Work­ing to boost in­clu­sion


Lethbridge Herald - - READER’S FORUM -

There were so many ac­tiv­i­ties this past month it is im­pos­si­ble to re­port on all, but as you know, Leth­bridge is a busy place th­ese days.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter David Eggen was here this month to meet with groups from the South­ern Al­berta Eth­nic As­so­ci­a­tion and Sik-Oo­hKo­toki Friend­ship So­ci­ety, dis­cussing racism, in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity, as part of our govern­ment’s anti-racism work. The min­is­ter has been trav­el­ling around the prov­ince speak­ing with com­mu­nity groups, in­di­vid­u­als and other stake­hold­ers about how best to tackle this is­sue in Al­berta. Min­is­ter Eggen will be de­liv­er­ing his re­port to the premier later this fall, in­clud­ing rec­om­men­da­tions on how the govern­ment can work with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties on this mat­ter and an in­ter­juris­dic­tional scan of work al­ready be­ing done across Canada. We know our strength is in our di­ver­sity, our sense of in­clu­sion and com­mit­ment to help­ing one an­other. To­gether, we’ll con­tinue to build a suc­cess­ful prov­ince and make life bet­ter for Al­ber­tans re­gard­less of their faith, skin colour or im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

Sept. 18 the sod was fi­nally turned for the Cavendish Farm Food Pro­cess­ing Plant. Premier Rachel Not­ley, Robert Irv­ing from Cavendish Farms and sev­eral other dig­ni­taries were on site for this ex­cit­ing morn­ing. This project will add about 400 construction jobs dur­ing that stage and per­ma­nently strengthen our lo­cal econ­omy once it’s fully func­tion­ing. Fol­low­ing this, my­self and sev­eral of my min­is­te­rial col­leagues moved a lit­tle south to throw the switch on the largest ar­ray of so­lar pan­els in South­ern Al­berta at Flex­hop­per Plas­tics with their CEO Bill Spence­ley. It was such an ex­cit­ing day and we look for­ward to the fu­ture with th­ese projects here.

In Septem­ber I also at­tended sev­eral meet­ings sur­round­ing Bill 203, the Al­berta Stan­dard Time Act. We heard from many of you at the con­sul­ta­tion held here and I want to thank those who gave their in­put both in per­son and on­line about this is­sue. Af­ter the con­sul­ta­tion wrapped up, our sub-com­mit­tee re­viewed all of the feed­back and pre­sented the find­ings and our rec­om­men­da­tion to the com­mit­tee. Ul­ti­mately, it was rec­om­mended that we not pro­ceed with the bill at the present time, and a mo­tion was passed to en­gage our pro­vin­cial and Amer­i­can neigh­bours in dis­cus­sion about end­ing time change twice a year. We know sev­eral other ju­ris­dic­tions are all con­sid­er­ing such leg­is­la­tion and as a re­sult, tak­ing such ac­tion would be much more fluid if it were to hap­pen si­mul­ta­ne­ously. We’re work­ing to make life bet­ter and more ef­fi­cient for Al­ber­tans, and pro­ceed­ing uni­lat­er­ally on this was ul­ti­mately not go­ing to help achieve that goal.

I spent the last week­end of Septem­ber with the Leth­bridge Sport Coun­cil and Can-Am Po­lice and Fire Games or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tees. We toured fa­cil­i­ties in Leth­bridge and sur­round­ing ar­eas as one of the fi­nal­ists to host the 2022 Games. Dur­ing their visit, we were able to show­case not only our in­cred­i­ble venues and their knowl­edge­able staff but the in­cred­i­ble ge­og­ra­phy sur­round­ing our home, our com­mu­nity spirit, ca­ma­raderie and sev­eral cul­tural events — in­clud­ing Art Days and Ok­to­ber­fest — to the com­mit­tee. A per­sonal high­light for me was the stop at Water­ton Na­tional Park, where the com­mit­tee saw first­hand the dev­as­ta­tion of the re­cent wild­fire. It was a somber mo­ment but it was beau­ti­ful to see the re­growth which has al­ready be­gun, and to speak with a mem­ber of the Card­ston County fire crew, who shared his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with the blaze. We are so for­tu­nate to have th­ese he­roes in our midst, I am so thank­ful to each and ev­ery one of them.

To ev­ery­one who par­tic­i­pated in the tour as a spec­ta­tor or a guide, you did Leth­bridge proud — thank you! Thank you, Leth­bridge Sport Coun­cil, as well.

Condo con­sul­ta­tions also took place through­out the sum­mer and yes­ter­day new im­prove­ments were an­nounced. We know a new home is the largest pur­chase most Al­ber­tans will make, and we’re work­ing to bet­ter pro­tect that in­vest­ment. Th­ese in­clude things like giv­ing new-home buy­ers more in­for­ma­tion from de­vel­op­ers at point of sale, in­clud­ing con­firmed move-in date; how to take ac­tion if unit re­ceived is not what was pur­chased or not fin­ished on time; in­creased fi­nan­cial penal­ties for of­fences; rules to bet­ter pro­tect home­buy­ers’ de­posit money and new in­spec­tion and en­force­ment pow­ers so we can en­sure de­vel­op­ers are fol­low­ing the rules. Th­ese will come into ef­fect in Jan­uary and April 2018 and while a lot of work has been done, there is still more to do. We want to make day-to-day condo liv­ing eas­ier for Al­ber­tans, so please take part in the next phase at

un­til Nov. 10. For a full list of the an­nounced im­prove­ments, visit­,

As fall and chill­ier weather ap­proaches there are still a num­ber of things to do here. Be sure to check out Taste of Nige­ria on Oct. 27 and a ton of other com­mu­nity events at

As al­ways, if you have any ques­tions, com­ments or con­cerns, don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact my of­fice, lo­cated at 543 13 St. S., by email­ing leth­bridge.east@as­sem­ or by

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