Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Dr.Richard Starke says he will be focused on the improvement of the energy sector and community resources this year. Starke says the “slow and fragile recovery” in the energy sector has been encouraging, but there is still work to be done.
“There’s two real big concerns that we’re seeing in the oil and gas sector that are really putting a damper on a full on recovery. The first is the uncertainty of what methane regulations are going to look like and unfortunately the government has been really slow at clarifying what those will look like. The second part of it is the mishaps they’ve had with shipping product to market. There’s a huge spread between West Texas International and Western Canada select price.”
The oil and gas sector is not the only economic challenge Starke wants to rectify this year.
“The unemployment rate remains high. Yes, there are some jobs being created but the jobs that are being created are also created at lower salaries.”
Starke also wants to continue the discussion about rural crime in 2018 legislature sessions.
“I raised that point a number of times in the legislature and had a number of conversations directly with people in the justice department about trying to make sure that those issues are addressed.”
He also mentioned that he will be working to improve mental health and addiction services in Vermilion-Lloydminster, especially in regards to the opioid crisis.
“The Thorpe [Recovery] Centre is operating right now considerably less than capacity so we’re working with the associate minister of health to try to get more beds funded.”
Successes Starke says he saw in 2017 include a strong agricultural year, events like the Saskatchewan Summer Games coming to the Border City and Westjet launching flights at the Lloydminster Airport beginning in March.
He says it has been a “tremendous honour and privilege” to serve the people of Vermilion-Lloydminster and he is proud of how the community comes together in times of need.