Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, is a country boy at heart. Although quite natural and comfortable in a suit and tie when on government business, it’s events like a visit to the Lakedell Ag Society Farmers Market on August 29th, 2014 outfitted in cowboy boots and blue jeans where he looks ‘right at home’.
Jim Stevens, Director, Lakedell Ag Society describes the recent visit. “Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins visited the Lakedell Agricultural Society Farmers Market to meet with Ag Society representatives, vendors and market customers. Accompanying Blaine was Kathy Rooyakkers, Reeve of the County of Wetaskiwin.
The visit marks the completion of the renovation of the small hall kitchen co-funded by the Government of Canada and the County of Wetaskiwin. On hand to host Mr. Calkins and Ms. Rooyakkers were Asa Yngvesson, Farmers Market Manager and Lakedell Director Jim Stevens who oversaw the completion of the renovation. The kitchen is an important component in a facility which is home to the Farmers Market, the Lakedell Curling Club, the Pigeon Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Pigeon Lake Lions. The small hall is also used for family reunions ag and other smaller group meetings and events.”
During his first stop at the Lakedell Ag Society hall, Calkins shared his feelings about rural Alberta. “It’s absolutely fantastic to see this particular facility (Lakedell Ag Society Hall, arena, curling rink and Hall B) as it’s the centre of the community and the lifeblood of the surrounding area as far as keeping the community together. So, for small rural communities and the rural way of life we need to pay attention and focus on the community and make sure we have facilities such as this. In addition to the larger centres such as Wetaskiwin, Lacombe and Ponoka we also need to pay attention to facilities in the countryside. And that’s what I try to do as your Member of Parliament.”
He also looks quite at home and perhaps even more comfortable rubbing shoulders with the rural people who make up rural communities throughout his constituency. MP Calkins has a history of being very supportive of rural Alberta.
During the day, Calkins made four organizations very happy. “I am proud to see rural communities benefit from our Government’s support for local infrastructure,” said MP Calkins. “This investment will help create jobs, growth and will support the prosperity of the community for years to come.”
“Our Government is pleased to support projects that leave a lasting legacy of improved infrastructure in communities across Canada,” said MP Calkins. “Today’s investment in the Lakedell Agricultural Society ensures that local Westerose and rural area families will continue to enjoy the events hosted at this facility for years to come.”
The Harper Government’s investment of $18,675 supports improvements to the Lakedell Agricultural Society’s Complex in Westerose. The kitchen in the curling rink/hall facility will receive several upgrades, such as the installation of new fire suppression equipment, a commercial range, exhaust hood and dishwasher.