Straight from the Heart: Championing the cause of Rural Alberta in an ever-changing world!

Those that have followed my journalism career over the years, know full well that I am fully committed to crusading for Rural Alberta, which I feel is being slowly but surely neglected by the Federal and Provincial Governments. There was a time when Northeast Alberta had strong and adequate representation at the Cabinet table through the Premier of the province Ed Stelmach, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, President of the Treasury Board and other key portfolios. Recently, however, I have some excellent members of the Legislative Assembly who are at all times trying to do their best to showcase Rural Alberta, have their efforts overshadowed by strong voices from the cities of Edmonton, which they believe, understandably take up a lot of the Provincial budget, thereby leaving smaller towns and counties with the balance of the funding which lies at the bottom of the barrel. One of the great challenges of smaller rural municipalities is their lack of funds to help receive matching grants which often requires the first share of their proportion in the many grants that are available but are impossible to obtain due to the lack of disposable matching funding from cash strapped municipalities. I am hoping that the Canadian Government realizes that slowly the gradual erosion of strong rural support is creating hardships and this problem is further accelerated by the low energy prices and of course the ramifications of the Covid-19 situation. I continue to maintain that the agricultural industry, diversification and economy, eg tourism and the forestry industry and other forms of revenue generating activities should go hand in hand with investing in renewable energy while continuing to support the energy sector in general and the Oil Tax in particular. I long for the days when Rural Alberta has a stronger voice in all levels of government and a stronger presence at the Cabinet table. I feel that both the municipalities of the City of Cole Lake and the Municipal District of Bonnyville have very solid concerns and I’m truly impressed by the letters that they have sent out to municipalities asking for their support. It is with this combined effort and a united stand that we can go out, and try every disposable means to raise our profiles and ensuring that we are not a forgotten community. Quite often, we feel like we are like children of a lesser god. So my representatives at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Rural Municipalities Association, my appeal to you is “Please raise your voices a little louder so that it is not drowned out by the larger municipalities as the situation often tends to be.”

Two Hills Regional Chronicle

Two Hills Regional Chronicle published its first issue in December 2020. It serves the communities of Two Hills and County and surrounding areas.

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