As we get into the fourth week of 2021, I recognize the challenging start to the year and I wanted to reach out directly. Many of you have contacted my office regarding my decision to travel over Christmas and your frustration over the year of Covid restrictions. I understand and hear your anger, and I am truly sorry for any hurt and frustration my actions have caused you, particularly as I think of the many sacrifices you have made during the last year.
Since my apology earlier this month, I’ve spoken to many constituents and hear a growing sentiment to move on and refocus on the important work of the constituency. I am committed to doing so and have continued to work on behalf of constituents throughout these last weeks. I am honoured to serve the City of Grande Prairie as your provincial representative and remain committed to serve through continued hard work and community engagement.
At the start of the pandemic, I had posted regular updates on social media in an effort to keep you informed as we faced the uncertainty of the time and I will be doing that again for this season with a focus on pandemic response, in particular vaccine rollout and Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
Alberta is consistently leading all major provinces for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, with over 92,000 doses of the vaccine already administered to Albertans. We have ensured that enough vaccine is available so we are able to provide second doses to all long-term care and designated supportive living residents. Canadian provinces are dependent on the Government of Canada for vaccine supply and we are prepared to vaccinate many more Albertans daily as supply arrives.
I often speak about hope for brighter days ahead and I have personally found it helpful in times of trouble to look beyond my current circumstance to future opportunities. I want to highlight two priorities that represent good news for Grande Prairie:
The new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital will be opening this year at long last.
The twinning of key sections of Highway 40, including the bridge, will begin this spring.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for us to care for one another in community. We witnessed the generosity of the Grande Prairie community during the Salvation Army’s Annual Christmas Kettle Campaign. This successful campaign exceeded their goal, raising over $750,000, with funds going directly to assist families in the Peace Region.
Two additional initiatives of note:
- The expansion of the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant will allow new businesses that began operating between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2020 to apply for supports, creating eligibility for support to 5,000 more Alberta businesses.
- Nominations are now open for membership into the Alberta Order of Excellence. If you know a remarkable Albertan from your community who should be considered for membership, please consider submitting a nomination. Applications must be submitted Feb 15, 2020.
I look forward to serving you in the future as we look for better in 2021.
Tracy Allard, MLA