Last month, we returned to session, ready and eager to get to work on the issues that matter most to Albertans. As a result of my obligations to represent my constituents in the Assembly, I am away from my office for large portions of time while we are in session in Edmonton until mid-December. Although I am unable to meet with many of you in person due to the busyness of this season, my office staff do keep me apprised of your messages and will continue to assist with your questions and concerns.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the wonderful work that one of Grande Prairie’s very own does to support women in our community who are recovering from mastectomies. In her “Support the Girls” initiative, Alison Gustafson, owner of Victoria’s Attic, birthed the vision of hosting a charitable Fashion Show event to raise money to help those struggling with, or who have survived, a breast cancer diagnosis. Along with a team of like-minded women from our community, their fund-raising efforts have raised over $80,000 towards a warm and comfortable spa-like room at the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. This room is available for women undergoing mammography, biopsy, and related treatment. I was thankful to speak in the Legislature to spread the word about this amazing initiative, and you can view it here: Support the Girls Speech.
At long last, the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital is slated to open on December 4, 2021. In fact, the new Emergency Department at GPRH will open at 6 am on Dec. 4th. I know we have all been more than patient awaiting the completion of this project. This is such a welcome development for our community. With its new state-of-the-art cancer center, radiation treatment will now be available here in Grande Prairie. This means that residents will no longer need to travel to Edmonton for those treatments – a huge step forward in care for Grande Prairie residents.
To find out more about the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, visit www.ahs.ca/gprh.
I was privileged to participate in the opening ceremony of the Maskwoteh Park Pedestrian Bridge on November 9th. This bridge makes it possible for the visitors and workers at the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital to walk to Maskwoteh Park with ease to enjoy our beautiful green spaces along Bear Creek and connect to the walking trails within Muskoseepi Park.
If you want to support the Hospital Foundation and the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, you’re invited to attend the 33rd Annual Festival of Trees happening November 25-28th this year. This weekend event is such a wonderful opportunity for family fun! Enjoy the beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and bid on the Gingerbread houses and Christmas trees created and decorated by your fellow community members and businesses, while enjoying live entertainment from the stage! You can find all the information regarding the tickets and events taking place that weekend, including the Silver Bells Luncheon for Seniors and the Mistletoe Mixer that weekend on the Festival of Trees website here: GPRHF – Festival of Trees (festivaloftreesgp.ca). Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time, as tickets will not be sold at the door this year.
On Remembrance Day, I had the great privilege to participate in the outdoor ceremony at the cenotaph in Grande Prairie hosted by the Army & Navy Air Force Veterans Club. We would not enjoy the freedom we have in this country without all the brave men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces. Our Canadian Forces were instrumental in both World Wars, and continue to be an essential part of peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts around the world today. Thank you to everyone who has served and is serving. We remember you.
Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund:
The Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund’s first quarter report was released on August 31, 2021. The report found that the Fund earned a 5.5% rate of return and $668 million in net income.
Since 1976, the Fund has contributed more than $46,2 billion to fund Alberta health care, education, and infrastructure.
The Standing Committee for the AHSTF is responsible for reviewing quarterly reports and results, reviewing the annual business plan for the Fund, and holding public meeting with Albertans on investment activities and the results of the fund.
The AHSTF will be holding its next annual public meeting on Thursday, November 25, 2021 from 7-9pm.
We hope that you can join us virtually or by telephone via the following links:
Phone: 1-888-892-3255 code 489262
Assembly TV: http://assemblyonline.assembly.ab.ca/harmony
Following my October newsletter, I received correspondence from some of my constituents stating their unease with the fact that I had not discussed the ongoing covid-related concerns. This was by no means an attempt to disregard those concerns. The issues with the covid pandemic are ongoing, and I am very aware of them. My desire was, just for a moment, to reflect together on the good in our community and to exercise thankfulness amidst all the pain, frustration and fear that many have faced throughout this trying time.
It is encouraging to see that our overall case numbers are continuing to drop across the province.
I again want to extend my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to our healthcare workers and their sacrifice and care during this time.
Over the course of this year, there have been 5 protests at my private residence. While I respect the rights of citizens to engage in peaceful protests, I do not condone the manner in which these protests were carried out. I kindly ask that my family’s privacy be respected. I do understand that there is a great deal of anger, fear and confusion for many during these times. Please feel free to read my original response to one of the latest protests at my private residence HERE.
Concerning the ongoing issues surrounding the Covid19 pandemic, I am working to understand and consider alternative perspectives brought forward by my constituents. I also am very much aware that the unvaccinated among us are not a homogenous group. Many of the unvaccinated have very legitimate concerns and reasons for not receiving the vaccine. As I continue to fight for your freedom of choice, I am also asking for clarity around the criteria and process for the provision of medical exemptions.
I have had many requests for one-on-one meetings and phone calls with constituents to discuss opinions and concerns surrounding the vaccine, government mandates and other issues relating to Covid19. Because of the volume of requests, I won’t be able to conduct meetings with everyone. However, I do want to hear and understand your concerns and have meaningful, respectful dialogue with you. If you are desiring a conversation with me directly, please let my office know via email GrandePrairie@Assembly.AB.CA. They will get further information from you regarding your request and do their best to schedule a time for me to connect with you.
Greenview Industrial Gateway:
These are exciting times for the Peace Region and for Alberta. Northern Petrochemical Corporation has unveiled plans to construct a $2.5 billion carbon-neutral ammonia and methanol production facility in Alberta’s Grande Prairie region.
This is a very welcome development for the economy of our region and for the province- bringing employment opportunities to approximately 4000 individuals during the construction phase as well as 400 permanent jobs once the plant is up and running. The Alberta Industrial Heartland Association estimates there is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s natural gas sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, with this project in the Greenview Industrial Gateway being a key contributor.
The facility will have the capability to produce approximately 200 million tonnes of blue methanol and blue hydrogen per year, which will be converted to ammonia and sold internationally.
You can read more about the Greenview Industrial Gateway here:
Natural Gas Exploration and processing | Greenview Industrial | Alberta
MLA Youth Council:
I am thrilled to be running my MLA Youth Council again this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the young people of Grande Prairie in years past – giving them an inside look at what a career in politics could look like for them, as well as providing them a platform to discuss issues that are affecting their lives daily. Due to delays caused by the ongoing Covid situation, the application deadline has been extended to December 15th, 2021 at 11:59pm and we will commence council meetings mid-January 2022. Applications can be found here: MLA Youth Council Application
I trust constituents continue to find these newsletters informative.
As always, I remain in your service,
MLA Tracy L. Allard