MLA moving forward after ‘harsh lesson’

Chris Clegg
For the Lakeside Leader

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

Rehn was booted from the UCP caucus on 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.

“People have hopefully heard 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 were some positives.

“We set a new record for sitting days (115),” he says. “I spent a lot of time in Edmonton.”

Rehn adds he spent a lot of time understanding how government works and how to move issues.

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

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

“It was a very, very different year.”

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 Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, Marten Beach flooding and long-term care in Wabasca highlight his agenda.

And of course, road conditions everywhere.

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

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