Monthly Column

August 2018 MLA Column

Racism has no place in Alberta. As our province becomes more diverse, the government has a responsibility to break down barriers, promote inclusive and accepting communities and embrace diversity as one of our strengths.

The Alberta Government recently launched initiatives to combat racism, foster acceptance and promote an inclusive society in Alberta. These include three initiatives:

Community conversations. We’re visiting communities across the province this summer to discuss next steps. Your input will help inform Alberta’s next steps to combat racism, including creating a provincial hate crimes unit. If your organization would like to participate in community conversation, please contact education.minster@gov.ab.ca.

Anti-racism advisory council. We’re recruiting up to 25 council members to advise the government on how to address racism effectively, engage Albertans in provincial and community conversations and further cross-cultural work. Apply by September 15, 2018.

Anti-racism community grant program. Community organizations will be able to apply for funding to support grassroots initiatives that raise awareness and understanding of racism and its effect ton all Albertans.

More information is available at https://www.alberta.ca/taking-action-against-racism.aspx.

In related news, my Private Member’s Bill 206: Societies (Preventing the Promotion of Hate) Act will hopefully be passed in Fall 2018. This will ensure that organizations that promote hate, such as the KKK, can no longer make use of the Societies Act to organize their activities and legitimate their cause. It is an unfortunate fact that Alberta had a Klu Klux Klan group listed as a registered society until 2003, and it is my goal to make sure such a thing never happens again in our Province.

As always, if my office can be of any assistance to you, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

July 2018 MLA Column

Trans-Mountain deal Keeps Albertans working

Craig Coolahan
MLA, Calgary-Klein


Our government promised Albertans we would get a pipeline built to tidewater, and the recent Trans Mountain pipeline deal fulfills this promise.

With the federal government’s purchase of the pipeline, the project has unparalleled certainty. Construction on the pipeline has resumed, creating good jobs for people building the pipeline and unlocking capital investment in our oil sands and energy resources. Most importantly, this deal helps us build up the things that matter to working families, such as our schools and our hospitals.

Good jobs for working people and meaningful climate action can – and must – go hand in hand. Our government led the path forward to economic recovery after an unprecedented slump in the price of oil. Our government protected the essential services, such as healthcare and education, working Albertans rely on. Alberta’s economy is now leading the country in economic growth.

Our Premier’s tireless efforts advocating for this pipeline and its benefits to all Canadians allow us to move forward with confidence. We will continue to protect the livelihood of working Albertans by securing the completion of this pipeline. Alberta’s exports will soon have access to tidewater – meaning we can sell to markets beyond the United States, securing better prices and better returns for Albertans.

People from across this nation have voiced their support, and together as a nation we are building it. While there is work yet to be done, this deal is a major step forward for each and every one of us. We won’t stop until the job is done. As your MLA, I thank you for your advocacy on this issue.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Feel free to email my office at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca, or call at 403-216-5430.

 

June 2018 MLA Column

School’s out – but we’re still building!

The Government of Alberta is modernizing or building over 200 schools across the province. This includes investments in St. Francis High School and James Fowler School here in Calgary-Klein. We are committed to investing in the services and supports necessary to build strong Alberta families and strong communities. New and renewed schools are foundational to the success of Alberta’s families and communities and to meeting the educational needs of our growing province.

We owe it to our kids to make sure they get an excellent education that prepares them for a great future. While some have called for reckless cuts to our classroom, this government is instead building badly needed schools across Alberta, modernizing existing schools, updating curriculum, and protecting classroom funding. Safe, caring, and inclusive classrooms ensure our students get the best education possible.

In 2016-17, our school nutrition program was piloted with 14 public and separate school authorities, funding more than 5,000 students in 33 schools with a daily nutritious meal. In 2017-18 this was expanded to 22,000 students, and in the 2018-19 school year the program is expected to provide daily meals to approximately 30,000 students. I am incredibly proud of this program because our children learn best with a balanced and nutritious diet.

While school winds down this month, remember that your government’s investment in education continues – equipping young Albertans with the skills, spaces, and support they need to ensure a bright future.

As always, if my office can be of any assistance to you, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

 

May 2018 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein!

Spring has sprung, and the month of May is upon us. The weather is warming and the economy is heating up.

After the worst recession in a generation, Calgary is emerging with a more diverse economy and more jobs than ever before. Calgary is the fastest-growing city in the Prairies this year, and will be the fastest-growing city in the country next year. Over 90,000 new jobs have been created in Alberta. Projects like the Calgary Cancer Centre and the Green Line LRT are contributing to Calgary’s growing economy. Restaurant receipts, manufacturing sales, housing starts, and exports are all up.

In addition to ensuring an economic recovery that is built to last, Alberta’s government is also supporting Albertan families where it matters most. Alberta’s $25 per day child care program has been expanded to 100 locations, creating an additional 4,500 affordable child care spaces. Our Alberta Child Benefit, which provides direct financial assistance to families with children with incomes less than $42,255, will help 130,000 families. Our government is increasing supports for organizations taking initiatives to end violence against women and within families, and is working with community partners to break the complex cycle of family violence and protect the health, safety, and dignity of all Albertans.

Finally, a reminder: May 13th is Mother’s Day. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the women and mothers in your life for all that they do.

Questions, concerns, or comments about this news, or anything else happening with the provincial government? My office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430.

April 2018 MLA Column

Diversifying Alberta’s Economy

Natural resources belong to all Albertans, and the government has a responsibility to ensure that Albertans get the best value for resources we own. That’s why the Alberta government is building on its strengths by leveraging billions of dollars in new private-sector investment to create thousands of jobs in a diversified energy industry. This is an important step towards securing Alberta’s future and getting off the boom-and-bust rollercoaster.

In late February, Premier Rachel Notley announced that support for full-scale commercialization of partial-upgrading technologies will be among the government’s next steps toward energy diversification. Partial upgrading increases the value of Alberta’s bitumen, creating a higher value for the product that can be shipped to more refineries around the world. This builds on our existing strengths, which include a skilled workforce and world-class petrochemical industry.

The government will provide support for partial upgrading over eight years beginning in 2019-20, which will include loan guarantees and some grants. This will spur construction of two to five partial upgrading facilities, representing up to $5 billion in private investment, 4,000 jobs during construction and 200 full-time jobs during operation.

According to studies, the impact of partial upgrading could be worth up to $22 billion in GDP growth for Alberta over 20 years -- adding jobs, infrastructure and investment throughout our province.

Questions, concerns, or comments about this news, or anything else happening with the provincial government? My office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430.

March 2018 MLA Column

Hello,

This month I would like to provide an update on two important issues.

Provincial review of disability program in Alberta

The Alberta Government is set to review the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program to explore how to improve services for Albertans with developmental disabilities.

Since 2015, significant improvements have been made to the PDD program. These include a $55 million investment to provide supports for an additional 800 PDD clients, ending the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) and increasing client and staff safety.

Our government is committed to listening to and working with the community on all issues that matter to them to make life better for Albertans with disabilities. Minister Sabir will work closely and collaboratively with individuals, families, staff and advocates in shaping and conducting this review.

Calgary Housing Company maintenance challenges

We have heard the Calgary Housing Company’s concerns about maintenance challenges and this is why our government recently confirmed almost $4.5 million in funding to the Calgary Housing Company to re-open closed suites.

The former government left a $1 billion maintenance deficit in affordable housing that we are doing our best to address in challenging economic times. I believe affordable housing should be a top priority for all levels of government, and I am proud Minister Sigurdson is committed to ensuring Calgarians who depend on affordable housing receive the supports they need.

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430.

 

January 2018 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein!

I hope you had a great holiday season and start to the New Year.

As many of you may recall, in November 2016 I introduced Bill 208: The Occupational Health and Safety (Protecting Alberta Workers from Harassment) Amendment Act, which aimed to protect all Alberta employees from harassment at their place of work.

Bill 208 only got through a first reading before the end of the legislative session, which was unfortunate. I’m pleased to announce, however, that recent changes proposed to the Occupational Health and Safety Act will address the concerns I brought forward in Bill 208, and begin to protect Albertans from harassment in the workplace.

Thanks to the efforts of many who reached out to me with their support for Bill 208, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act include provisions that address workplace harassment. Specifically, new Occupational Health and Safety provisions include new legislative definitions for violence and harassment, and outline the responsibility of employers and supervisors to prevent workplace violence and harassment. Furthermore, the proposed changes extend presumptive coverage for psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to all occupations. PTSD coverage for First Responders remains unchanged.

In addition, proposed changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act will better protect Albertans and support injured workers. An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans will improve workplace health and safety and provide fair compensation and meaningful support to injured workers and their families. The changes will also ensure Alberta workers have the same rights and protections as other Canadians.

The bill will modernize Alberta’s health and safety system to reflect modern workplaces, increase employee participation, improve safety, and increase supports to injured workers.

These proposed changes will better protect workers, ensure they have the same rights and protections as other Canadians, and empower them to participate in health and safety in Alberta’s workplaces.

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430.

Craig Coolahan
MLA, Calgary-Klein

December 2017 MLA Column

Government by Albertans, for Albertans: help Alberta’s government better reflect the province’s diversity and strengths!

You might remember that our government has been working to review Alberta’s agencies, boards and commissions to ensure they work for Albertans. For far too long, many of these positions were used to reward politically connected individuals with high salaries, numerous perks, and gifts of golf games and hockey tickets. The current government’s review of these practices has already saved $33 million over three years.

Our government has opened appointments to agencies, boards, and commissions to the public. This means you, your friends, colleagues, and community leaders can apply to positions on boards. It’s important that the boardroom tables of our agencies reflect today’s Alberta. Boards need equitable, inclusive representation to put our diversity and strengths to work. This can only happen when all Albertans are aware of board opportunities, and feel welcome to apply. Albertans who care about their communities need to step up and serve.

The steps we’re taking with agencies, boards and commissions are making a difference. In March 2015, only one-third of board members were women. Today, that number is 48 per cent. By opening up the appointment process, we’re already beginning to see our boards better represent Albertans. With a greater diversity of ideas, Alberta’s boards will lead to better decisions, better bottom lines, and better results for the people of Alberta.

If you’re interested in participating in one of Alberta’s boards, I invite you to consult boards.alberta.ca to search and apply online for opportunities. A notification tool on the website can send you email alerts when specific board opportunities arise.

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430.

November 2017 MLA Column

Alberta Cannabis Framework Announced
This past summer, the Alberta Government heard from the public and stakeholders about Alberta’s approach to cannabis legalization. More than 45,000 Albertans responded to the online survey! Based on these results, the draft of the Alberta Cannabis Framework has been released.

The Alberta Cannabis Framework proposes who will be able to buy and use cannabis once it is legal, where they will be able to buy it and where they will be allowed to use it.

The framework supports four policy priorities for legalization: keeping cannabis out of the hands of children, promoting public safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces, protecting public health and limiting the illicit market.

Details regarding the draft framework include:

Full details of the draft Alberta Cannabis Framework are available online and Albertans are encouraged to provide feedback to the government. For more details, please visit
https://www.alberta.ca/cannabis-legalization.aspx.

Holiday Open House
I’ll be hosting my annual Holiday Open House on December 8th from 4pm – 7pm. Feel free to drop by my office for some festive treats, warm beverages and some great conversation!

As always if you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at:
9-2400 Centre St NE
Calgary, AB T2E 2T9
403-216-5430
calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca

October 2017 MLA Column

Albertans, we need your input!

The Government of Alberta is launching a review of the province’s occupational health and safety system to improve workplace safety and better protect Albertans.

Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act sets the minimum standards for workplace health and safety, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of employers and employees. While there have been small changes over the years, the act has not been thoroughly reviewed since 1976.

The review will examine the OHS Act, as well as compliance, enforcement, education, engagement and prevention efforts in Alberta’s OHS system. The review is organized around three principal themes:

  1. Responsibility: how is responsibility for OHS shared among work site parties? Who is responsible for promoting health and safety culture, implementing best practices, and developing worker and employer self-reliance?
  2. Worker engagement: how do we address the right of workers to know about all workplace hazards they may be exposed to in their workplace? How should we address the right of workers to participate in decisions related to workplace health and safety, free from reprisal? And how do we balance these with the right of workers to refuse unusually dangerous work?
  3. Prevention: how should data and information inform appropriate actions? How should programs be developed to build public awareness and knowledge for prevention purposes? And how might partnerships between government, industry, workers, WCB and health and safety associations work best?

Along with an online survey and written submissions, the review will include roundtable sessions with employers, employees, academics and health and safety associations.

You can participate in the review by completing an online survey at alberta.ca/ohs-review and by sending written comments or submissions to lbr.review@gov.ab.ca. Submissions will be accepted until Oct. 16, 2017.  

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on November 11th from 10am-12pm.

September 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

Your help is needed in improving Alberta’s consumer protections!

The Government of Alberta is seeking feedback on ways the government can improve Alberta’s consumer protection legislation. Feedback is required on several topics, including contract-related issues like warranties and cancellation rights, as well as shopping-related concerns like transparency in pricing and reward points. The government is also seeking input on topics like household moving services, debt collection, ticket sales and auto repairs.

Do you have stories regarding your experiences with these issues and their related products or services? If you have suggestions for how we can make life more affordable for Albertans by ensuring a fair marketplace that’s fair for buyers and sellers, please provide your feedback to this important initiative.

You can participate in several ways:

As part of the efforts to strengthen consumer protection and ensure a level playing field for Alberta businesses, the government has already taken the following steps:

Your participation will help Albertans increase trust and build confidence between businesses and consumers.

Thank you to all who came out to my “Cool Down with Coolahan” Pool Party last August! It was a pleasure meeting so many of you and enjoying the last days of summer together.

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on Oct 14th from 10am-12pm.

August 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

The Government of Alberta recently committed funding to Phase One of the Green Line LRT project, the largest single investment in public infrastructure projects in Calgary. The province will provide one-third of the total project cost, up to $1.53 billion over eight years to support Stage 1. The funds will come from the Climate Leadership Plan.

Calgary City Council had approved the construction of Phase One of the Green Line, which will include the first 20 kilometres and 14 stations of the eventual 46-kilometre Green Line. As many of you know, our government campaigned to fund municipalities to ensure they have the right resources to fulfill infrastructure priorities, such as transit.

As such, the announcement of Phase 1 is a step in the right direction. I’m very excited to see much-needed infrastructure getting built in Calgary. I am also admittedly let down that Phase One of the Green Line stops directly at the southern border of Calgary-Klein, at 16th Avenue and Centre Street North.

The Green Line was presented as a transformational project for the communities along Centre St N, and residents have been looking forward to welcoming increased transit infrastructure into their communities. Furthermore, I know that some contentious development proposals have justified themselves by pointing to the imminent construction of the Green Line, and some residents understandably feel short-changed now that the Green Line won’t be arriving in the area for quite some time.

Phase 1 will open in 2026, with extensions added pending further funding. I understand the disappointment many in Calgary-Klein feel. The expectations regarding the Green Line were very high, and the timeline is much slower than any of us would like. While it’s important to build things right the first time, I firmly believe that Calgary-Klein would benefit from the rapid construction of a Green Line. Population density exists along the entirety of the northern corridor, and the city’s priority should be to service communities whom need it most.

As a government that supports inclusive, low-carbon, well-planned communities, I urge representatives at all levels of government to equip communities with both the funding and the planning resources they need. We share a common goal for the need of transit infrastructure for Calgary, in the push to offer healthy and-low carbon transportation that complements vibrant communities. Phase Two should happen sooner rather than later!

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on Sept 9th from 10am-12pm.

Also, our second annual Cool-down with Coolahan Family Pool Party & BBQ will be happening on August 27th from 9 am-12 pm at the Mount Pleasant Pool (2310 6 St NW). Stop by with the kids for free pool admission and free food!

Regards,

Craig

July 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

Albertans are among the most productive workers in Canada, and work some of the longest hours in the country. Yet despite this hard work and long hours, Alberta hadn’t seen significant changes to its labour legislation in 30 years.

That’s why I am proud that Bill 17: the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act is ensuring Alberta has modern and fair labour laws that protect the rights of Albertans. Work is where we spend half (and often more) of our waking hours, so it’s vital that the standards for work meet both the needs of Albertans as well as those of workplaces.

Bill 17 includes a number of important changes. Most importantly, the bill would allow Alberta workers up to five days of job protection a year for personal sickness or short-term care of an immediate family member. It would also allow for 16 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for long-term illness or injury. I believe that no one should have to lose their job because they get sick, or because they need to care for their loved ones who’ve fallen ill.

Additional changes ensure our laws meet the same standards in place in other provinces and at the federal level, such as maternity leave, parental leave, compassionate care leave and bereavement leave. Updates to overtime, vacation pay and termination notice standards are included, as well as a simplification of union certification and decertification processes.

The proposed Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code changes are the result of previous government reviews, as well as broad consultation with Albertans, employers, business organizations, labour organizations, municipalities, academics and advocacy groups. More than 7,000 submissions were received.

If passed, Bill 17 is expected to come into effect January 1, 2018.

As always our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on August 12th from 10am-12pm

Regards,

Craig

June 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

A belated happy Mothers’ Day and early happy Fathers’ Day to my constituents. Our government cares about Albertan families and this May, I had the honour of meeting parents and children at the Louise Dean Centre who are benefiting from our government’s new $25/day childcare program. Thirteen existing child care centres officially opened as Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Centres, and nine more will open throughout the year. All of these will provide quality child care at a cost to parents of no more than $25 per day.

My colleagues and I are working to make life more affordable for parents by increasing access to quality, affordable, accessible child care, and I am proud to follow through on this election promise. Approximately 1,296 licensed child care spaces will be included in the program, with 714 of these as of May. Five of these centres are located in Calgary, and there will be 320 spots operating throughout the pilot program.

This support also helps families by allowing parents get back to work. By investing in quality child care, young children benefit from specialized and enriched programs, and working mothers are better able to return to work and support their families.

This is one way in which we are responding to the long-standing childcare crisis that working parents face. According to a 2016 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report, two-parent Canadian families spend nearly a quarter of their income on child care. That puts Canada among the most expensive countries for child care within this group of 35 wealthy countries. Single parents in Canada face an even tougher situation, spending nearly a third of their income on child care.

I believe Albertans deserve better, and our government is looking to implement a universal maximum of $25/day quality child care as the province’s finances permit.

My office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on June 10th from 10am-12pm.

Regards,

Craig

May 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

Occasionally, constituents tell me they’re concerned about the state of Alberta’s finances. The fact is that Alberta is set to lead the country in economic growth this year, and has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of all Canadian provinces. Given this outlook, there are several important arguments for maintaining the state of our front-line services.

The moral argument is the one I find most compelling: Albertans shouldn’t be made to pay or suffer for fluctuations in the price of oil and the lack of foresight of previous governments. Since oil was discovered in Alberta, governments have used non-renewable resource revenues to fund schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure. When oil prices were high, previous governments pretended to be wise fiscal managers, and when oil prices were low, they slashed and burned front-line services Albertans rely on. This isn’t fair to Albertans. People shouldn’t be made to line up for hospital care, or put their child in a classroom with 50 others, just because the price of oil fluctuates.

There’s also a strong economic argument to be made for maintaining funding levels for health and education while investing in infrastructure. As Alberta’s economy recovers, we want to be an attractive place to move to, start a business, and invest. This means building the infrastructure we need while prices are relatively low, and maintaining the state of our front-line services. Companies rarely start new branches or move employees to places that throw their health and education systems into crisis. Maintaining stable funding to services helps Alberta remain competitive on the world stage.

The role of any government should be to make life better for Albertans, and that’s the role I see myself and my New Democrat colleagues accomplishing. Yes, serious conversations need to happen regarding the responsible management of revenues in Alberta. But when a world-wide oil price shock hurts working Albertans and their families, the first priority of government is to support Albertans as they weather the economic storm.

Regards,

Craig

April 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

Cuts to the salaries of the highest paid top executives of the government’s agencies, boards and commissions were announced in late February by the Alberta government. Perks such as retention bonuses, golf club membership and housing allowances have also been eliminated.

For much too long, previous governments allowed bloated CEO salaries beyond acceptable levels. Albertans deserve better, especially in tough times. These changes to compensation are expected to save government and agencies nearly $16 million a year.

Agencies, boards and commissions are now subject to a new compensation framework. The new framework benchmarks agency salaries against public sector market data in the Alberta Public Service, municipalities, public bodies and other Canadian jurisdictions. Similar measures have been implemented in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. These changes ensure that salaries for agencies, boards, and commissions are reasonable and in line with other provinces, while serving the public interest.

Future contracts will be reviewed by the new Public Agency Secretariat to ensure they are in line with the new rules. These changes are a part of the Government of Alberta’s review of all agencies, boards and commissions, which has introduced a transparent and accountable recruiting process, as well as public disclosure of compensation amounts.

For more information about Alberta’s public agencies, boards and commissions and their compensation, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/abc-compensation.aspx.

Our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on May 13th from 10am-12pm.

Regards,

Craig

March 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein,

Alberta’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths. Alberta has always been a home to those seeking refuge, and this will not change. Refugees and immigrants to Canada enrich our society beyond measure, and make incredible contributions to our communities, our economy, and our thriving cultural fabric.

Alberta will welcome those fleeing persecution, terror and war with open arms because all people deserve to live in peace and security. My family and I feel incredibly fortunate to enjoy these things in Alberta. Our country was largely built by wave after wave of immigrants, who made new lives, sharing lands long home to Indigenous peoples. And so just as previous generations made their homes here thanks to the kindness of others, so too should we offer this same kindness to those starting new lives here.

Hard work and a commitment to building strong and diverse communities have shaped this great province. As our economy recovers, let’s work together to welcome newcomers and offer them care and opportunities to succeed.

Let’s work together for a prosperous, diverse, and fairer Alberta.

Government goes back into session this month. Our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on April 8th, from10:30 am - 12 pm.

Regards,

Craig

 

February 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein!

As of November 2016, approximately 110,000 families, caring for an estimated 200,000 children, have received the Alberta Child Benefit (ACB).

The ACB, which came into effect this past summer, helps families to make ends meet and support the well-being of their children.

If you have a child under the age of 18, have been an Alberta resident for at least one month and earn less than $41,220 per year in net family income, you may be eligible for the benefit.

To qualify for the ACB, Albertans must file their tax return. The current benefit year for the ACB runs from June 2016 to June 2017, and eligibility is based on 2015 income tax returns.

If you have not yet filed your 2015 tax return, you are encouraged to do so to benefit from the ACB and other programs that you may qualify for.

Visit humanservices.alberta.ca/childbenefit or call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 (780-644-9992 in Edmonton), for more information on the ACB.

As always, our office is happy to hear any feedback from constituents, and we may be reached at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430.

Regards,

Craig Coolahan

 

January 2017 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein!

Last month, Prime Minister Trudeau and his government approved important energy infrastructure projects, which are critically important to the economic future of the people of Alberta. Our province has experienced a dramatic oil price shock over the last two years, and these new pipeline approvals give us a chance to break our landlock. We’re getting a chance to sell to new markets at better prices, and reduce our dependence on a single market. We’re getting a chance to pick ourselves up and move forward again.

Our made-in-Alberta Climate Leadership Plan is getting results. Albertans are used to being leaders, and these pipeline approvals demonstrate the benefits of our leadership. By leading the way in addressing climate change and phasing out of coal, we are getting real results for our energy industry. We are proving that you don’t have to choose between jobs and the environment: we are doing both. Working families shouldn’t have to choose between making a decent living versus protecting the environment for our kids and future generations.

This decision will mean:

Let’s work together across our province to protect our environment, create jobs, and work for a greener future.

Regards,

Craig Coolahan

December 2016 MLA Column

Happy holidays, Calgary-Klein!

As the nights grow long, snow falls, and the lights and music of the holidays surround us, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the stresses and obligations that often come along with the season. Often the pressures and commitments we place on ourselves and those around us can create a great deal of stress.

This kind of stress can sometimes lead us to forget the ‘reason for the season.’ While there are many traditions that celebrate this time of year in a range of different ways, some common threads unite them: treasuring our loved ones, and caring for and including vulnerable members of our society who find themselves without resources and without a warm and safe place to live.

Several excellent organizations do great work in Calgary to help our most vulnerable:

I wish you, your families and your loved ones all the best this holiday season.

Regards,

Craig Coolahan

November 2016 MLA Column

Hello Calgary-Klein!

Economic diversification is a key element of Alberta’s economic recovery. Alberta’s economy must become more resilient to changes in the international price of oil. Our government is supporting small businesses to create jobs and get Albertans back to work.

Alberta’s small businesses and investors create new jobs and diversify our economy. Small businesses in Alberta have a bigger economic impact than small businesses anywhere else in Canada, and make 35 per cent of all jobs in Alberta.

As part of the Alberta Jobs Plan, our government is creating a tax credit for investments in small Alberta businesses that will support up to 4,400 new jobs over three years, and contribute up to $500 million to the province’s GDP.

The Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) will offer a 30 per cent tax credit for investments in Alberta small business made between April 14, 2016 and December 31, 2019. The tax credit will be offered to investors who provide capital to Alberta small business in a variety of sectors, including:

Legislation establishing the AITC is being introduced this session. We know from similar legislation in other jurisdictions that this will provide a strong incentive for Alberta investors, increasing access to capital when and where small businesses need it most.

As always, my office is happy to hear from constituents. If you have any feedback about this initiative, or any other matter, feel free to contact my office at calgary.klein@assembly.ab.ca or 403-216-5430

Regards,

Craig Coolahan