By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With most New Year’s resolutions not surviving until March, Martin Shields, MP for Bow River, is still focused on bringing the changes he would like to see in 2023.
“One is economics, and one is not economics,” said Shields. “The work on what the Prime Minister and the Liberal government talk about is Just Transition. This is not something that makes any sense. They will do a lot of work in support of the resource sector, in support of development of our economy, and this really comes home to Alberta. So that’s a really critical piece that we have to make sure that people recognize the value of people who work in the resource industry. Those are well qualified people who make excellent work, and being paid in a career that is really substantial. I remember what happened when the government talked about transitions for communities involved in coal.”
“Go up to Hanna these days and find out what the average price of a house is. Go to those communities where their corperation shut down, and they talked about before hand, ‘Oh there would be support. They would just be transition.’ The Liberal government didn’t do that for coal mining communities in Alberta. We need to support our resource sector, and keep both of those ones going. That’s the one side,” said Shields.
From here Shields switched to discussing his position on the Heritage Committee, and what he will be focused on.
“The other side that I’m specifically involved on (is) the Heritage Committee. We are working on safe sports. This is coming to light in the last year. A lot of the challenges that young people have had in amateur sports. On the Heritage Committee, we are going to be working with many sports organizations in Canada. We’ll deal with it at the governance level. We will be talking about and having chairs of sports organizations, CEOs, coming talking about what are their policies? How do they work with them? How do they protect them? How do we keep our youth safe? This will be an extensive research project for the Heritage Committee that I sit on. This is really, really going to be a challenge in the sense of making sure we recognize those organizations who do not have challenges, who got policies in place.”
Shields also emphasized how they can’t just make policies, but also follow through with them, and make sure change for the better is occurring.
“We need to hear about the policies and how they’ve done it, but we also need to pay attention as we did at the end of the year with Hockey Canada,” said Shields. “As we work through Hockey Canada with the information that witnesses provided from Hockey Canada, we will look at many organizations across the country in the coming months and listening to those people and how they deal with governance within their organization, and those youth in our riding that are involved in many sports organizations. We want to hear from the people in those organizations about governance, and what they can do and what they have done to keep it safe for the youth and sports in our communities.”