– published in the St. Paul Journal on July 3, 2012

After over six months of rodeos, town and county meetings, a provincial election, high school sports games, cups of coffee from McDonalds and Tim Hortons, one week without said drink, and a baby of the month story, I have officially moved on.

The move is to another newspaper in a town located in the mountains. As exciting as it is to move to a different place and experience the freshness that comes with being in a new surrounding, thinking back on my experience here in St. Paul has reminded me that living and working here was something I needed to do.

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Local MLA Shayne Saskiw says the steps made by the PC government in implementing 13 of the 15 recommendations laid out by retired Supreme Court Justice Jack Major are a step in the right direction, but insists the Wildrose party will fight “tooth and nail” to ensure the proposed defined pension plan for MLAs does not become legislation.

Last week, in conjunction with the first session of Alberta’s 28th legislature, house leader Dave Hancock announced Premier Alison Redford’s government approval of most of the recommendations laid down by Major in his written report on salaries paid to Alberta politicians. Redford had originally pledged to accept every one of Major’s recommendations around MLA pay. However, immediately following the 327-page report’s publication, the premier announced she would not accept the recommendation for an increase in her salary to $335,000 (a raise of $124,000).