UCP Marks First Anniversary in Office

UCP Marks First Anniversary in Office


Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk
MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville


Thursday, April 17, 2020, marks our one-year anniversary working for Albertans. I couldn’t be more proud of my coworkers and our government for all the restless work being put in to ensure Alberta continues to be the best place to live. There have been many tough decisions made, especially lately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However there have been many successes throughout this past year, and I think we should acknowledge those to find positive inspiration coming into this next working year.

My greatest achievement this past year has been the introduction of private member Bill 201, requiring epi-pens be available in all school facilities and classrooms. As a mother, it is unfathomable to imagine the suffering of a child, especially when we have the resources to prevent it. Allergy attacks are a serious, life-threatening, and unfortunately common occurrence. By ensuring epi-pens are available in schools where most children spend the majority of their days, we can then ensure an extra measure of safety for those with potentially fatal reactions.

One of the UCP government’s biggest priorities has been balancing our provincial budget, and increasing revenue. Premier Kenny appointed a Blue-Ribbon panel of experts to review all finances and provide unbiased recommendations.

Bill 1 announced our repeal to the NDP imposed Provincial Carbon Tax, which was successful. Currently, we are in the process of appealing Justin Trudeau’s Federal Carbon Tax.

A common concern we heard was how our youth were unable to find jobs in this economy. There were may frustrations that companies did not fund value in hiring inexperienced workers. Bill 2 was introduced to lower the wage for minor workers, therefore given business an incentive to higher new entrants to the workforce. This has received praise from youth workers, parents, and business owners.

Business owners, both big and small, had been suffering during Alberta’s downturn, and Bill 3 was introduced to give them some relief as well as encourage new businesses to open. This is popularly known as the Job Creation Tax Cut. This tax cut alone has helped many businesses survive throughout the past year and is encouraging job creators to consider Alberta as a place of business. It has saved Alberta’s tax revenue from decreasing further by preventing businesses from leaving Alberta or closing down in general.

Our government is responsible for many other successful initiatives throughout the past year including the red tape reductions, increases to healthcare, reviews of government spending and more. The building of pipelines has been a hot topic, and we are finally seeing these projects start with the reassurance they can be completed. UCP MLAs have taken pay cuts and reduced their office spending to further invest more in Albertans.

Given that Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville is mostly rural, I am happy to see stricter crime measures implemented to protect farmers and homeowners. Repealing Bill 6 and working with farmers to improve their lifestyle and operations. I am particularly proud to see so much being done for our rural areas and will continue to promote our communities.

Alberta’s current situation is unprecedented and challenging, to say the least. We still do not know exactly how our economy will be affected by COVID-19, but please know that governments at all levels are working together to do everything we can for you. This will be a challenging time, but Albertans have shown me time and time again how strong and resilient they can be. I call on everyone to look at the positives, celebrate your blessings, and stay strong in the upcoming weeks ahead.

I wish you all the best health, happiness, and safety as we confront these challenges together.