Lesser Slave Lake
Spring sitting comes to close
As is tradition when we enter the summer months, the spring sitting of the legislature comes to an end, as it did last week.
In the past five months, I have had the privilege to bring the needs of Lesser Slave Lake to the attention of the provincial government, to debate legislation, and share how it impacts our communities, and advocate for much-needed investment in our roads.
In my last question allotment of the spring sitting, I rose to ask the Minister of Indigenous Relations about his plans to move forward with real reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We have all seen the heart-wrenching discovery in Kamloops, B.C., and heard of the likelihood of further discoveries in the years to come.
Nearly one-quarter of our province’s residential schools were located in Lesser Slave Lake, and it’s clear that this is an issue that hits close to home and close to our hearts, and it is imperative that the government take appropriate steps to begin the process of healing and closure.
One of the bills I had the chance to speak to prior to the rising of the legislature was the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, which is sometimes referred to as the “turn off the taps” bill. This bill was introduced to ensure that we can defend our provincial interests within confederation with regard to developing our natural resources. It sends a loud and clear message to the other provinces that while we are always eager to work together for our shared benefit, that we will not allow ourselves to be walked over.
This Canada Day, our province is reopening. We have fought hard and we have sacrificed a lot over the past 15 months, and we are now able to put the pandemic restrictions behind us, and enjoy what this summer has in store for us.
Nearly all public health restrictions will be lifted — including limits on indoor social gatherings. The provincial mask mandate will be nearly erased with the exception of a few specific situations. And the restrictions that do remain will be those that require confirmed cases to isolate to prevent spread, along with some precautions taken in continuing care homes.
This is life getting back to normal, and we, as Albertans, are leading the nation in doing so. If we continue to get vaccinated, we can keep the COVID-19 restrictions in the dustbin of history.
While the legislature will be quiet for the next couple of months, there is still much work to be done on the issues that face Lesser Slave Lake, and I am committed to keeping up the progress that we’re making on these files.
I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer, and encourage you to get outside and explore our community and to continue to support our phenomenal local businesses — especially those that have been closed the longest.
It’s very easy to refer to reconciliation regarding the horrific residential school situation but many of us would prefer to see your personal recommendations as to how the Canadian government will go about reconciling this matter with those most affected. What have you personally put forth for an appropriate action plan? What is your plan, Mr. Rehn, as the MLA for a region that held 25% of these residential schools? I would much prefer to see action from you vs. common-place, everyday political rhetoric …