I want to wish all my constituents in Red Deer a Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful break, were able to spend time with your friends and family, and reflected on all our blessings.
We had a whole lot to celebrate in this city as we capped off 2017.
The thing I’m most proud of over the past year has been our government’s support to keep funding the essential services, like healthcare and education, that make this province one of the best places in the world to live.
What’s more is we invested in job-creating projects that have helped bring us out of the recession faster than any of our opponents said we ever could. We had 26,000 new jobs over the last month, unemployment is at a two-year low, and Red Deer’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the province.
This tells me our NDP government’s plan is working, and more importantly, you are working and making this province a national leader in growth.
Our government has also made many major, significant investments in infrastructure – all across Alberta, and also right here in Red Deer. The list of key investments is long, with many highlights.
I joined Premier Rachel Notley in Red Deer-South, along my colleague MLA Kim Schreiner and the ministers for justice and infrastructure, to announce a new Justice Centre that we’ve needed for more than a decade. Many in our community thought it would never happen, and I’m proud of the work I put in to help it materialize.
We’ve worked to make life better in Red Deer with a new obstetrics operating room at the Red Deer Regional Hospital, funding for Women’s Outreach Centre’s new 24-hour Domestic Assault Response Team, opening the Catapult Centre to help new entrepreneurs, and support for Red Deer College’s environmentally friendly residences,
Our students will benefit from the new St. Joseph’s High School, the new Don Campbell Elementary School, the groundbreaking for the Westpark Middle School replacement, and an accessible playground for the community at Mattie McCullough Elementary School.
We know there’s much work left to do in Red Deer, and after extensive outreach to bring my colleagues to this community, they know it too. I was proud to host 13 cabinet ministers to show them some of the opportunities and challenges we have in this city, and nine of my MLA colleagues got a first-hand look at the sense of community in this city when they attended this year’s Westerner Days. They know, like we do, that Red Deer is an essential part of Alberta.
It’s that sense of community that makes me most proud to represent this constituency – our greatest resource is our people, and the sense of family we cultivate. MLA Schreiner and I have been honoured to share in more than 100 birthday celebrations this year, and were proud to host four such birthday parties for groups of seniors in our community.
I encourage all my constituents to contact my office to talk about some of the amazing things the Government of Alberta has done for Red Deer over the last year, and the many great things we have planned for 2018.
Barb Miller, MLA for Red Deer-South