Posted on Jan 1, 2016

January 2016 Constituency Newsletter

Since my election in May, I have been working hard to represent the community of Calgary-Bow. As your provincial representative I have challenged and pushed the issues that face our community. I have spoken with some on you who have expressed concern regarding the implications of the flood of 2013. Because of this I talked to the Minster of Municipal Affairs about the flood and we have been collecting open DRP files to help the office facilitate their closure. I ask that if you still have an open DRP file please contact my office so that we can forward this information on to the Ministry.

I have also had the opportunity to push the Ministries on major issues facing Calgary-Bow. At the beginning of the fall session I asked the Minister of Transportation about the West Ring Road. He confirmed that the project has to be completed within the next 7 years.

Many of you have shared with me your frustrations regarding Gas Plus. I brought these concerns to the Minister of Environment and Parks during question period this fall session. The Honourable Shannon Phillips has confirmed that as of early October 2015 the Ministry began enforcing a remediation plan. This plan includes injections of oxidizing chemicals; soil vapour extraction units have been put in place in added effort, and a full review of the legislation that has hindered the polluter pay principle in the past.

I brought your questions about traffic and pedestrian safety to the Ministries of Justice and Transportation, and in the response to my question Minister Mason announced a review of the Traffic Safety Act. I am pleased to push the ministries on the issues that affect the day to day life of the residence of Calgary-Bow. Other questions surrounding your concerns about AISH and the support of the seniors in our community have been addressed to this government during the fall session. My team has made available all of my interactions at the Legislature via my self-titled YouTube page.

One of my major accomplishments this year has been the passing of my private members bill:

Named the Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act, it allows survivors of domestic violence to break their lease without the fear of financial penalty. This is an issue that I heard frequently when meeting with women’s shelters throughout the summer. As legislators, it is our responsibility to protect all Albertans and make sure that we are removing barriers to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable Albertans.

I want to thank the many stakeholders with whom I met with throughout the summer and fall for helping to shape the policy on this bill which was formed over the course of eight months. It was always our intention when drafting it to include the voices of those who are both directly and indirectly involved in domestic violence because we all have a role to play when ending it.

I’m also proud of my colleagues in the assembly for engaging in the discourse around domestic violence in this province and passing this bill unanimously.

That being said, I’d like to take the time to note that although the passing of this bill was a positive step forward, our work as an assembly is not done. Alberta remains a province where domestic violence is twice the national average and many of our cities are seeing increases in incidents. This is an issue that I will continue to advocate for throughout my term.

Thank you to the Bowness Community Association for hosting an amazing Christmas Dinner for over 600 people. It was great to see all these community organizations collaborating together to make this event a success. I would like to send out a special thank you to the Bowness Boys and Girls Club for making an amazing animated video about Bowness.

I would also like to thank the community for all your generous donations to St. Edmunds Christmas Hampers food and supplies drive. We were able to collect over 6 boxes (over 100lbs!) of food and gifts for our seniors and families in need. We look forward to continuing our engagement with this local holiday initiative in 2016

I’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge my staff. Often in the background, the work they do and the long hours they put in is rarely recognized and although we are a small team, I am very proud of the work we have accomplished so far for the constituents of Calgary-Bow.

We look forward to continue listening learning and working hard on your behalf in 2016!

In closing, I’d like to add that on Friday, January 8th, we will be having a meet & greet at my office in Bowness from 5pm – 7pm and I very much look forward to meeting some of you.