31 July 2015
It was another week spent mainly in and around Calgary-Elbow, and because we’re headed into a long weekend I’ll keep this brief and share a few highlights.
Early in the week I focused on discussions about energy and environment. I met with stakeholders from the energy industry and also had productive discussions with NGOs and others representing environmental groups. I believe Alberta already does a good job of managing environmental impacts from energy production, but we can and must do more. I have long argued that addressing carbon emissions from large-scale industrial processes is not only an obligation, but an opportunity for targeted economic diversification our province. The good news is much work is already being done to reduce carbon emissions by industry and Alberta universities, but success at doing so must not be a prerequisite for pipeline approvals.
This will continue to be a focus area for me going forward and as with all issues I welcome your input and feedback.
30 July 2015
Calgary (July 30 2015): The Disaster Recovery Program was $413 million under budget last year, giving the province ample room to fund the worst snow disaster in Calgary’s history, says Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark.
“The 2014/2015 Municipal Affairs Annual Report shows the Disaster Recovery Program was underspent by $413 Million last year,” said Clark. “There is more than enough room to provide support to cities when significant disasters occur.
“And make no mistake, this was a disaster. The City of Calgary opened the Emergency Operations Centre, which is the very definition of a disaster.”
Clark noted that more than half the reported surplus comes from unspent flood money.
“In addition to the $413 that went unspent on DRP there was $200 million allocated to flood mitigation that was also not spent.”
“Anyone who was in Calgary during the September snowstorm knows this was a disaster. The province should pay its share.”
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Alberta Party Caucus
26 July 2015
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.
16 July 2015
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.
29 June 2015
Congratulations to our leader Greg Clark, named on of Alberta's 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture Magazine!
Read the profile on Greg here.
25 June 2015
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.
18 June 2015
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 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.
09 June 2015
Today, Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark released the following statement on the tragic loss of Constable Woodall:
No one should have to experience what Const. Daniel Woodall, his family, and his law enforcement family have gone through. This is indeed, as Police Chief Knecht describes, a tragedy of unspeakable proportions. We must honour the courage and hard work shown by all first responders, and always remember the significant risks they take despite the danger and uncertainty.
Edmonton has lost one of her best and bravest, and his sacrifice will be remembered by all. We are forever in debt to those who strive to keep us safe, to safeguard our way of life, and who face danger every day in order to protect our community.
As a province and as a community, we must come together to help his family and young children through this terrible tragedy.
Finally, I wish Sergeant Jason Harley a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained from the incident.
Our thoughts are with Const. Woodall’s family, and with all those who serve with the Edmonton Police Service.
02 June 2015
The release of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission report is a chance for all Canadians to join together and fully support Aboriginal Communities in Alberta and Canada. I agree with the findings of this report. Our country participated in a cultural genocide against First Nations. By acknowledging this painful truth, the healing process can begin.
The release of this report is not the end. It allows the healing process to begin. It is the first step of for all Canadians to learn about the horrible injustices of the past, to learn about what happened, to understand what happened and why.
The reconciliation must continue but it needs to be done as a partnership, working together with aboriginal communities.
We cannot let this report like many others before it gather dust on a shelf and we cannot afford to do nothing.