introduced new legislation that would force the government to eliminate one or more regulations for every new regulation created that negatively impacts business in Alberta. The legislation is still being debated.

• Successfully passed new legislation to protect victims and youth from having private or intimate images of themselves used against them through online abuse and bullying.

• Passed Motion 505, urging the Federal Government to move Canada closer to energy independence by using Alberta oil over imported and foreign dictator oil.

• In a move to provide real action on the environment, opposition MLAs encouraged better stewardship and preservation of Alberta’s wetland habitats.

• Supported legislation to reduce school fees. We reached out to school boards for responses while getting great feedback from families.

• Voted against Bill 16 which will lead to the doubling of electricity rates in the province over the next 4 years. We did however support the compassionate pieces introduced.

• Introduced legislation that mandates the child and youth advocate to review all deaths of children under 20 years of age who received intervention services. The government’s actions before and after Serenity’s death were appalling and we need more accountability in our child death review process

During the spring session, I was very disappointed that the government rammed through omnibus legislation that makes dramatic changes to Alberta’s labour code. The rushed process and lack of transparency with little public reporting does not inspire confidence in the new legislation.

I will continue to work hard through the summer meeting face to face with as many of you as possible to talk about the future of our great province. I will effectively press the government to lower Alberta’s debt which will rise to nearly 71 billion dollars by 2019.

If you have any questions or concerns on any issue, feel free to contact my constituency office at 403-782-7725 or by e-mail at Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca.