By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on August 9, 2019.
This month’s ‘At The Legislature’ column by MLA Nathan Neudorf
Now that we’ve reached August and I have approximately four months of experience including both critical roles of an MLA – time in the Legislature as well as time in the constituency – I would like to share a little of the work that goes on “behind the scenes.”
Lethbridge is a fairly quiet city, now the third largest in the province. We share a great place to live, raise a family and have a career, but we have our challenges as well.
Earlier this summer, we hosted the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Jason Luan, in town for a day to address one of our most pressing needs, the supervised consumption site (SCS). We met with business owners, private citizens, First Nations representatives, city council, and toured the Lethbridge Arches facility to see and hear their experiences first hand, directly from the people impacted. All of these meetings are incredibly valuable and need to happen, but take numerous hours to organize and schedule weeks in advance or co-ordinate effectively.
The SCS is a hot-button issue and point of discussion for many citizens, but I would also like to draw attention to other critical decisions that need to be addressed in as well.
Working together with the City we have also met with the ministers of Transportation, Infrastructure and Municipal Affairs to discuss items that have the potential to enhance travel, trade and taxes in Lethbridge.
We are also already planning and having meetings with the ministers of Agriculture & Forestry, Indigenous Relations, Environment & Parks, Culture, Multiculturalism & Status of Women, Labour & Immigration, Seniors & Housing, as well as the Ministers of Health and Economic Development Trade & Tourism. It has been and will continue to be an incredibly busy summer as I work hard to represent you.
Some of these meetings will bring immediate positive changes to Lethbridge, while some will be decided in the future, but all serve to highlight our key priorities and our needs as citizens of Lethbridge. Connecting local decision-makers and citizens with ministers through these meetings ensures that we can actively and practically work towards the best possible outcomes for Lethbridge and all Albertans.
Lethbridge has a strong history and a “can-do” attitude, and we are familiar with having to be resourceful and innovative. This gives us the ability to be leaders in Alberta during a time where being efficient, careful and getting the best return possible for our resources at hand make us an example for others in our province to turn to.
I’m extremely proud of Lethbridge and honoured to serve Lethbridge-East. Making sure that our voice is heard by over a dozen ministries in our first summer is an achievement I think you needed to know about. Not everything that we do in Lethbridge makes headline news, but there certainly is a lot going on “behind the scenes.”
Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East. His column appears monthly.