By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on December 13, 2019.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Legislature adjourned for the holidays. Our government has been working incredibly hard for you and your family, and I wanted to update you on some of the accomplishments that have happened throughout the last two sittings of the Assembly.
This was a year of transformative change for Alberta, and I am proud to have helped champion much of that change for our city and our province. Albertans resoundingly ushered in a “Spring of Renewal” through electing our government back in April. Our very first order of business, and a top concern of yours, was to scrap the provincial carbon tax and begin the work of getting Albertans back on jobsites and working on projects in every community across our province.
From there, we entered a whirlwind first sitting where we put forward legislation that would make life easier for you and your families. We know that every single dollar that is invested into public services and public goods must be spent with the utmost discrepancy. That’s why we passed legislation such as the job creation tax cut to bring investment back into this province, and put forth initiatives that will cut red tape and ensure that dollars spent are proportional to positive outcomes in our public sector.
Our government fought for you by staying the course through record-breaking filibusters and working at full tilt to turn this province around and get Alberta open for business. Some personal highlights of this past summer are celebrating Cavendish Farms’ historic investment in Lethbridge’s agri-food economy, welcoming 20 cabinet ministers to Lethbridge throughout August and September, as well as hosting the premier for the grand opening of the U of L Science Commons at the start of the fall.
In October, we commenced our second sitting of this year, beginning with the introduction of our first budget. Budget 2019 is a thoughtful plan that charts Alberta’s way back to balance while maintaining supports for our public and social services, and investing in new infrastructure, such as schools and health-care facilities. We have made strides towards fiscal stability after decades of increased spending.
Taking a measured approach to public spending has allowed us to make necessary reductions needed to balance our books, while protecting the services and programs that Albertans care about most. We maintained spending in health care and education, while increasing funds to seniors, social and children’s services.
We have seen the green shoots of investment, too, throughout our fall sitting. I am happy to report that on Dec. 3, construction finally began on the Trans Mountain expansion project just outside of Edmonton. While construction is far from complete, this is a milestone worth celebrating. This past week also saw a portion of Enbridge’s Line 3 become operational. Along with other enhancements to the Enbridge Mainline system, Line 3 will increase Alberta’s takeaway capacity by roughly 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
Even through a busy budget cycle and fall sitting, I had the privilege of welcoming Team Lethbridge to the Alberta Legislature, attending events that honoured our veterans, seniors and the many diverse communities who have become pillars of our city, and have made the most of every opportunity I could to advocate for you.
It has been over seven months since Albertans elected us with the largest democratic mandate in Alberta’s history, and 162 out of our 375 platform commitments have already been met or are well underway. We are accomplishing what Albertans elected us to do, and I am thankful to be a part of the work that is well underway in getting Alberta back on track.
It’s always a pleasure and a privilege to serve as your voice in the Legislature. After a lengthy and productive session, I am looking forward to spending time with constituents, friends and family in the coming weeks as we head into the holidays.
I wish all of you the best for the holidays and look forward to a prosperous and renewed 2020.
Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East. His column appears monthly.