MLA highlights Fire Prevention Week, Small Business Week

Margaret McCuaig-Boyd
NDP MLA Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley

Fire Prevention Week Oct.8-14

In 2016, there were 4,324 fires in Alberta resulting in 29 deaths and 166 injuries. Cooking fires, fires caused by smokers’ materials and fires involving electrical wiring in the home accounted for 68 per cent of all home fires from 2007 to 2016.

With this in mind, I want to use this opportunity to remind my fellow constituents on some steps we can all take to keep our loved ones safe.

First, sit down with everyone who lives in the home and plan multiple escape routes from the different rooms in the house. This home escape plan can make all the difference in the event of a fire. Hence this year’s theme, “Every second counts: Plan two ways out.”

As you make this home escape plan, walk through your home and make sure doors and windows that can provide a way out are not blocked. When you plan your escape route, remember to choose an outside meeting place. Additionally, practice this home escape plan. Do a fire drill with everyone in the home and make sure everyone arrives safely at your outside meeting place.

Last but not least, be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly. Make sure you can “hear the beep where you sleep”

Small Business Week Oct.15-21

I’m sure many of you have heard this phrase: “Small Business is the backbone of our communities.” Perhaps this is a bit overused, but here in northern Alberta it is definitely true. Take a walk down Main Street Falher, Fairview, Grimshaw, or any other of the great communities in our constituency, and you will quickly realize that these stores truly do create the community. From the independent grocers, to the mom and pop hardware store, and the summer ice cream stand. These small businesses are what allow our cozy communities to thrive. It is these local entrepreneurs who take the initiative to dive all in, in order to operate these businesses. Through multiple generations these businesses become the cornerstones of our small towns. So during this third week of October, let your neighbors and friends who make their livings in small business know how much we appreciate their hard work.

Cannabis Legalization

Recently our Government unveiled its Proposed Alberta Cannabis Framework. Albertans are invited to provide feedback on the government’s draft framework to manage cannabis legalization in the province.

The Alberta Cannabis Framework proposes who will be able to buy and use cannabis once it is legal, where they will be able to buy it and where they will be allowed to use it.

The framework supports four policy priorities for legalization: keeping cannabis out of the hands of children, promoting public safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces, protecting public health and limiting the illicit market.

Here is a general overview of the framework:

. A minimum age of 18 to purchase and consume cannabis.

. Provincial oversight and regulation of wholesaling and distribution of cannabis products through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC).

. A public possession limit for adults of 30 grams.

. The ability to grow up to four cannabis plants, no taller than one metre, at home for personal use.

. Restrictions on retail locations selling alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals together with cannabis.

. Province-wide restrictions on where cannabis can be used in public, with an emphasis on protecting children and limiting second-hand exposure.

Full details of the draft Alberta Cannabis Framework are available online and Albertans are encouraged to provide feedback to the government. The online survey runs until Friday, Oct. 27 at midnight. Additionally, if you’d like to express your views, please call our office in Fairview toll free at 1-866-835-4988 or Falher at 780-837-3846. A final version of the framework and legislation is expected to be introduced later this winter.

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