July – MLA Prasad Panda’s Report

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The spring session of the legislature is now complete. I am eager to spend most of this summer in the riding meeting constituents, hearing their concerns and enjoying some fun community events.

I’m very pleased that my Private Members Motion 505 was passed unanimously by all parties. Its goal is to finally point Canada and North America to a place of true energy independence. Having worked in the petroleum industry for the past 28 years, I know and understand the incredible achievements of Alberta’s oil and gas industry.

Alberta already sits on over half of the world’s free oil, but Canada still imports millions of barrels every year from dictators and countries with brutal human rights and environmental records. Some people are very determined to stop Oilsands development and the transportation of Alberta energy products. It is clear violation of the spirit of confederation and section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

I believe that Canadian refineries and consumers should be given a fair choice between the oil from western Canada, and the oil from dictatorships. This motion, if acted upon by the federal and provincial governments, would strengthen Alberta’s energy industry and create jobs across the country. Building more pipelines in every single direction across Canada would also lessen our dependence on exports towards the American market, lessen our dependence on foreign dictator oil, and remove unfair trade barriers for transporting Alberta energy products.

I will continue to stand up proudly for our energy industry, fight for new pipelines and work relentlessly to make Alberta the roaring engine of the Canadian economy.

In late May, a group of unemployed engineers and designers from the energy sector approached me with some of their concerns regarding their future employment and their ability to support their families. I was quite impressed when they came armed with plenty of statistical research on what’s happening in their profession. They also outlined some excellent ideas that could be considered by the government to help transition them back into good paying engineering and design jobs in Alberta.

I agreed to facilitate the travel and itinerary for over 100 of these engineers to come to the Legislature to meet opposition MLA’s and staffers and to take in a lively session of Question Period where all of the MLAs could see the real faces of some unemployed Albertans. Sadly, some of them have been without work for more than 2 years. As a result, this group was granted a sudden meeting with two Ministers and staff – something they had been asking for, without success, for months. I am hopeful that follow up meetings with the government will get some meaningful changes to the programs available to them so that they can get back to work as soon as possible.

I wish you a great July! Enjoy your Canada Day and I hope to see you during Stampede! Visit my Facebook page @PrasadPandayyc for important updates.

Prasad Panda

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