January 03, 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season with their loved ones. As we rung in the New Year, we have a lot to be thankful for. My wife Judy and I became grandparents for the first time welcoming a healthy grandson on December 23, 2013. It is a reminder how blessed we are to live in Central Alberta and in Canada – a country focused on jobs, growth and long term prosperity, so opportunities will be here for generations to come.

Parliament recessed in mid-December for Christmas break, which gave me an opportunity to see many of the Red Deer constituents over the past few weeks and hear your feedback on our government and hear what your priorities are going forward.

On December 6th, my colleague Blaine Calkins, MP for Wetaskiwin, and I held a roundtable in Red Deer. We brought together community leaders from both of our ridings to discuss priorities for the upcoming Federal Budget. It was a great discussion that led Blaine and I to submit what we heard to Minister Flaherty for consideration as we move forward in the budget development process.

I was pleased to join many community leaders in showing my support for Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games bid by signing the bid committee’s letter of intent that was submitted last month. The 2019 Games would provide a tremendous opportunity to showcase our community to the entire country. In addition, it would strengthen our commitment to sport in Central Alberta and provide a substantial economic boost to the region. Red Deer City Council, Bid Committee Chair Lyn Radford, and all of the volunteers who have worked so hard on this already deserve our thanks and appreciate. Good luck as the bid progresses.

December also saw the wrap up of the Centennial years of several Central Alberta communities. Again, hundreds of volunteers worked tirelessly in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Delburne to make those 100 year anniversaries something to remember. Thank you to all of those volunteers – our communities are truly richer for what you accomplished last year.

On December 18th, I was on hand in Calgary as the Canadian Olympic Skeleton Team as announced. It was a tremendous honour to see these athletes, including Eckville’s own Melissa Hollingsworth, and to wish them luck in the upcoming Olympic Games in Sohi, Russia. Good luck to all the athletes and know you have a proud nation cheering you on.

With 2013 in the books I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past year. It is very humbling to see the great work so many Central Albertans are doing. I feel honoured to serve as your MP and I look forward to continuing to represent our great region in 2014.

Until next time
Earl Dreeshen,
MP Red Deer