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Also, of note, we passed theFinancing Alberta’s Strategic Transportation Act. With the recent devastatingly low oil prices and falling provincial revenues, it was critical to find alternate ways to build new infrastructure projects. The “FAST Act” allows the government to pay for new or expanded transportation infrastructure projects by collecting user fees. At the same time, it ensures that Albertans will be engaged before a project can be built using this method, and Albertans who do not wish to pay user fees will still have a toll-free alternative. There is a long history in other provinces of financing much needed major infrastructure projects by tolls and this bill is necessary to help drive economic growth and remain competitive.
Last but not least, I am so proud of our unprecedented investments in mental health and addictions recovery. In addition to committing to 4000 new treatment beds, we also eliminated user fees for all Albertans accessing publicly-funded addiction treatment beds. We believe that recovery should be available to everyone and that no Albertan should have to re-mortgage their house or sell their car to afford addiction treatment. That is why, for the first time in the province’s history, any Albertan, regardless of their financial situation, will now have the opportunity to recover and build a better life.
Well, like most of you, I am not particularly sad to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror. It was quite a year – exhausting, challenging and in many cases, devastating. If you listened to Social Media, the world was more outraged, aggrieved and divisive than ever before. Yet, thanks to you, I also heard so many stories about acts of kindness, compassion, resilience and outright heroics. It was from those stories I drew my strength and they are the ones that I will choose to remember when I think of 2020.
Now it’s back to work. Please don’t forget to support/shop local. If you would like me to visit your business and do a short socially distanced video for my Facebook page, give my office a call at 780-360-8003 and we will make that happen. I look forward to seeing you in 2021.