Fab Feb at the Chamber

Pipestone Flyer

The Honourable Mr. James Rajotte, MP for Edmonton-Leduc, was the guest speaker at the Leduc Regional Chamber Luncheon on February 1st.

February started off with a bang for the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce and they weren't shy about sharing their good news, nor should they be. February's luncheon was a complete sell out about a week before the event took place, which is certainly something to crow about on it's own, but on top of that the Chamber welcomed 13 new members this month which had them hit their 650 member mark for businesses! 

    Once everyone had convened at the Nisku Recreation Centre for a delicious buffet lunch whipped up by the friendly staff, the first order of the day was for the Leduc Representative's former Publisher, Neil Sutcliffe, being honoured with an award for his longtime service to Leduc and area. Neil had recently retired after spending 36 years at the helm of the Rep.

It was then that the Executive Director of the Leduc Chamber, Stefanie Schulz, stepped up to the microphone to introduce the main speaker for the afternoon, whom she stated was a man who is passionate about this region and a great dancer as well, Edmonton-Leduc MP, Mr. James Rajotte. 

    Mr. Rajotte's topic for the day was an economic update since, he commented, the economy is the #1 topic for us right now. He began by saying that we have had a very good record in Alberta since 2009, with 9 out of 10 jobs created being full time positions. He went on to state that Canada's banking system is the soundest in the world, and has received honours for that over the previous five years in a row, and economists are ranking Canada as the best place in the world in which to do business over the next five years. However, he teased, you do have to take economist's predictions with a grain of salt, as they have also predicted 12 of the last 5 recessions in this country! Quoting a Led Zeppelin tune, he commented that "The Song Remains The Same" for now here in Canada.

    He then posed the question "What now going forward?", and answered with the government continuing to focus on reducing the deficit. Stating stats that the deficit has come down from 55 billion in 2009 to 26 billion currently, he informed everyone that the Conservative government would not be "downloading" everything onto the Provinces by cutting education and health care. Mr. Rajotte instead claimed there has been, and would continue to be, a 6% increase in health care dollars every year until 2016.

        Another topic that has been brought to his attention many times is the issue of a worker shortage. The predictions are for a shortage of 600-700,000 workers over the next several years. He stated that the government is looking in many different directions in order to fill these positions, including initiating programs to get older people and seniors back into the workplace, youths, aboriginal peoples, and people with disabilities, as well as foreign workers.

        In last year's budget he shared that the number one request was to extend the hiring credit, which had been done, and the Red Tape Reduction Program was still ongoing as well. He reported that the government is also currently working on reducing import tariffs, with the eventual goal of completely eliminating import taxes by 2015 for the manufacturing trades and certain others as well. 

        Mr. Rajotte made a point of addressing concerns over the reasons that Canada recently signed a Foreign Investor Protection Policy with China. He stated, in a nutshell, that it was to keep the rules and regulations stable for Canadian investors, but he also commented that he would be happy to discuss this issue more in depth with interested parties over a cup of coffee.

        However, he did avow that while Canada needs investment from outside the country, that it is not in anyone's interest to have our energy industry owned by other countries.

        Mr. Rajotte drew his presentation to a close by making a few comments regarding aboriginal affairs, particularly regarding the Idle No More movement that recently created a short lived blockade on the QEII at Gateway Park. He pointed out that when people say the government hasn't done anything in years for the aboriginal people, he states this is incorrect. Citing over 30 reservation schools that have been built from the ground up, as well as over 200 that have been renovated in the last few years, hundreds of private homes that have been renovated and repaired, investment in over 700 business ventures, and the settlement of more than 80 land claims, he has to object to the claim that nothing has been done.  

        Mr. Rajotte said that in speaking with Clarence T. (Manny) Jules, former Chief of the Kamloops Indian Band, and a man who has dedicated his life to the betterment of First Nations People, it really stuck with him when Manny quoted Chief Joseph's famous words; "Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty." Manny then said to Mr. Rajotte, "We were free traders long before your people came to this country, and we need to return to that."

After sharing that experience Mr. Rajotte answered a few questions from the audience before returning to his seat with a loud round of applause following him.

        The luncheon came to a close with the ladies from the Chamber reminding everyone to vote online at the chamber website for their favourite customer service nominee to be honoured with the award for Service Excellence at the sold out Fire and Ice Gala taking place on February 23rd. The last day of voting is February 20th, and over 1000 votes have been received so far for the worthy nominees. 

        And as an early reminder, the March Chamber Luncheon will be taking place on Friday March 1st, so make sure you reserve your tickets early so you don't miss out!

Just Posted

(File photo from The Canadian Press)
Red Deer down to 66 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer has lowest number of active cases since last November

File photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal collision

One fatality in a serious collision on Highway 2A on June 18, 2021.

Participants in Rock Soup Food Bank’s fundraising drag race that took place on June 20, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ PipestoneFlyer.
Rock Soup Food Bank fundraises with literal drag race down main-street

Participants ran in drag down Wetaskiwin’s main street as a fundraiser for the food bank.

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

Most Read