Skip to content

Community safety a priority for government

By now, all Albertans, I am sure, are aware of the forest fires that devastated the Slave Lake community and many parts of northern Alberta. Along with our Premier, I toured the area and saw first-hand the devastation in the community.

By now, all Albertans, I am sure, are aware of the forest fires that devastated the Slave Lake community and many parts of northern Alberta. Along with our Premier, I toured the area and saw first-hand the devastation in the community. This is a significant disaster for Slave Lake, our province and country. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents who have lost their homes, businesses, and personal possessions.

Our focus continues to be the safety of residents and combating the fires, and we thank those brave men and women who are working so hard to respond to wildfires across our province. I also want to thank the community of Athabasca, the Town of Westlock and the City of Edmonton for welcoming those affected with open arms; this has reminded me why I am proud to be an Albertan. It is great to see how the whole town has come together to help those who were forced to leave their homes with little more than bare necessities.

Although it is heartbreaking to start the summer on this tragic note, we have reason to see the future with optimism. Our government has already approved an initial allocation of $50 million towards the immediate needs of the evacuees and the rebuilding of Slave Lake and surrounding communities. We also continue to focus on ensuring that those who keep our communities safe – our firefighters among others – are adequately protected. This is just one of many positive outcomes from the latest legislative session, which ended on May 12. In total, 23 Bills were passed, including the Asia Advisory Council Act, which seeks to maximize the province’s relationship with the burgeoning economies of Asia; the Alberta Land Stewardship Amendment Act, 2011, which will ensure a transparent and accountable regional planning process; and the Education Act, which will enhance student access to education and empower local school boards to be more responsive to the diverse learning needs of students and their communities.

Your advice and comments are appreciated, so please don’t hesitate to contact me regarding any concern. If I can assist in any way, please let me know. You can call my constituency office at 403-227-1500 or e-mail me at Innisfail.SylvanLake@assembly.ab.ca.

Luke Ouellette, MLA

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake