Hello again friends and neighbours.
I hope you are all enjoying this gorgeous summer and are relishing the company of your loved ones once again! I’m a person who loves to visit and talk with others, so ever since restrictions were lifted on July 1, I feel like I’ve been in overdrive trying to make up for all the Zoom meetings we’ve been subjected to throughout the pandemic.
I hosted two Meet-and-Greet BBQs in the constituency during the first week of August. I was so pleased with all the folks who turned up in Millet and Mulhurst Bay to say hello. In between hot dogs and watermelon, we discussed whatever subjects were on constituents’ minds, covering a wide range of issues. I was delighted to see so many old friends, and equally happy to meet lots of new friends. It still seems like a bit of a novelty that we were able to come together without restrictions. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that so many Albertans have complied with the rules, and have chosen to get vaccinated so that we can once again partake in that basic, human pleasure that comes with socializing. I’m grateful, too, that many of my family members (including the grandkids) were able to make it out to the BBQs. Their willingness to accommodate my hectic schedule means the world to me. I definitely couldn’t do this job without their support.
I do really love connecting with constituents. It is my intention to visit as many communities in this constituency as possible now that it is both safer and less complicated. If your community or group has an idea about an event, please connect with my constituency office and we would be happy to work on setting something up.
Ministry tours took me all over the province in the last few weeks. Please take a look at my Facebook page to see some of the exciting things happening in Indigenous communities throughout Alberta. I have attended so many wonderful events and it’s been encouraging to see the positive economic impact that First Nations owned businesses are having on Alberta’s economic recovery.
The success of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, launched in June of 2020, is a real confidence builder. According to Statistic Canada’s monthly labour force survey, Alberta created 20,000 full-time jobs last month alone. The survey also showed that unemployment has now dropped to 8.5 per cent in our province, which is the lowest level it has been since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Last week, Transportation Minister Sawhney announced that as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) will support 48 municipal road, bridge, and community airport projects across the province. I am happy to share with you that Alberta’s government is investing over $1.6 million in improvements to the airport runway overlay at the Wetaskiwin Regional Airport as one of those 48 projects. I’m delighted that economic development in rural areas is supported by such programs and that our community will benefit as a result. You can read more about STIP at https://www.alberta.ca/stip.aspx.
Back to school is right around the corner! It’s an exciting time of fresh starts, new friends, and new possibilities. The Ministry of Education has been busy working out details for parents, students and school staff as they prepare for a safe, new school year. Please take a few moments to have a look at the current information available here https://www.alberta.ca/k-12-learning-during-covid-19.aspx . If you are a parent, be sure to download the 2021-22 Parent Guide.
The Federal Election is coming up quickly. This gives you an opportunity to elect a Member of Parliament to represent you in Ottawa. Voting day is September 20. You can visit https://www.elections.ca/home.aspx for information.
There will be plenty of choices to make on October 18 when most Albertans head to the polls for Municipal Elections. As always, this election will allow you to choose local representation in your municipality, as well as school board trustees for your school division. This year, the provincial government will be adding two referendum questions to the municipal ballot when Albertans vote on October 18; one question about equalization payments and the other about adopting year-round Daylight Savings Time. The Senate Election will also be held in conjunction with the 2021 Alberta Municipal Elections. You can read up on both the Senate Election and the Referendum Vote at https://www.elections.ab.ca/elections/senate-referendum/information-for-electors/.
I encourage everyone to participate in the democratic process; please do the research and exercise your right to vote. These are challenging times and good representation and
I was saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Millet’s Mayor, Tony Wadsworth. Mayor Wadsworth was a real gentleman and was an asset to the leadership of Millet; he will be sadly missed. Heartfelt condolences to his wife Marlene and family.
Over the last while, some of the very real needs of this community have become prominent issues amongst its members. Please be assured that these issues have not escaped us; we continue to work diligently on solutions and ask for your patience and support. Thank you to the incredible volunteers and non-profits who work tirelessly to help those in need. It’s truly appreciated.
As always, if you have questions or need information, please connect with my constituency office and we’ll do our best to find you answers.
— Rick Wilson, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin.