Posted on Oct 24, 2017

Thumbs up to Small Businesses

At the 2017 Chamber of Commerce Business Awards with Don Neil: Young Entrepreneurial Award winner Kris Kasawski from Park Power Ltd.

Congratulations to everyone who put their name forward as a candidate in the municipal and school trustee election. As I know well, deciding to run and to engage with the electorate requires a great deal of interest in the community, and plenty of guts and commitment. Democracy always wins when there are good debates and engagement from the community. Kudos to the Chamber of Commerce for extremely well-run forums, and to the Sherwood Park News for their thorough coverage.

I look forward to working with Mayor Rod Frank, returning councillors Linton Delainey, Brian Botterill, Dave Anderson and Paul Smith, and new councillors Robert Parks, Katie Berghofer, Bill Tonita, and Glen Lawrence.

As the Act to Strengthen Municipal Government (Bill 8) comes into effect, there will be lots of opportunities to work with council on how these regulations impact and/or benefit Strathcona County.

I had the opportunity to work with Roxanne Carr as a councillor and then as mayor. Roxanne is passionate about our community, and I have valued her support for neighbourhood community development initiatives. She has also provided leadership in many areas, including the Industrial Heartland, the Capital Region Growth Management Committee, and in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. Thank you, Roxanne, for your leadership in Strathcona County.

Trusteeship is an important component of our education governance, and I would like to congratulate trustees for Elk Island public and Catholic boards, and for the Conseil Francophone Centre-Nord.

Small Business Week
This week is Small Business Week, which reminds us of the impact small businesses have in our community in terms of jobs and the economy. Recently, there has been good news for retail sales, private investments, exports sales and agriculture. Many of these good indicators came from the investment and entrepreneurship efforts of small businesses. The government has a number of initiatives that are focused on small businesses (www.smallbusiness.alberta.ca).

My colleague MLA Jessica Littlewood, who shares Strathcona County with MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas and myself ,has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, with responsibility for small businesses. I look forward to working with her and Minister Deron Bilous in supporting businesses in our community. I also appreciate the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and Strathcona County Economic Development and Tourism to promote local small businesses, and support their growth and development. Congratulations to businesses who were nominated for the Business Awards. I enjoy discovering innovative local businesses and learning more about how these businesses contribute to our community.

I would like to remind Sherwood Park residents of two important consultations — the one on regulations for Condominium (www.alberta.ca/condominium-consultation.aspx) and the Cannabis Legislation (www.alberta.ca/cannabis-legalization.aspx.). Please make sure that you provide feedback to the government on these issues, as your views are important in the decision-making process.

Luke Jansen
The community lost an amazing young man last week with the death of Luke Jansen.

I remember first meeting Luke when he worked as an intern at Strathcona County, and then later listened to him perform music at Folkfest and Festival Place. My sincere and deep condolences to his family and friends.

Celebrations
This past week South Asian communities in Sherwood Park and throughout the capital region celebrated Diwali (Hindu) and Bandi Chhlor Divas (Sikh). Both festivals are full of lights, dancing, food and joy. My best wishes to everyone celebrating these festivals.