Posted on Mar 11, 2016

Local link to amazing space project

Childrens shoes

Did you know that there is a piece of Lethbridge orbiting the sun? Did you know that Lethbridge was the home of the Canadian lead for the Canadian Space Agency on the Herschel/Spire Consortium?

I was incredibly excited to attend the opening of the three-day final meeting of the Herschel/Spire Consortium on Feb 16. I knew very little about this project, so I did a little research and was blown away to find out that Dr. David Naylor of the University of Lethbridge was the Canadian lead for this prestigious project happening right in our own backyard.

Through our connection with Dr. Naylor, this project brings outer space to us! This project has been underway for a number of years and comes to a close in June of this year, so I want to congratulate Dr. Naylor and his team for their outstanding achievements on this amazing project. Thank you for allowing me to have a glimpse into your awe-inspiring work. To learn more, you can visit http://spire.uleth.ca/.

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There were a number of highlights over the course of this past busy and exciting month. As always, I met with many constituents and attended many events. One highlight, of course, was attending the Herschel/Spire meeting. A second was attending the International Powwow. Ministers Ceci, Feehan and Phillips received traditional headdresses and indigenous names in a special ceremony, and the dancing, drumming and regalia were fantastic. I was completely taken by a very young dancer who was about four years old. I think he danced non-stop from 12:45 until 8:30. He danced into everyone’s hearts during the Grand Entrance and then won his Tiny Tot division. Adult dancers, you have incredible competition coming your way in a few more years. I offer my sincere congratulations to Mary Ann Crow Healy and her amazing team for organizing such a terrific event. Thank you for allowing me to participate.

I rounded out this month with a presentation at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs, outlining how the safe school guidelines came about. I talked about Bill 10, which was introduced and passed by the previous government in March 2015 and received royal assent in June. Our government introduced Bill 7, which added gender identity and gender expression to the Alberta Human Rights Act as prohibited grounds of discrimination, and was passed unanimously in the legislature in December 2015.

The minister of education then met with all 61 school boards and was asked to provide guidelines to assist boards with developing their policy, which was done by the Department of Education. Consultations on proposed board policies are ongoing.

We are back in session starting with the Throne Speech which took place Tuesday and I look forward to what is sure to be a robust sitting. I expect to be in our constituency office on Fridays during session, so please drop in to say hello or to discuss any concern you might have.

This column was originally published in the Lethbridge Herald on March 11, 2016.