Greetings Drayton Valley-Devon constituents; hoping everyone had an enjoyable Family Day weekend and were able to take in the festivities happening within the communities. It’s hard to believe February is already over, although it was short it sure was a busy month.
The month started off with an exciting event. I had the privilege of attending the swearing in ceremony of Jason Kenney into the Alberta Legislative Assembly. In order to hold a seat in the legislature one must be an elected MLA and on December 14, 2017 Jason Kenney won the by-election for the Calgary-Lougheed riding. It will be a pleasure having our leader of the UCP joining the spring legislature session, which starts back up on March 8th.
As shadow critic for Education I had the pleasure of attending the 60th anniversary of the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta in Calgary. This organization represents a significant number of families and students across the province that have chosen to send their children to an independent or private school. Congratulations!
I also met with education stakeholders from across the province listening to their concerns being brought to the table. Presently, I’m preparing to bring those concerns into the new session of legislature and to budget estimates. As well I met with representatives from the Wild Rose School Division to talk about the importance of public education and how it interfaces with the other educational systems of choice.
As part of my duties I sit on the Standing Committee on Families and Communities. We are presently reviewing the Missing Person’s Act. In this past fall session of legislature, my private member’s bill 210, the Silver Alert Amendment Act was passed. This Act allows police services to gather pertinent information needed to help find missing seniors and when necessary, uses the media like an Amber Alert. Senior’s groups attended the Families and Communities meeting to ask the committee to recommend the Silver Alert Amendment Act be proclaimed and therefore become part of the Missing Person’s Act.
Through out the month I received many invitations to meetings concerning the constituency. I was recently invited to attend the North Saskatchewan River Watershed Municipal Progress meeting, where I found out that although there are zones along the river still requiring improvement, the overall water quality of the river has improved to the point where we now have water quality equivalent to what it was like in the 1920’s! This is great news for all the communities situated along the North Saskatchewan River.
I also was invited to meet with representatives from Alberta Transportation to receive a technical briefing on the upcoming development of Hwy 19 going into Devon. Lastly I was invited to attend the Drayton Valley Physicians Recruitment dinner held to say thank-you to all those Doctors who serve our communities so well. Thank you for your continued dedication.
I continue to meet with a variety of constituents on issues from education to transportation and municipal policing. Recently I met with several municipal councilors to discuss RCMP funding for across the constituency.
I was fortunate to have met with members of the RYSE team who are working on gathering statistical data from young people in our community regarding stress and resiliency. This is an international study whose data will be used to inform communities on how best to help young people positively address stress in their lives. Anyone wanting to become involved in the study should contact Lola Strand, FCSS Coordinator @ 780-514-2204.
It is such a pleasure to be able to participate in local events within the constituency. Recently I was at the Sunnybrook Hall judging the Regional 4-H speech competition. There were some amazing young orators! Participants ranged from ages 9 and up. I also attended and had a great time at the Valentine’s Day Gala held to raise monies for the Eldorado School Playground. They have an ambitious project to replace playground equipment with new equipment, which will be all inclusive allowing all students, including those with mobility issues, to be able to play. Then I was off to Devon where I attended a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the John Maland High School band program. The band played throughout the evening showcasing their talent to all who attended. Check out the video on my Facebook page to hear them perform. www.facebook.com/MarkSmithAlberta/
Lastly, I had the honor of attending a ceremony honoring a Dutch-Canadian family who during WWII helped hide Jewish friends and neighbors from the occupying Nazi régime. The Israeli government honored this family. The ceremony reminded me that very ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things and in the process become bona fide heroes!
If you have any upcoming events you wish me to attend, or have issues or concerns, please contact my office 780-542-3355 in Drayton Valley, or 780-987-3666 in Devon. My door is always open.
Until next time
Mark Smith, MLA, Drayton Valley-Devon