When the legislature reconvened after the historic Alberta provincial floor-crossing event in December, 2014, I had the opportunity to introduce our son Jay to the assembly. As a then-24 year old young man, he had previously advised me that, “If you cross the floor Dad, we won’t even be able to go to a farm auction without taking static!” A short while later, when introducing him to my legislative colleagues in the house, I felt it important to comment that “This young gentleman at 24 years old knows the value of a verbal contract.” It’s the moral code that most rural Albertans live by.
Something our son realized even then was that when a political candidate is successful in their campaign to get elected, they have made a verbal contract to represent the best interests of the residents of their constituency. In an effort to determine what those best interests are, the information needs to be compiled. It has always been my belief that as an MLA, the verbal contract I entered into also carries a moral obligation and serious responsibility.
The United Conservative Party will be developing their founding policies over the next months and the best interests of all Albertans will be considered in their development. It’s a process that UCP leader Jason Kenney has ensured is open to all members that wish to participate. A grassroots promise he campaigned on. An important part of my moral responsibility as an MLA is to advocate party lines and put the best interests of all Albertans first, individually as well as collectively. Advocating for all Albertans is something that my colleagues and I in the UCP caucus understand deserves to be taken up earnestly and honestly with an emphasis being put on democracy.
The passing of legislation and the creation of new regulations directly impacts every resident of Alberta. Every day that I enter the chamber, I feel privileged and proud to represent Drumheller-Stettler in the legislature. In order to represent you, we need to hear from you. Whether you’re concerned with how the cost of the carbon tax affects your family income, or unintended negative consequences of Bill 6 on your agriculture operation; or perhaps the condition of Alberta health care delivery is your priority, regardless, it’s important that you let us know.
It is an extraordinary responsibility to represent this diverse constituency, in order to fulfill the verbal contract I entered into with the constituents of Drumheller Stettler, I am requesting your input.
It’s a New Year and we have new innovative ways to create policies and a platform in front of us. Figuratively, let’s start this year off with a bang, or an email, letter, or a phone call.
Please forward your concerns By email to Drumheller.Stettler@assembly.ab.ca, By mail to Box 1929, Drumheller, Ab, T0J 0Y0, By phone; Drumheller, 403-823-8181, Stettler 403-742-4284, Hanna 403-854-4333.