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26 July 2015

A Week in the Life of an MLA

It’s been another busy week of very rewarding constituency work and I thought I’d give you a summary of a week in the summertime life of an MLA. Most meetings are a team effort where one or both of the two remarkable Calgary-Elbow constituency staff Jodi and Simone will join me. A lot of the work that goes on in the office involves advocating for our constituents on a wide range of local issues, so having great people on the team who understand the constituency is critical to our success.

The week kicked off meeting with representatives of the SAIT and ACAD Students Associations (I met with U of C and MRU reps last week). We talked about the challenges of student debt, how to improve access to post-secondary education and spent a lot of time talking about mental health on campus. There is a three-year program called the Alberta Colleges Mental Health Initiative that has been very effective at allowing Students Associations across the province to start addressing mental wellness. The program runs out this year and I promised to advocate for the renewal and possible expansion of the program beyond this year.

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16 July 2015

If the Premier won't stand up for Alberta, who will?

This week we have the curious situation of the Premier of Saskatchewan standing up for Alberta. When Brad Wall called out our Premier for effectively giving Quebec a veto over oil shipments, it calls into question who will stand up for our province if not our own Premier. 

Let's say the government of Alberta didn’t like Quebec's land use framework for new hydroelectric dams, and because of this we won't allow trains coming across our province to carry Quebec aerospace technology, dairy exports, or pharmaceutical products.

That would be a ridiculous position and the Premier of Quebec would rightly be up in arms.

Quebec's seven conditions for allowing (or vetoing) a pipeline that is in Canada's national interest is the same.  Interprovincial pipeline projects follow a clear federal regulatory processes. If that process is followed I expect Energy East pipeline will go ahead. With or without Quebec's approval. 

I worry our Premier is ceding Alberta’s position on the national stage by bowing to other interests rather than defending Alberta.

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25 June 2015

Why I Couldn't Support the NDP Tax Increase

The following are Greg Clark’s comments from the Alberta Legislature on Bill 2, which would increase corporate taxes 2%.  

 

"Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I believe in a progressive income tax. I also believe that large corporations can and should pay more, and I believe that Albertans are willing to pay fair value for efficient, high-quality public services. That, I think, defines modern Alberta, but we’ve missed the balance here. I believe five brackets of personal income tax are too many. I believe a 50 per cent increase in the top marginal tax rate for individual earners is too high. I think a 2 per cent increase to corporate taxes eliminates Alberta’s low tax advantage and creates a risk of capital flight to other provinces.

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18 June 2015

Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark Sends Ramadan Greetings

Today, Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark issued the following statement marking the beginning of Ramadan:

“Today marks the first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, the time in which it is believed that the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad occurred. Ramadan is considered the holiest month for Muslim across the globe, and it provides a time for worship, devotion, charity, and fasting – as well as a time for Muslims to connect with their families and communities who share their faith.”

“I am proud to recognize the importance of this time for Albertan Muslims, and I offer my best wishes during this holy period. Ramadan Mubarak.”

15 June 2015

Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark shares initial views on NDP Speech from the Throne

Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark is glad to see a commitment to cooperation coming from the governing party following Monday’s Speech from the Throne. “I appreciated the government giving opposition parties a preview of the throne speech, and I’m glad to see movements towards multipartisan efforts with the new Special Legislative Committee to protect and review democracy, as well as the bipartisan mental health review led by Dr. David Swann,” said Clark. “This sets the right tone and if it continues I’m optimistic the Legislature will be more effective.”

However, Clark said the Speech from the Throne was noteworthy as much for what it didn’t contain, as for what it did. 

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