September 21st, 2017

It’s a big week for Alberta seniors


By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on June 9, 2017.

I begin today’s column by wishing all of our seniors a very happy and productive seniors’ week. There are many activities happening at both seniors’ centres this week and winding down Saturday. I hope that if you are a senior you have registered for the Seniors Wellness Day, happening at Nord-Bridge Senior Citizens Association, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Alberta Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson will be in town today and Saturday, and will make an appearance at Nordbridge on Saturday morning. Another big event this month at Nord-Bridge will be the Father’s Day lunch on June 16. I hope you have your tickets!

Saturday afternoon my colleague Brian Malkinson, MLA for Calgary-Currie, will be in Lethbridge to host consultations on a potential private member’s bill regarding Henson trusts. A Henson trust, or “absolute discretionary trust,” is a type of trust designed to protect the assets (typically an inheritance) of persons with disabilities, and ensures that those assets cannot be used to deny means-tested government benefits. I thank MLA Malkinson for his interest on this subject and for his efforts to consult with Albertans and bring the awareness of the public to this issue.

The Lethbridge Henson Trust Consultation meeting will be held at the Fritz Sick Centre (Lethbridge Seniors Citizens Organization) Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Please RVSP to Calgary.currie@assembly.ab.ca if you plan to attend.

Are you a cyclist? Do you know there is going to be a new bike path joining Lethbridge and Coaldale – it is called the Link Pathway and will be part of the Trans Canada Trail. Did you know you could actually be part of it? I am going to purchase a metre of the trail to represent my family.

Spring session in the Legislature concluded at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday this week after a very productive few months of moving the legislative agenda forward to make life better for Albertans. I invite you to have a look at Hansard or listen to the recorded sessions at http://www.assembly.ab.ca/. You can listen to the debate on bills or the recorded question periods as well as find information on the statue of bills and current events happening on the legislature grounds.

Wednesday the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future met to review Private Member Bill 203 (Alberta Standards Time Act) and was brought forward by MLA Thomas Dang and, as I mentioned last month, many Albertans have expressed a desire to change the clocks no more.

We as a committee will be reviewing what Albertans from the north, east, south and west have to say. Here is the link to have your say: https://albertandpcaucus.ca/dst. I encourage you to go to the website to provide your written submissions. If you do not have access to a computer, check out the public library or bring them to my office.

As I mentioned last month, the other active part of my portfolio is that of being a member of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention. The Phase 2 meetings which focus on reviewing legislation, policies and current practices literature, as well as relevant data and past recommendations, are well underway.

I will be heading back to Edmonton on Sunday, following a brief stop in Red Deer to drop into the opening ceremonies of the fire chiefs’ conference, for four days of meetings with the panel. So far there have been some incredible presentations and, like Phase 1, these have been challenging and emotional. A reminder that the next in the series of ethnic culinary delights at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association is Cool Running: A Caribbean Cookout on June 23 starting at 6 p.m.

My office is located at 543 13 St. S.; please stop in for a visit over the summer during our summer walk-in hours Monday-Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., or you can make an appointment to come in to talk to me or one of my staff by calling 403-320-1011 or by emailing lethbridge.east@assembly.ab.ca.

Maria Fitzpatrick is the NDP MLA for Lethbridge East. Her column appears monthly.


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