October is a Time to Reflect and Give Thanks

Calgary Fish Creek

October is a time to reflect and give thanks for the blessings we have in our lives. I know that sometimes when we are struggling, it is difficult to find joy or give thanks; however, research has found that giving gratitude in our lives can have a profound effect on our ability to cope and overcome difficult situations. This Thanksgiving I give thanks for my family, friends, good health, and also the privilege of being your MLA.

One of our constituents had an excellent idea for our newsletter. Often there is confusion surrounding the different levels of government. I thought I could give some insight into each government’s responsibilities. In Canada there are three levels of government: municipal, provincial, and federal. Each level has duties and areas that they have jurisdiction or responsibility over. In some areas, such as health, there are shared responsibilities. In health, the Canada Health Act sets out a base guideline and then allows each province to administer within the authorized parameters. However, some areas are sole jurisdiction such as garbage collection at the municipal level. What remains consistent with each level of government is their structure.

First, each has elected officials which are chosen by the public in general elections. Municipalities have a set election cycle every four years. Both the Federal and Provincial levels have no standard election cycle, but must occur within 5 years of the previous election. Secondly, non-elected civil servants or bureaucrats work in a capacity to maintain consistency of service for government programs even when leadership changes hands. Let me give you a few further examples of what each level does and participates in.

Municipal or City: Internal (City) road networks, local servicing of utilities, bylaws such as noise or animal, garbage, recycling, recreation facilities, local police units, and local parks.

Provincial: Health, Education, Transportation (provincial highways), Child and Family Services, Seniors, Alberta Works, AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped), Justice, infrastructure, and Provincial Parks.

Federal: Defence, Immigration, Veterans, Indigenous Rights and Lands, Banking Regulations, Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Post Office, Federal Taxes, Pipelines, and National Parks.

Remember, with each level of government there is a responsibility with each of us to be informed, be active, and vote. If ever in doubt, please do not hesitate to reach out and send an email to our office as we are always willing to help and can connect you with the appropriate people at each level of government.

Fall Session is scheduled to start October 29th, so please do not hesitate to reach out with any concerns. As always, your communication helps me represent you in Edmonton. My next MLA café will be Wednesday October 3rd 5-7pm at the office. We hope to see you there.