Notes from the Legislature

Pat Rehn,
Lesser Slave Lake

I hope everyone has been having a good September. I’m happy to have been out in the community hearing folks’ thoughts on the federal election and local issues. I appreciate the feedback.
Of course, the biggest news since my last column is the results of the recent federal election, which if you’re a fan of the 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray you may notice similarities. Despite an over $600 million dollar price tag, the 2021 Canadian federal election has only seen the slightest of changes to the balance of power in Ottawa.
While it is welcome news that the Justin Trudeau government was denied the majority they opportunistically sought, on election night itself the prime minister declared he had been given a mandate by voters. The facts however present a much clearer case.
Nationally, the data shows 16,840,418 so far of 27,366,297 registered electors cast ballots. That represents approximately 61.53 per cent. Not since 2011 when 61.1 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls, have so few people exercised their democratic right in Canada. This shows that the election to many was unneeded, and I am hopeful what the prime minister and his government draws from Monday’s results is that consensus building in Ottawa between the parties will be key until nationally we exit the pandemic.
Last week, I was pleased to have Finance Minister Travis Toews as well as Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon come to visit Lesser Slave Lake and I joined them in several meetings with local elected leaders, stakeholders and constituents to go over some of the concerns and key issues I’ve heard from many of you these last few months. Productive discussions were able to take place between the ministers and many of our local elected leaders and I believe their visit was beneficial for everyone involved in the process. I look forward to seeing more progress on the issues of park trails and water now that these dialogues have happened.
On Sept. 20 the deadline passed for people seeking to put their name forward to serve as an elected municipal councillor and with the end of the federal election many municipal election campaigns will now be kicking off. I urge voters to look into the lists of folks who have put their name forward in the name of public service to their community and find the candidates who best represent the vision and values that you want your community to aspire to for the next four years.
As well on Oct. 18 we will be having the referendum on Equalization and the future of Daylight Savings time which you will receive a ballot for when you go to vote in your municipal elections. A strong turnout in both referendums will very much help the cases they champion so I am hopeful to see many of you at the polls on Oct. 18.
Be safe and be well, don’t hesitate to contact my office if we can be of assistance.

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