February's Food And Finances

Edmonton-Leduc MP James Rajotte was the guest speaker at the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce's February Luncheon. Photo by Lorna Lowe.

February's Chamber luncheon brought a sold out crowd to the Leduc Recreation Centre to enjoy a fabulous buffet of homemade food (including the bread!) and to hear our area's Member of Parliament, the Honourable James Rajotte, give an overview of the recently released Federal Budget.
    The luncheon got off on the right foot with the staff at the Nisku Recreation Centre outdoing themselves by creating a scrumptious lunch buffet offering a large selection of food that would tempt anyone's taste buds, and then Leduc's Chamber Executive Director Shaun Green announcing that the organization has once again had an "impressive" couple of months by welcoming fifteen businesses as new Chamber members over the Christmas season and throughout January. 
    Acknowledging the speaker for the day, MP James Rajotte, by congratulating him on his reappointment as the Chair of Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance the previous week, Shaun welcomed James onto the podium.
    James said that he realized his time to speak was relatively short but that he would do his best to touch on as much of the recently released Federal Budget as possible.
    He began his presentation by stating that overall, fiscally Canada has done "fairly well" in comparison to the other G7 countries. He shared that within the G7 group Canada has had the highest GDP growth within the last year as well as achieving the highest full time income job growth. Canada also holds the lowest debt to GDP ratio and this last year we have now been rated as the second best place in the world to do business. James commented that the only area that is lagging are our exports but he is hoping to see that pick up soon with the recent strengthening of the US dollar.
    With a steady 3.5 % growth predicted for Alberta this year James said that the Province is looking forward to "getting back to a balanced budget." Quoting projected numbers that had been presented in the Federal Budget earlier in the week, he said that Alberta is "on track" to realizing the predicted $6 billion dollar surplus in 2015. Commenting on the surplus, (when it happens) he said the government needs to treat it like a household budget and that even though the money is there "We can't just spend it." 
    Informing the audience that "We have funded the high priority areas but tightened our belt in Ottawa." James then began to speak about some of the areas where the government is focusing our tax dollars.
    One of the greatest concerns to business in Alberta is anything to do with our workforce. James stated that one of the main problems in our Country, and not just Alberta, is, "People without jobs, and jobs without people." Skill mismatches are a huge issue according to the government. This budget sees money being put into a new Apprenticeship Training Loan that will help workers who enter school to learn a trade, as well as government agencies working within the Capital Region to create new
job incubators and training programs for workers. James also spoke about the aboriginal workforce by saying that it was fine to provide training opportunities at the secondary school level but he stated that, "It has to start at the K-12 level. The reality is that we need to ensure that people in aboriginal communities have the same opportunities as everyone else."
    Briefly touching on Temporary Foreign Workers, which he acknowledged is a pretty hot topic particularly in this region, he said that employers should see "...some changes coming down the pipe fairly soon." that would ease some of the red tape and paperwork involved in bringing qualified workers into the country.
    Another topic that had ears perking around the room was when James spoke of the several pipeline projects that are pending across the country. He stated that the most "realistic view" is that the east/west line is the "most likeliest" to go through, and then drew a laugh from the crowd by commenting that the Keystone XL pipeline project is probably the most studied thing in human history. However he then shared that while he was still crossing his fingers that President Obama will make a decision to move forward with it he was "..frankly not as hopeful on this one."
    James then spoke about a new initiative built into this budget that he commented "...in my opinion should have been done a long time ago," with the commitment from the government for $8 million dollars to create a DNA Databank for missing persons and recovered remains. He shared that this databank was being created in large part due to "Lindsey's Law" which stems from the dedication of one BC mother (Judy Peterson) who has been campaigning for a databank like this since the disappearance of her daughter, Lindsey Nicholl, in 1993.
    In his closing remarks James extended an apology to Canadian Veterans where he said that over the years, communication has been lacking between the government and their organizations. He shared that several million dollars have been committed in this budget to renovating and correcting some areas involving veterans benefits and he encouraged any veterans within his area who are not receiving their proper benefits to contact him directly.
    ­­He then opened the floor to a few questions from the audience before retaking his seat to an appreciative round of applause.
    Shaun came back to the podium to close the afternoon with the announcement that the Annual Chamber Gala was now a sold out affair and to remind everyone to get their tickets early to March's Chamber luncheon taking place on March 7th at the Leduc Denham Inn & Suites with guest speaker Todd Hirsch, ATB Financial's Chief Economist.

 

More Stories:
  • Wetaskiwin Sports Hall Of Fame Inductees 2015: Margaret Perry Flynn - Builder Margaret Perry grew up in Wetaskiwin and started dancing when she was very young. By the time she was 11, she had founded the Wetaskiwin School of Ballet and was teaching dance to other Wetaskiwin youngsters. Margaret completed ...
  • 4-H Club Reports Falun East Beef 4-H On February 22nd, Falun East Beef members spoke up at the Falun Community Hall. Each member presented their prepared speeches with topics from Bumble Bees to Bodacious Bulls as well as one to two minute ...
  • Wheelin' For Jordie & Unexpected Champions Support for Jordie Miller doesn’t seem to be wavering, not anytime soon. This seemed to be the general sentiment at a recent fundraiser to help Jordie Miller, a 25 year old man who is focused on his slow motor skills improvement ...
  • Petition For Changes To Hospital Intersection (Highways 13 & 814) On October 9th, the Whitney/Mayes family lost a very dear loved one at the intersection of Hwy 13 and Hwy 814 in Wetaskiwin. “We have discovered far too many lives have been lost at that intersection and are working on having ...
  • Wetaskiwin Twilighters Visionary Support Group Enjoying New Home Wetaskiwin Twilighters Visionary Support Group, an associate group to C.N.I.B. (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) has been an active non-profit organization in Wetaskiwin for 25 years assisting and supporting anyone ...
  • Regional Spelling Bee Declares Top Winners On February 18, months of hard work paid off for students of grades four to eight of the Black Gold School Division (BGSD). Eleven schools in the School Division #18 enlisted in a battle of brains and confidence to determine ...
  • Shave Heads To Raise Money Ten students from New Sarepta Elementary School and one from NSCHS, shaved their heads to raise money for the fight against cancer at their school’s Valentine assembly on Friday, February 13th. The boys had their pink locks ...
  • Homeless In The County Over five dozen people are homeless in Leduc County. After conducting a study over the past four months, Leduc County Family and Community Support workers found 64 people were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. “We ...
  • Wild Horses To Be Auctioned February 28 If you would like to bid on a wild horse this year, mark February 28th on your calendar and plan on attending the Innisfail Auction Market. This year’s capture season is radically different from those in the past. Wranglers ...
  • Wetaskiwin Ag Society Century Award The Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society was first organized in approximately 1897 and was incorporated March 22, 1898, the same year as the Yukon Gold Rush. In order to be incorporated, 100 people had to register and pay $1 each. ...
  • Leduc County Presents STARS With $6000 Just before accepting their annual grant from Leduc County Feb. 10, STARS representatives told how that money is keeping STARS in the skies. STARS Development Officer Miriam Moison said last year, STARS flew 13 missions in ...
  • Book Signing at the New Leduc Library By day, he is a mortgage specialist, working hard to help his clients. For the remainder of the week, he is a dedicated City of Leduc councillor, a loving husband and family man, a fit and community-focused individual and ...
  • Leduc Authors Last week we ran into David Mackenzie at the Leduc Library. David was setting up a display for his recently release second novel titled “Calypso”. David is the first local author to be featured by the Leduc Library for an ...
  • Maskwacis Hosts At Parkdale The Ermineskin Junior and Senior High School from Maskwacis hosted a supper and entertained at Parkdale School in Wetaskiwin. The Foods class from Ermineskin High School catered the supper, and then entertainment was provided ...
  • Ma-Me-O Legion Continues Tradition Of Generosity: $2000 for Wetaskiwin Hospital The Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre has gained a much deserved reputation, a healthcare facility that provides residents with the comfort of knowing top notch healthcare services are readily available in this community. ...
  • Family Day, A Great Idea Since 1989 On February 16th, 2015, By-the-Lake Park in Wetaskiwin was a flurry of activity (and snow) as happy families and friends participated in the annual Family Day celebration hosted by the Rotary Club and Catholic Social Services, ...
  • Family Day At Gateway Church In several Canadian provinces, Family Day is a statutory holiday occurring on a Monday in February. Two-thirds of Canadians live in a province that observes this holiday. Except in British Columbia, Family Day coincides with ...
  • Coal Lake Lighthorse 4-H Hello everyone! It’s been an awesome start to 2015 with a number of activities for the Coal Lake Lighthorse 4H club! To start things off we had our club meeting on January 5, 2015. Here we discussed details for the upcoming ...
  • Leduc 4-H Beef Club For the Leduc 4-H Beef Club, January proved to be an eventful month and was filled with preparing for Public Speaking and the beginning of a new year. Our monthly meeting was held on January 12th at Eidick’s and we discussed ...
  • Shamburger Champ Leduc resident Austin Johannesen was one of the participants in Shamrock Burgers annual Monster Sham Eating Contest. Johannesen tied with Leduc resident Anthony Lange for second place, each walking away with $100 Feb. 7. ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia