Politics were the topics of discussion for the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce this week at the Connect With Your Elected Officials Luncheon. Representatives from all three levels of government joined with local business owners over lunch, some coffee, and engaging conversation.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers sat beside MLA Colleen Young, MLA Garth Rowswell and Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs, presenting current portfolios and committee placements, and the issues they’re taking on. For the newly-elected Rowswell, it affirmed his party’s mandate on tackling regulation and offered helpful feedback for his direction going forward.
“We’re going to need their input,” said Rowswell. “There are so many areas, and I’m not an expert on them. So we need guidance from these people, and I look forward to getting that from them for sure.”
Other topics included the current state of Canada’s energy industry and the topic of rural crime. These are issues Shannon Stubbs is deeply familiar with, serving as Lakeland MP and the Official Opposition’s natural resources critic. Stubbs was honoured to discuss the work she’s doing to tackle these issues, such as her motion to undertake a study on rural crime. She sought to raise her concerns with local businesses around federal policies and the issue of national unity.
“I do worry about the alienation and the risk of even more frustration and anger, particularly in Alberta and western provinces, if the Trudeau Liberals are re-elected; given that the Trudeau Liberals have proven themselves to not care about the people in Alberta, about western provinces and western energy,” said Stubbs.
The featuring of different elected members touched on many issues, all deeply political. Members of the chamber of commerce hoped to ask more questions beyond the energy industry, but long-form answers dominated the question and answer period. John Winter, president of the Lloydminster Construction Association, felt the topics underline the imperative of this upcoming election cycle.
“There is definitely a lot of stuff going on that the current federal government is putting in, that some people would like to see changed and challenged,” says Winter. “It’s a very important time this October to get out and vote, and some of our elected officials today stressed that even further.”