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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2019-12-12 19:16 [p.380]
Mr. Speaker, I want to take a short moment to thank everyone in Edmonton Strathcona for electing me as a new member of Parliament. Edmonton Strathcona is a very special riding, home to great festivals, a thriving art scene, many post-secondary institutions, the francophone community, the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market, a beautiful river valley and so much more. I am incredibly honoured to be able to represent the people of Edmonton Strathcona in this House, and I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped elect me.
I want to particularly thank the wonderful team of staff and volunteers who supported my campaign, people like Erica, Gale, Tom, Epiphany, Eleanor, John and so many others who worked so hard. I would like to say a special thanks to my good friends Scott Parker and Megan Rich for being such incredible supports for me and for our campaign.
I would also like to take a moment to thank my family: my parents, my brothers and my wonderful children, Maclean and Keltie, and my husband Duncan, for supporting me and sharing me with my constituents and with the House. My gratitude to those who have supported me on this journey is immense, and it serves as fuel for my commitment and dedication to advocate on behalf of the citizens of Edmonton Strathcona and all Albertans.
We have a problem. On Monday, I asked the government what it was doing to support Albertans who have lost their jobs and cannot find work. I asked the government how it intends to support the over 20% of young men in Alberta who are unemployed. I asked the government how it was going to show, with actions not words, that it understands what is happening in Alberta and how it would show that it would do the right thing and fight alongside my colleagues and me to ensure that every Albertan has a good, family-sustaining job and that hard-working Albertans are equipped to work in the new economy.
I am proud to be the granddaughter of Daniel McCoy, one of the infamous McCoy brothers, who were pioneers in Alberta oil and gas. My husband and brother work in the sector, as did my father before his retirement. As with so many Albertans, my family's story is woven together with oil and gas. Like other families, I profoundly and personally understand what is at stake here.
For many years, Albertans benefited from the oil and gas industry, and the rest of Canada benefited from the wealth produced by Alberta workers. This wealth paid for health care, social programs and other initiatives that improved the lives of all Canadians. We were happy to contribute to a greater good.
Albertans need support for economic diversification, green energy, energy efficiency and transportation infrastructure. Albertans need employment, education and training support. Albertans need jobs. In November alone, over 18,000 jobs were lost.
Under Rachel Notley, Alberta took significant steps toward diversifying its economy and fighting climate change. Unfortunately, the province is now going backwards. Is the government prepared to offer real solutions to Albertans? Is it prepared to make serious investments in infrastructure, green energy and transportation, and in employment and education supports for Alberta workers?
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