A fundamental responsibility of every elected official is to listen, engage, and work with other levels of government to best represent their constituents. This responsibility has taken on an even greater importance as governments at all levels across the country work together to confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is imperative for MLAs to be engaged with the cities, towns, villages, summer villages and counties they represent. It is therefore particularly regrettable that Slave Lake, High Prairie, and other municipal councils from the provincial constituency of Lesser Slave Lake had to take the unprecedented step of publicly reporting their struggles with building a productive relationship with MLA Pat Rehn. By failing to engage with and advocate for his constituents, MLA Rehn broke public trust of his local councils and failed to be accountable to his constituents.
AUMA agrees with Premier Kenney that people in positions of public trust must be held to a higher standard, and we support Premier Kenney’s decision to remove MLA Rehn from the government caucus due to his lack of commitment to representing his constituency appropriately. Further, we join the town of Slave Lake in calling for Mr. Rehn’s resignation as the MLA for the Lesser Slave Lake constituency.
We appreciate the willingness of the provincial government to listen to municipal concerns and needs and provide the necessary supports. We trust that this will enable municipalities in Lesser Slave Lake to achieve accountability with their provincial government and effectively collaborate over the remainder of the UCP government mandate.
There can be no economic recovery in Alberta without strong communities, and the partnerships between municipalities and their provincial government representatives are critical to achieving this. AUMA looks forward to building constructive relationships with all MLAs as we advance AUMA member priorities, including stable and predictable funding, partnerships for jobs and growth, and overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 to build a stronger, more resilient Alberta.
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Communications Manager, AUMA