Letters to the Editor – from Pat Rehn

Strong majority support change to equalization system

To the Editor:

As I start off this article I’d like to congratulate all the newly elected and successfully re-elected councilors, trustees and mayors across Lesser Slave Lake on their elections and impeccable campaigns.

Now the work begins anew in improving our communities and I look forward to working with the elected leaders across our constituency to enhance quality of life and improve opportunities available in Lesser Slave Lake.

Another big development is voters in Alberta with a strong majority have made it plain that they support changing the system of equalization which by design punishes provinces who derive some of their revenues from the extraction of non renewable resources and can be gamed by provinces who refrain from developing their own resources to their benefit.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault in fact announced the day after the referendum vote that proudly Quebec will “definitively renounce the extraction of hydrocarbons on its territory.”

Precluding for all time the possibility Quebec extracted non renewable resource revenues even the scales and reduce the burden on Albertans when it comes to the equalization formula.

The voters of Alberta spoke up loudly with a 62 per cent majority against this inherent unfairness and I am hopeful to see our government continue its advocacy on behalf of the province on this critical issue.

Voters also narrowly chose to maintain the status quo when it comes to daylight savings time in our province.

I’ve heard many passionate arguments both for and against changes to how we set our clocks and this remarkably close vote shows that across Alberta folks did not take their choice on this matter lightly.

These referenda illustrated that voters in Alberta are capable of deciding best their own affairs and I thank every single person who took the time to vote in these referenda as well as the municipal elections.

The legislature has resumed its business and I’m happy to say it is back hard at work debating legislation, conducting committee affairs and making considerations for the future of the province.

In my most recent member statement to the assembly I took time to commend the good will our constituency has in abundance for others by bringing to attention some of the fantastic acts of charity in our community over the last few months.

It is inspiring to see folks going out of their way to uplift the days of others in ways like returning a wallet or raising hundreds of dollars to donate to charity by running a lemonade stand.

Our community is immensely enriched by these acts of kindness and they deserve all the praise they can get.

This year’s Remembrance Day marks the 103rd anniversary of the guns falling silent on the Western Front ending the First World War and as the date approaches I encourage folks to take the time and reflect on the hardship so many of our countrymen endured in many places with many different names so that we could have peace.
As always my office is available to assist as needed.

Pat Rehn
MLA for Lesser Slave River

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