The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. It is also an opportunity to look back at the past year and take stock. Just over two years ago, the people of Mill Woods elected me to represent them in Ottawa. Now, halfway through my four-year term, I’m reflecting on some of what has been accomplished to date, and the work still ahead of us.
When we first came into office, the Canadian economy was stagnant and, especially here in Alberta, far too many of our friends and neighbours were struggling to find work. During the campaign we promised to make smart, strategic investments to get our economy growing and now, two years later, those investments are paying off. Canada now has the fastest growing economy in the G7 and unemployment is at its lowest point since February of 2008. Since our government was elected, Canadians have created more than 600,000 new jobs – and 80,000 of those were created last month alone.
Our province is also getting back on track. By early next year, Alberta will regain its standing as the fastest growing provincial economy in the country. There is still more to do, and we will continue working with our provincial partners to keep the momentum going, but our plan is working and is making a real difference for Albertans and all Canadians.
We also promised to support our natural resource sector and help grow it responsibly and sustainably. Our government has approved more major oil and gas pipelines in two years than the previous government did in a decade. One of my proudest moments was being on hand to celebrate the ground-breaking for the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. This is a major project that will create over 9000 jobs in our province and will help transport Alberta’s oil cleanly and safely. By working with communities, industry, and the other orders of government, we will continue to stand up for the energy sector and help ensure our resources have access to markets today and into the future.
I’m very proud of the work my office staff does to help constituents resolve issues with the federal government. This year alone, we have helped over 750 families bring their loved ones to visit Canada. We have also managed more than 1300 files related to immigration, CRA, passports and social benefits like EI and CPP, as well as benefits for seniors. Our efforts have assisted many, who have been struggling with the bureaucratic requirements for social benefits, in recovering payments which they were entitled to receive.
I wish you all the very best for the holidays and hope you enjoy time with family and friends. Thank you for another wonderful year serving as your representative and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!