By Letter to the Editor on January 23, 2020.
I read Tim Kalinowski’s article in The Herald on Jan. 17 with utter dismay, sadness and yes, some anger. I felt these things because the City should not have to hire a lobbyist to lobby the provincial government on behalf of our city. I am not upset with the City that they feel they should have to do this; they just shouldn’t be in this position. We have a government member, Nathan Neudorf, the MLA for Lethbridge-East and that is his job!
I can speak to this from personal experience. For the previous four years, this is what I did, along with my colleague, Shannon Phillips, MLA for Lethbridge-West. When Shannon couldn’t be at one of those meetings because of her ministerial duties, I took those meetings and shared that information with her. We met with the mayor and council on a fairly regular basis to discuss the needs of the city, its strategic plans and any unforeseen issues that required provincial support such as the rerouting of the irrigation canals for the Sherring Industrial Park.
I lobbied our caucus for support of those things; I lobbied individual ministries and Premier Notley. Shannon lobbied Cabinet and Premier Notley. I met with constituents and many, many groups in our city about their issues. Some of those issues required both the City and the province to work together to resolve them. We worked on them together. I met with our mayor and other mayors and reeves from across southern Alberta almost every month to discuss issues that affected Lethbridge and other municipalities.
All of those issues which were discussed were brought to the identified ministries as needed and assistance was provided whenever possible. That is the job as a government MLA, to represent and advocate for their constituency. During the previous four years the City did not need to hire a lobbyist to do that job; I did it because that was what I was elected to do!
I ask MLA Neudorf to do his job to represent and advocate for this city and its constituents. The City should not be forced to hire someone else to lobby on our behalf (paid for through our municipal taxes); that is your job, MLA Neudorf – do your job!