A productive fall sitting of the Alberta Legislature wrapped up last week. After about six weeks of busy legislative work, MLAs have returned to their constituencies for a break until February.
I’m happy to report the Wildrose Official Opposition led the way in the legislature on debating bills and proposing positive changes to government legislation. Of the total 93 hours of debate, Wildrose MLAs spoke for 57 hours, compared to only 14 hours for the PC government.
Wildrose contributed more than 100 constructive amendments and improvements to legislation.
While it is disappointing to see the PC government ignore Albertans’ desire to see parties work together, the fall session provided the Official Opposition the opportunity to prove our mettle and work to build a better Alberta, often with the co-operation of the other opposition parties.
In Bill 2, the Responsible Energy Development Act, the government voted down numerous amendments brought forward by the Wildrose to protect landowner rights. The new act is yet another jab at landowners, and will not achieve its goals of streamlining development.
In Bill 7, the Election Accountability Amendment Act, the PCs outlawed the public from ever knowing which prohibited corporations made illegal donations past three years, and rejected Wildrose amendments to fix the bill. As written, Bill 7 fails to provide any deterrent to the PC party for accepting illegal donations, so we are likely to continue to hear about this kind of law breaking as it surfaces for years to come.
The PCs also rejected Wildrose amendments brought forward to protect people who blow the whistle on wrongdoing in government. Instead, they passed the flawed Bill 4, which puts whistleblowers in serious risk. The act permits the government appointed commissioner to quash allegations so they never see the light of day.
One success for the Official Opposition was seeing the new Education Act pass this session, which finally took into consideration the concerns of faith-based educators and home school families. The new Education Act reinstates the primacy of parents in education, a victory for home school families and faith-based educators.
In other constituency happenings, I am happy to extend congratulations to the City of Lacombe and the Lacombe Historical Society for winning the 2012 Heritage Awards, recognizing their contribution to the preservation of history in the area.
On a personal note, I would like to express my sincere best wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It is a time of year to reflect on family and friends, and enjoy the season for its true meaning,
As the MLA for Lacombe Ponoka, I look forward to your feedback. Contact my office at #101 4892 46 Street, Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4 or phone 403 782 7725. You can also like my Facebook page for up-to-date news from the Legislature and in the constituency.