Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr

COLUMN: Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr

‘The Legislature is back in session and we are working hard on your behalf’

The Legislature is back in session and we are working hard on your behalf. Our government is standing up for responsible gun owners with new initiatives that listen to law-abiding firearms owners, while further cracking down on criminals who willfully put Albertans’ lives at risk. This week, our government established the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee to listen to Albertans on how we can better respect the many people in our province who responsibly own firearms. Government is also establishing a provincial firearms examination unit to speed up testing of guns that have been seized as evidence in criminal investigations. The recent federal firearms ban has made it clear that we need more Alberta, and less Ottawa, in our justice system.

This week, our government introduced legislation to reduce the use of tobacco and vaping products, especially among youth, and help Albertans lead healthier, longer lives. Bill 19 proposes changes based on a review of existing laws that engaged almost 10,000 Albertans. The proposed legislation specifically addresses youth vaping, and would add enforceable restrictions on the possession, promotion, display, sale and use of these of these products similarly to tobacco laws. It would also include the expansion of smoke and vape-free areas, especially at places frequented by children and youth. By aligning regulations for tobacco and vape products, this bill helps support the health of youth for the future.

We have introduced new a Bill that will ensure our province has a fairer, faster, and more responsive justice system that reflects the needs of communities in Alberta. Bill 18 proposes the creation of a provincial parole board in Alberta. This system would better protect Albertans, their loved ones, and their property from repeat offenders, including parolees. The Alberta Parole Board would determine parole or early release for provincial inmates. By introducing this legislation, government is fulfilling a commitment to Albertans to better hold criminals responsible to protect public safety.

We are investing $5 million to help build playgrounds at schools in Alberta. This funding will support 18 school divisions in building the new playgrounds, supplementing their fundraising efforts. Funding for playgrounds will address playgrounds at schools that were replaced on the same site as their original building, as well as new school projects announced between April and December 2013 where the playground has not been built. Playgrounds are a fundamental part of any school community, and our government is helping ensure that school divisions across the province can build these spaces for their students.

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

-Submitted by Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr