September – MLA Richard Gotfried’s Report

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As September arrives we often turn our minds back to more regular routines with school, work and sport. There will be much change this fall, particularly in the Alberta political landscape. I would encourage you to be aware of municipal elections for mayor, councillors, and trustees this October 16th. If you have not registered to vote, I would encourage you to do so. Be informed and be aware of the issues. Politics do matter to us all!

October 28 has been set as the leadership vote for the newly established United Conservative Party (UCP), for which I now sit. If you are interested in having a voice in who will be the leader of the party, I would encourage you to get involved. It will be “one member one vote”, so all members will have a direct impact on the outcome and a say in the direction of the new party. As House Leader for the UCP, I will be maintaining a neutral position with respect to the leadership. Please be aware that under Legislative guidelines we cannot sell memberships at the office, but if you do have questions on process or where to go, please do not hesitate to ask.

Alberta Small Businesses are the lifeblood of this province. Government does not create jobs nor “first stage” wealth, but rather provide support, essential services and the network and regulatory framework that private sector jobs and companies exist in. History has shown that governments can either allow companies/businesses to flourish or hinder them with red tape and unjustifiable levies and expenses. This summer’s special project has seen my team reaching out to and visiting businesses in the community to listen to the challenges and opportunities they face. Once all of the research has been evaluated I will be sharing some of the key findings and personally visiting those businesses interested in further dialogue. Calgary-Fish Creek is dominated by small, entrepreneurial businesses which is generally the case across Alberta. Did you know that 95% of all business in Alberta are classified as small business, supporting between 1 and 49 employees? Alberta also far exceeds the national average in terms of small business contribution to the overall provincial GDP. It has been valuable for me and my team to share with owners/managers some of the resources that are available to them for support and networking. I would strongly encourage anyone operating a business or looking to start one to access www.smallbusiness.alberta.ca. The website has access to information on start-up, operations, finance and regulations all specific to small business. Contact numbers and emails are also available on the site, to which answers to specific questions can be addressed. Using available resources strengthens the connectivity and resiliency of our province and allows investors and decisions makers to monitor trends in issues or regulations affecting them. A strong, supportive wealth-creating business environment allows our province to sustain health, educational and social services for all without the need to carry irresponsible, inter-generational debt.

We will once again be resuming MLA Café’s this fall, so please join me at my office for coffee, conversation, and to address issues facing our province commencing September 29th at 10-12noon. As always, your voice helps me to more effectively represent you!

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