MLA moving forward after ‘harsh lesson’

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A “harsh lesson learned” is how Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn describes the events of the last few months, but now he is ready to move forward to work for the constituency.

The recent UCP MLA was booted from caucus Jan. 15 and now sits as an Independent MLA after controversy erupted over his trip to Mexico during the pandemic, overall job performance, and to a lesser degree, expense claims.

Rehn says recent talks with constituents surround the issues.

“People have hopefully hear my apology,” he says.

“I’m here to do a better job.”

Rehn offers no excuses for the events in late 2020 but wants people to know there was some positives earlier in the year.

“We set a new record for sitting days [115],” says Rehn.

“I spent a lot of time in Edmonton.”

As a rookie MLA, he adds he spent a lot of time understanding how government works, where to take the issues and move them forward.

As for visibility in the constituency, he points out COVID occurred.

“It was very tough to be out in public,” he says. Many events were cancelled.

“It was a very, very different year.”

Yet, there was work done and projects moved forward such as the High Prairie Hospital demolition, and construction of the dialysis centre at the High Prairie Hospital.

Rehn adds he has to work on new projects such as broadband for the region, and the energy industry’s reluctance to pay taxes to local municipalities.

In the Slave Lake region, the possible closure of the Bird Conservatory, Marten Beach flooding, and long-term care in Wabasca highlight his agenda.

And, of course, road conditions everywhere, which ae an ongoing concern.

“My focus is I’ll work hard and do the best for my constituents,” says Rehn.

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