Opposition MLA Kerry Towle has no regrets about an email she sent to constituents about a meet and greet with Alberta’s deputy premier.
Towle said she wanted to inform those in her Innisfail-Sylvan Lake riding that Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk would hear their local concerns at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre on Wednesday night.
About 70 people showed up and several waved signs and placards that called for urgent care in the community and a change at the Hwy 781 and Hwy 11.
However, the meet and greet turned heated when an outside group tried to bend the deputy premier’s ear to landowner rights.
Towle has now been accused of sending an email to form a mob or a rally to disrupt the discussions.
After the meeting, Towle told reporters she did not tell people to bring placards nor did she want to start a mob.
But in her email sent on Tuesday, Towle wrote, “I am asking for each of you to reach out to your spheres of influence and spread the word to attend. If we want to be heard on Hwy 781/11 and an urgent care centre, we need to have a strong show of force at the end. Please feel free to bring along signs and placards that show what you are supporting. We don’t have the opportunity to force the government to listen.”
On Thursday, Towle said she was asked a lot of questions in the media scrum and does not recall answering the question in that context.
“There were a lot of questions,” said Towle. “I think I was frustrated with the mentality that people can’t express an interest. That wasn’t my intention. I’m more than willing to clear that up. I did 100 per cent say to people come out, identify your issue, bring a sign if you need to it, that’s fine.”
Towle said the email was not a secret and wasn’t meant to do anything but to get people to the community centre to let the deputy premier understand their concerns in Sylvan Lake.
She said the email did not go to anyone outside her riding and only to those who asked for her emails.
As for the wording, “strong force,” Towle said she meant a large showing of people and nothing else.
Towle said she was not responsible for the people who showed up from outside the area nor did she oppose them because it was an open and public meeting. Towle said she kept to the issues of urgent care and the intersection.
“The email is very clear,” said Towle. “It said Hwy 781 and urgent care.”
Towle said she is frustrated that an email has become the issue versus Sylvan Lake’s need for urgent care and to have Hwy 781 fixed.