Year in review: resilient in tough economic times

MLA Ron Orr reflects on the year 2016, looks ahead for 2017

Ron Orr

BY RON ORR

As job losses soar and the media continues to report on our economically beleaguered economy, I believe Central Albertans are more resilient than ever before, following a year of economic challenges.

It is easy to fall prey to a “doom and gloom” outlook, but this need not be the case. Tough economic times can help bring families together. Life’s crossroads despite the difficulties create opportunities for renewal.

Although the price of everything is now more expensive, many hard working Albertans are putting in extra time at work and cutting back spending to support others in their communities. Thank you to the 200 volunteers who donated over 4000 hours of their time for Habitat for Humanity families to have a place to call home in Lacombe. The choices we make can either help us grow and improve or stifle and knock us down.

The outpouring of support and generosity for the victims of the Fort McMurray Wildfire was nothing short of overwhelming. Central Albertans played a significant role during the largest evacuation in Alberta’s history. You opened up your homes to displaced families, gathering enough food to fill a semi within 12 hours. All spontaneous, without government help.

Nobody wants false optimism. And I will never pretend there are short-cuts to success, but economic success will come with the right ideas, the right approach and the right leadership. A Wildrose vision of leadership includes you, working in the best interest of Albertans, unline an NDP Government that makes decisions behind closed doors without consulting you, the taxpayer.

Over the past year, your official opposition provided dynamic opposition to various pieces of legislation including the carbon tax. Unfortunately, amendments to the bill were rejected. I grieve with the people who come to my office who have lost virtually everything, including hope and trust in a government that promised to care for them. Please help us repeal the tax by defeating the NDP Government in 27 months.

In April, the NDP Government delivered a budget posting a record 10.4 billion dollar deficit spending. The excessive debt will entangle us for years, with high interest payments, already at 1 billion a year and rising. The Government needs to cut spending.

In December, new documents obtained by your official opposition revealed that NDP Government interference with the independent body managing the electricity balancing pool will cost Albertans millions of dollars. The Auditor General has been asked to investigate.

Alberta’s Bill 6 taught the NDP a lesson on communicating with farmers. A year after the contentious Bill 6 we still have not seen the regulations that people need to comply shaky ground indeed.

I was pleased to help lead the voice for change in the children-in-care system. By initiating an emergency debate, your official opposition spent weeks calling for the implementation of past recommendations, and for an all-party committee to the review the matter. After much opposition and media pressure, the government agreed to a united, four-party strategy to review the program.

Serving the public is a privilege that I take very seriously. Are you passionate about building a strong, better Alberta? If so, I need your help.

I challenge you to become champions of optimism to move from a state of reaction to deliberate action. Become the change that you dream of. Write your MLA or Minister, organize a meeting and invite me to come hear what you have to say.

Together we can defeat the ideology of a government that is damaging the Alberta economy. As compassionate self-reliant Albertans you have demonstrated time and time again your resilience in adversity.

If you have issues or concerns you would like to discuss with me, please feel free to contact me at the constituency office- 403 782 7725 or by mail #101 4892 46 Street, Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4 or email at Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca.

 

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