Blake Richards MP talks pipelines, budget and hot springs

In the first ever tele-townhall for the Wild Rose constituency, member of Parliament Blake Richards answered questions from residents on Monday (Jan. 21) concerning a variety of issues such as natural resources, privatization of local hot springs and the federal government’s commitment to achieving a balanced budget.

Using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, the MP engaged in a public question period where more than 3,700 people from across the constituency were contacted and asked to participate. Submissions sent via e-mail were also addressed in the hour-long conference.

Several of the questions put to Richards during the conference dealt specifically with the country’s natural resources, predominately the oil and gas industry and potential impacts on the environment. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

MP responds to Idle No More protest in Banff

Since forming at a general educational session in Saskatoon this past November, Idle No More protests by members and non-members of First Nations across the country have been both peaceful and, at times, disruptive.

The protest that occurred near Cascade Mall in Banff last weekend was peaceful, however, another in Calgary led to the closure of a bridge with police still to determine whether charges will be laid.

Wild Rose Member of Parliament Blake Richards responded to the recent local protest before meeting on Wednesday (Jan. 16) with three chiefs from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation to discuss economic development opportunities. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

MP’s bill to curb masked rioters at events

A bill sponsored by Wild Rose MP Blake Richards has passed third reading in the House of Commons and, if approved by the senate, could implement stiff penalties for those who conceal their identity while participating in a riot or unlawful assembly.

Bill C-309, otherwise known as the Concealment of Identity Act, is Richards’ private member’s bill that was first introduced in Oct. 2011 and will apparently provide police officers with a new tool to prevent, de-escalate and control riots. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

New House of Commons committees ‘good mix’ for MP

Wild Rose member of Parliament Blake Richards has been appointed to two House of Commons committees that he says will help him address issues affecting the riding at the national level.

Since the fall sitting of Parliament resumed last month, Richards has been appointed to the standing committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) as well as the standing committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANO).

Regarding the latter, the MP indicated there are a couple pieces of legislation the committee will be looking at to improve accountability while also studying the link between land use and sustainable economic development within the country’s First Nations. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Proposed Wild Rose boundary changes good for Tories, NDP

Proposed boundary changes to the Wild Rose federal constituency, which would be renamed Banff-Airdrie, could be beneficial to both the governing Conservatives and the opposing New Democrats, say local representatives.

Earlier this month, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Alberta submitted a proposal to change the boundaries of the current Wild Rose constituency. The changes would divide the constituency in half, with the southern part expected to include Canmore, Banff, the MD of Bighorn, Crossfield, Morley, Cochrane, Airdrie, and parts of Rocky View County and portions of Springbank. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Wounded soldiers to climb mountain near Everest in the fall

For wounded Canadian soldier Dave Macdonald, events over the next four months may be the proudest of his life.

Having arrived in Canmore on July 15, Macdonald is part of a 14-person team of retired and reserve Canadian Forces members participating in a training program that will eventually see them tackle the 6,189-metre summit of Island Peak near Mount Everest in Nepal.

“I wanted the opportunity to be part of this team and be able to tell my story,” Macdonald said at a press conference for the training mission held at Silvertip Golf Course last Wednesday (July 18). Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Bill C-38 important in moving forward, MP says

The federal government has passed its 425-page budget implementation bill, one that Westlock – St. Paul MP Brian Storseth says is an important piece of legislation for Canadians moving forward.

Now awaiting approval in the Senate, federal MPs voted 157-135 on June 18 to adopt the legislation, known as Bill C-38, at third reading. According to Storseth, the biggest changes implemented in the bill involve regulatory reform. Read the full story at the St. Paul Journal.

$25 billion in pension liabilities on the books, according to MP

A report released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) a few weeks ago has asked Members of Parliament to shut down the current pension scheme that has been creating hoopla in Ottawa. Last week, local MP Brian Storseth said the pensions are only part of a much bigger issue. Read the full story at The St. Paul Journal.