June – MLA Prasad Panda’s Report

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It seems that spring is the Annual General Meeting season for many Community Associations in the Calgary-Foothills riding. I had the pleasure of attending AGMs for Sherwood, Edgemont and Nolan Hill already and look forward to those in Kincora and Sage Hill as my legislative schedule allows.

Congratulations and best wishes to the newly elected board of directors of the Nolan Hill Community Association! I was very impressed by the packed house of community members at their inaugural AGM. This bodes well for their future success! Community Associations are the focal point for citizens to raise common concerns affecting their community. CA volunteers also organize most of the interesting family activities that occur within their community’s boundaries.

One thing that irritates me about the NDP government is the apparent lack of thorough analysis before they force through new legislation and regulations. We constantly ask them to have fulsome consultations with all affected Albertans and to provide economic impact assessments for significant policy changes. A case in point is the Carbon Tax, the largest tax increase in Alberta’s history, and something that was not in their 2015 election platform.

While the Notley Carbon Tax will have no discernable effect on climate, it will pump hundreds of millions of dollars out of our province even as Alberta weathers a once-in-a-generation recession. In fact, according to a recent report from the non-partisan Library of Parliament, the federal Liberal government stands to instantly become one of the primary beneficiaries of this tax-and-spend scheme as the CRA has mandated that this tax is subject to GST.

Having calculated the cost to Alberta and BC, the two provinces where carbon taxes are already in place, the Library of Parliament expects the extra GST alone will cost taxpayers $130 million in 2017 and $150 million in 2018. The flood of cash leaving Alberta will only rise in subsequent years, as the Notley and Trudeau governments work to raise Alberta’s carbon tax from $10/tonne to $50/tonne.

Neighbour Day is June 17. It is a growing Calgary tradition, held every year since the great flood of 2013 in recognition of how neighbours helped neighbours get through that traumatic period. If you know of a Neighbour Day get-together in your community, please send me an invitation as I’d love to stop by!

Prasad Panda

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