Posted on Jul 15, 2016

Support for Local Organizations

In recent weeks, I have attended the annual general meetings of several local community associations. I, or my constituency staff, have been to the County Clothes-Line, Robin Hood Association, Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton Community Foundation, and the Information and Volunteer Centre, just to name a few. At an annual general meeting, I get a snapshot of an organization, meet the board of directors (past and present), connect with staff and volunteers, and learn about strategic directions, financial health and future plans. As an MLA, it also gives me an opportunity to see how provincial government funding has helped the organization achieve its goals and dreams. Community organizations count on community support and it has been heartening to me to see how much individuals and businesses continue to ensure that important programs in our community are maintained and that needs are met. The more I know about what is happening in this community, the better I can represent you all in the legislature. Thank you for welcoming me to your AGMs.

The Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) students are now well into their job placements. This program was launched in January and now more than 3,000 summer positions are funded. It encourages employers to hire students for summer jobs by providing a $7/hour wage subsidy. A broad range of organizations have benefitted and many students found employment who otherwise may not have. I had the pleasure to visit with a number of these students working in Sherwood Park. Thank you to those employers who, summer after summer, provide valuable job training opportunities to our high school and post-secondary students.

The provincial government Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) officially launched last week in Sherwood Park. Minister of Housing and Seniors Lori Sigurdson launched the program. She did so from the home of a couple who, through this program, will be able to remain in their home after modifications have made it more accessible. The program provides low-interest, home equity loans to eligible senior homeowners in order to finance repairs or adaptations that will help them stay in their homes longer. The loans can be used for roofing, widening hallways, adapting bathrooms, etc. If you would like more information on this program or on any other provincial program, please contact my constituency office.

I have spent part of this week with my caucus colleagues in Calgary supporting the business and community groups at Stampede activities. There are always a number of important business conferences during the Stampede, and I was able to catch up with many of the companies working in our region.

Last week, a new plant was opened up in the Industrial Heartland by Air Products to supply the Shell Refinery with their hydrogen. It is always a pleasure to see how companies are working together to maximize the impact of the region’s industrial investments.

My latest constituency newsletter should be in your mailbox this week or next. It provides a snapshot of what I do to represent you in the Legislative Assembly and in Sherwood Park.

Wishing everyone a restful summer and time with family and friends. Please be safe on the roads, lakes, and in whatever summer activities you engage in.