October 24th, 2020

Busy session in the legislature


By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on October 9, 2020.

The summer of 2020 is not what many of us would have considered “normal” under any circumstances. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, the work of government did not cease and my summer schedule reflected a very busy summer. >As a member of the Legislative Assembly, I was elected on a mandate to do what is best for Albertans and for Lethbridge. And this year I truly feel that I was able to accomplish that mandate.

While the legislative session only ran for five months this spring, the government remained hard at work as reflected in the numerous announcements made by the premier and members of cabinet in kicking off Alberta’s Recovery Plan to restart our economy. And, many of these announcements centred around Lethbridge and area. >Of course, the first of these announcements was that Exhibition Park would receive $27.8 million towards its new vision and convention centre. Then there was the announcement that $150 million was being allocated for the twinning of Highway 3 from Taber to Burdett. This announcement goes a long way in demonstrating that our government is committed to strengthening the agricultural corridor with Lethbridge as a hub for this sector. >

In addition to these announcements, almost $25 million in funding was given to the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College for capital maintenance and renewal projects like new boilers and HVAC systems – some of which have been on the to-do list for years.

These announcements, combined with additional funds for mental health and addictions treatment and recovery centres of over $12 million, additional maintenance dollars for our two school boards, community grants for the arts and local businesses, and over $30 million in additional funding to our City municipality total, over $300 million spent on new initiatives announced for Lethbridge and area this year alone.

The importance of these investments goes without saying. But, for Lethbridge to have a voice and influence in government is even more crucial, which is why it is such an honour to that I was named the chair of the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future this spring. >The reason why this is important for Lethbridge is because this committee is the legislative policy committee whose mandate relates to areas of Advanced Education, Culture, Multiculturalism and the Status of Women, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Labour and Immigration and Infrastructure. As a result, being chair of this committee gives light to the importance Lethbridge and area play in our province.

This summer I also spent countless hours serving on the Special Select Public Health Act Review Committee, where we reviewed the Public Health Act in response to the first ever public health emergency in Alberta’s recent history. This review was integral for making recommendation to better prepare Alberta for public health emergencies in the future.

In addition to policy committees, I was also chair and co-chair of two task forces. Earlier this summer the Minister of Education asked me to chair the Student Transportation Task Force. >Working this task force afforded me the privilege of travelling to 11 communities across the province where I sat down with school boards, parents and stakeholders to discuss the challenges of busing 300,000 students to and from school each day. In addition to this, I was also named co-chair of the Victims of Crime Review along with MLA Angela Pitt – a review meant to assist in bettering the services for victims in Alberta.

All in all, it has been an incredibly busy and rewarding summer as MLA for Lethbridge East. >I am proud of this great community and it is my privilege to bring our community’s perspective to many important and vital discussions in a meaningful way. The impacts of COVID-19 on our economy are, and have been, very real. But I am proud to say that Lethbridge has one of the most diversified and best-positioned economies for responding to and growing despite these impacts. Not only this, but our community has shown tremendous leadership in engaging in the conversations that matter most during these unusual times.

As our government heads back into session this fall, I promise to continue to put Lethbridge at the forefront of conversations with my colleagues, I promise to continue to serve those who elected me, and I promise to continue to represent this incredible city well in the halls of the Legislature.

Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East. His column appears monthly.

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Southern Albertan

The UCP doing what is best for Albertans? One, might, almost, feel sorry for some UCP MLAs. Surely, some of them must be conflicted on some of what the UCP is up to. I know of a certain southern Albertan UCP MLA who was told by voters at a meeting that ‘they/the’ should be ashamed of ‘themselves’ because of already, certain cutbacks. The response was one of ?feigned concern that ‘they/the’ were being harmfully attacked, i.e. eyes wide, arms up, backing up……Is it any wonder the AB NDP is down by 17 points in the polls. Even for polling, the UCP might be wise to be worried.
All the while, in addition to cutbacks to health care and education, us rural citizens have been told by our municipal district to expect higher property taxes thanks to cutbacks in municipal funding and the the break expected to be given to the oil and gas sector who are $multimillions already in arrears for their taxes to the municipalities. And we get to fund the shortfall let alone cleaning up orphaned wells? Best for Albertans? Horse pucky.

IMO

You are not listening, Mr. Neudorf. You are merely a sounding board for a political party bent on selling out Alberta to the highest bidder. Think private-for-profit health care, death of the public education system, union busting et al.

biff

well stated so.ab and imo.



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