MP listens to citizens’ concerns in Stettler

Sharing the vision – Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson (from left) listens to issues and concerns from local residents Edgar Scheerschmidt and Ron Potter during the MP’s visit to Stettler on Feb. 10.

Sharing the vision – Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson (from left) listens to issues and concerns from local residents Edgar Scheerschmidt and Ron Potter during the MP’s visit to Stettler on Feb. 10.

Agriculture, economy and health care were among main issues raised by residents as federal Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson stopped in Stettler on Feb. 10.

Just two residents showed up for the community discussion as Sorenson continued his tour of his vast rural constituency to give citizens opportunity to share concerns and issues as the government prepares to present the new budget in March.

“I take this as a warm welcome in Stettler” said Sorenson, who has served the area since 2000 as an MP of the caucus of the ruling Progressive Conservative Party.

Opening up borders to Canadian beef and expanding markets worldwide is a top priority for the government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he said.

“We can be confident about moving more beef into China,” said Sorenson.

“We want more access to markets and the prime minister is leading the charge.”

“Trade is the lifeblood of our economy.”

Agricultural struggles have been a prime issue as he tours the region.

“We have had quite a few people telling their concerns and ideas about agriculture and drought,” said Sorenson.

However, all the policies and programs are not solely with the federal government.

“We want to work with the province more on these agricultural issues,” said Sorenson.

Steps to create jobs and build infrastructure continues to be a priority for the federal government to help the country recover from the economic recession, Sorenson explained.

“We want to create jobs and complete infrastructure projects,” he said, noting that costs of projects are historically more economical during a downturn in the economy with bids by contractors significantly lower.

He further admitted that the government needed to promote the tax-free savings account more and to teach people how to better handle their finances to strengthen the economic and financial bases.

Although the prime minister prorogued the House of Commons last month until after the Olympics in Vancouver in March, Sorenson said all MPs continued to work diligently to serve the nation.

“We’re very busy,” said Sorenson, noting that prorogation has occurred over 160 times in Canadian history although the issue is currently getting more exposure because of a vocal opposition and a growing network of media.