Skip to content

MLA Rick Wilson on Alberta Day celebrations and more


On Sept. 1, 1905, Alberta was established as a province through the Alberta Act. The inauguration was hosted in Edmonton, where approximately 20,000 people attended - an astounding number, since the most current census at that time counted the population of the city at 4,176! Last year, the Government of Alberta started a new annual tradition by declaring September 1 as Alberta Day in perpetuity. Recognizing Alberta Day gives people the chance to come together and celebrate everything that makes Alberta special. It is an opportunity to appreciate our history, heritage, and cultural identity.

Alberta Day celebrations will be hosted this year on Saturday, September 2, at the Legislature Grounds in Edmonton and Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary. Events will take place at both locations throughout the day from 11:00 am to 9:15 pm. These celebrations will be free, family-friendly, and will feature Albertan performers, vendors and more. You are invited to take in these festivities!

Here’s some interesting trivia about our province – did you know that the very first meeting of the Alberta Legislature in 1905 was held in a hockey rink! The first two sessions after that were held on the third floor of McKay Avenue School in Edmonton. Alberta’s Legislature Building was built on the original site of Fort Edmonton and wasn’t ready for session until 1912. The original mace – the ceremonial staff the Sergeant-at-Arms carries into the Chamber at the beginning of each sitting – was used in the Legislature for 50 years until it was replaced in 1956. You’d never guess that it was made from pieces of scrap metal, including a plumbing pipe, a toilet tank float, shaving mug handles and pieces of a bed frame! The current mace is studded with gems that form an acronym of Alberta: Amethyst, Lazurite, Bloodstone, Emerald, Ruby, Topaz, and Agate.

This Alberta Day please take a moment to recognize where we’ve been as a province, where we are, and where we’re headed. Let’s celebrate how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful province, made up of communities filled with amazing and inspiring people, working, and volunteering to make our lives better!

September 1 is also the day that new rules go into effect to help protect all roadside workers. Currently, only tow truck drivers and first responders are protected under the Traffic Safety Act, but on September 1, all roadside workers stopped on the side of the road with their lights flashing, including highway maintenance workers, snowplow operators and others, will be covered by these protections. Drivers in the lane closest to any roadside worker vehicle stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing must slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower. Drivers must also move over to the far lane if it’s safe to do so and take reasonable steps to allow other drivers to move over as well. Slowing down and moving over for all roadside workers will keep everyone safe and ensure traffic continues to flow efficiently.

Did you know that Alberta Health Services (AHS) continues to provide virtual wellness workshops? Wellness Exchange is a series of skill-building workshops designed to help increase our ability to cope with change, build resilience, and improve our overall well-being. These online workshops are free, can be accessed online via smartphone, tablet, or computer, and are available to Albertans. Topics include problem-solving, positive activities, managing reactions, helpful thinking, and healthy connections. For more information or to register, check out:

AHS began a pilot project in June 2022 in Northern Alberta called the Indigenous Support Line. It was staffed by Indigenous Health Link Staff, who answered callers’ questions, helped them access culturally appropriate care and support, and assisted them with navigating the healthcare system. Since that time, staff have taken more than 2000 calls. In follow-up surveys with clients who used the line, every respondent said they felt respected and supported by the person who assisted them, and more than 97 per cent said they would use the line again and would recommend it to their friends and family. Based on that success, I am happy to let you know that AHS’s Indigenous Support Line has been expanded to include callers from central Alberta! The line is available weekdays from noon to 8 pm, and can be reached by calling 1-844-944-4744 or by dialing 811, #2, #7. Clients can call at any point in their healthcare journey with questions or concerns.

The City of Wetaskiwin ran a byelection to fill a vacant council seat last week. Six brave residents put their names forward for public office and I would like to thank each of them for having the courage to offer themselves up in service to their community. And thank you to the residents of Wetaskiwin who made their way to polling stations and took part in the democratic process. Democracy only works when folks participate! Congratulations to Joe Branco, Wetaskiwin’s newest Councillor! I wish you every success as you take on this role as an elected representative of your community.

It’s that time of year again when families are gearing up for the new schedules that come with fall and school and extra-curricular activities. Some young adults are starting post-secondary studies, or beginning careers, or sorting out how they want their lives to go. It’s a busy and exciting time! My best wishes to all of you as you begin this new chapter.

Hon. Rick Wilson is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin. His constituency office can be reached by calling 780-360-8003 or by emailing