Posted on Jan 21, 2019

An important announcement

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Over the last few years, I have had the honour of being the MLA Strathcona-Sherwood Park and the Government Whip. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to represent so many folks that work together in building the best community for our families. Working on such a broad variety of issues has been incredible.

In this time, my focus has been on advocating for programs that spur investment in the economy, building schools and supporting community initiatives. I have spoken many times on the importance of our value-added sector, in addition to fighting for our vital energy infrastructure, we must secure our economic future in the value-added industry.

As such, I am particularly proud to have been involved in the implementation of the first round of the Petrochemical Diversification Program that has attracted the 3.5 billion dollars of investment by Inter-Pipeline. This past September as the co-chair of the Canada-US Relations Committee, at the US Legislator the Council of State Governments, I was proud to have brought forward and passed a resolution affirming support for the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a trilateral agreement. We made sure that our biggest trade partners knew the importance of backing a new NAFTA agreement for both of our economies.

My advocacy for a strong Education system has resulted in 3 new/replacement schools and 1 modernization in Strathcona-Sherwood Park. I worked with residents concerned with safety on our roads and successfully got the signalization installed on Highway 628. Just last week, the transfer of titles of Range Road 222 to Strathcona County so we can finally see the reduction in speed limits right in front of the Ardrossan schools.

I have a passion for fighting for the equality and equity of vulnerable and marginalized members in our community. Supporting Bill 7, that added gender identity and gender expression as expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination into the Alberta Human Rights Act will remain as one of the proudest moments of my life. I am glad that in Alberta, we are standing up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Our government has a strong record, I am proud to have worked alongside Premier Rachel Notley, someone I consider to have been an incredible mentor to me. It was her encouragement that brought me into politics, then saw me become one of the first of three openly LGBTQ+ MLAs, first of three Latin-American Canadians and the youngest government whip in Alberta's history. I am appreciative of the work our government has done to continue to break the glass ceiling. It has always been my hope that it paves the way for more diverse voices to enter our political landscape.

It is with a heavy heart that I have come to the tough decision that I will not be seeking re-election to pursue further professional development opportunities. Until the election is held, I plan to continue working hard for all of my constituents.

Additionally, it is an honour to endorse a candidate that exemplifies some of the qualities I aspire to work on, Moira Vane, she has worked to keep our community safe through her work as Crown Prosecutor since 2005 taking on many cases in Sherwood Park. I believe her skills in negotiation, fighting to protect the rights of condo owners, and her unrelenting drive would make her an incredible representative for Strathcona-Sherwood Park. I am looking forward to supporting a mom, a friend, and a fighter as she seeks the NDP nomination.

Again, I would like to sincerely thank my constituents for putting their trust in me throughout my term.