Posted on Aug 26, 2016

Busy Legislative Assembly

This week, I was reminded that summer is coming to a close for our K-12 and post-secondary students. In Sherwood Park, we are welcoming a new school, Claudette et Denis Tardiff Ecole, which is located in the same location as New Horizon Charter School.

Like many in the community, I have been watching the construction of the new playground at Westboro Elementary School, and look forward to seeing its completion and use by children of all ages and abilities. This playground is a wonderful example of how community can get together to support children. The parent committee did an amazing job of raising substantial funds before they approached the provincial government for the remaining funds to complete their project.

Five of our schools (Mills Haven, St. Theresa, Woodridge Farms, Bev Facey, and Strathcona Christian Academy) have received a BP A+ for Energy award to support innovative, responsible energy programing in their schools. Congratulations to teachers David Cook, Pia Jampen, Amy Wait, Kurt Davison, Mike Miskiw, Matthias Cheung, Marie Berg and Lynnette Newton for your leadership in your school and community. I look forward to seeing the project completed and to learning from the work of students in these schools.

I have been hearing from home-schooling parents concerned about rumored changes in their funding. I would like to assure all home-schoolers in Strathcona County that there has been no change in the funding for home education students. The government continues to value and support diverse choices in education. All students have equal access to the high standard of education set by Alberta Education.

Congratulations to Michael Nunes, a student at Strathcona Christian Academy, who is the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Young Composer. The premiere of his work, “Egyptian Reverie,” will be featured at the ESO concert at Hawrelak Park this Sunday, Aug. 28. Michael performed at this year’s Sherwood Park Music Festival and with the Wye String Orchestra in their spring performance.

Legislative assembly

The Select Special Ethics and Accountability Committee of the Legislative Assembly has been meeting throughout the summer to review the Election Act, the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, the Conflicts of Interest Act, and the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act. This all-party committee consist of 17 Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The work of this committee will be compiled into a report that will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly. The committee has discussed a number of potential changes to the above legislations, including limits on campaign spending, and a campaign spending rebate. Before any of the changes recommended by the committee could become law, they would be introduced in a government bill and voted on by the assembly. I welcome any opportunity to discuss the work of the committee or any suggestions/ideas that constituents have.

The provincial government is currently working with Volunteer Alberta. At issue is the development of a new program to address the screening of volunteers working with youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable Albertans. This program will continue to subsidize the costs of Volunteer Screening Checks by police agencies for Alberta non-profit organizations. It will also provide enhanced education and training resources, and materials to better support the full management of those who volunteer, be they coaches, board members, managers or mentors. A cost-efficient and thorough screening program is important to support organizations using volunteers.

Olympics

Over the past two weeks, we applauded and celebrated our Canadian athletes for their performances at the Summer Olympics. The canadian wrestling Olympic trials were held in Strathcona County this past December, with support from the provincial government. One of the athletes we watched, Erica Wiebe, won an Olympic gold medal. Starting on Sept. 7, we will have the opportunity to cheer Chantal Givens, a Bev Facey grad, as she competes in the triathlon at the Paralympics.

Wishing teachers and students a wonderful beginning to the school year. Please remember to observe the speed limits near schools. Happy Labour Day!