June – MLA Richard Gotfried’s Report

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June is upon us and another school year is coming to an end. Graduation is a milestone for many as the pinnacle of high school or a post-secondary experience. It is always a privilege to attend graduation ceremonies and it is a highlight to see young adults launching into a new chapter of their lives

Often in the Legislature, Bills can be controversial, but this spring I was proud to lead the charge amongst opposition parties in raising awareness on Labour Code and Employment Standards consultation. We felt it necessary to take a stand and demand additional time for employers and employees to provide feedback on the far-reaching consequences of changes in legislation for every working Albertan. How we are employed, and under what rules, matters to both business and employees alike. All of us want to have safe and healthy workplaces. Understanding the costs, implications and consequences of legislation requires more than just a short on-line survey or invitation-only engagement sessions.

On the topic of workplace safety, I attended with students, staff, and parents at Dr. E. P. Scarlett High School a presentation around rights and responsibilities that we all have for the safety of ourselves and co-workers. Calgary-Fish Creek resident Julie Hamilton was able to share her message on the importance of worksite safety through her “Missing Tim” initiative on National Day of Mourning. Julie lost her dear son Tim, a Scarlett Grad, to a workplace accident that was 100% preventable. Julie presented her story to hundreds of students to create awareness on what questions to ask on the job site, and to give the students “permission” to walk away from unsafe work. My thanks to Julie for sharing her emotional and heartfelt message in which her loss may give others the chance to avoid life-threatening risk. Everyone deserves to go home safely to their family after a good day’s work.

As many start to contemplate summer adventures, I would like to highlight two important tools to make your travels safer. Most of us have smartphones and it is hard for many to imagine life without them. Although technology can be challenging, it also provides us with opportunities for greater public safety. There are two phone APPS developed to improve the lives of everyday Albertans: 511 and Alberta Emergency Alerts. Both 511 and Alberta Emergency Alert are available free of charge. 511 is Alberta’s Official Road Report. There is a wealth of real time information and there are constant updates on visibility, road construction, as well as many other items. 511 can also be monitored through Twitter, so if you do not have the app and have questions regarding specific road conditions, I have received immediate responses as late as 11:30pm; now that is service!

Few of us can forget the images of destruction that occurred with the Ft. McMurray wildfire. Individuals had to evacuate on a moment’s notice and getting the word out can be difficult in challenging situations. The AEA (Alberta Emergency Alert) app is designed to give off a very loud and recognizable tone when danger or a public service announcement needs to be shared quickly. It can be a water advisory, road closure or evacuation notice, but smartphone warnings can keep us well informed and I would encourage you to use these tools to improve personal safety.

Although session will be ending soon, your comments and feedback help me to better serve you, so please join me for my MLA Café this month, June 16th from 10am to 12noon at my office. Mark your calendars for my 2nd Annual Stampede Hoe-Down in the Downs BBQ on Saturday July 8th from 11am to 2pm at the office, where we will have live music, great food, and fun for all ages! Please say “Hi” when you see me at an event in your community or make an appointment to visit me over the summer.

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