The Calgary Stampede came to a close this past Sunday, marking another successful year with the second highest attendance in history. The dust has barely settled, and already, Edmonton’s K-Days is kicking off this weekend! Thank you to all who joined me at my Premier’s K-Days Breakfast this Thursday at the Legislature. This event would not be possible without all the hard working volunteers, MLAs, and our wonderful sponsors.
It’s important to remember that as we enjoy this beautiful Alberta summer weather, many in Alberta are still rebuilding from last year’s catastrophic flooding. This week, we implemented a government program to help municipalities get the equipment and supplies they need to ensure they are better prepared for any future flooding. Approximately $25 million has already been provided to more than 20 communities across Alberta for supplies including deployable flood barrier equipment, rescue boats, water filtration systems, generators, pumps, and sandbagging equipment.
The provincial government will continue working with communities on their flood readiness applications. Communities impacted by the 2013 Southern Alberta Floods can apply for a grant through the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.
The online voting for our province’s new license plate is still open! Albertans have been invited to help select our province’s new license plate design, as it’s been more than 30 years since our plates were changed. The updated versions will have a reflective coating that makes them easier to read, making it easier for police to spot vehicles that are unregistered, uninsured or stolen. To vote for one of three potential designs, click here. Voting will end on August 19.
On Thursday, I met with the new Alberta Innovation Council. This council will work to provide leadership and evolve innovation in our province. We have brought together some of the world’s best talentin research, innovation and entrepreneurship from right here in Alberta. The members have impressive knowledge and experience that will help our innovators turn ideas into solutions and our province into a launching pad for opportunity. With approximately $800 million annually invested in research and innovation by our government, the council will provide vital oversight and advice to align priorities, advance strategic initiatives and clarify roles and responsibilities while providing advice to government on ways it can enhance research and innovation in the province. To read more about the council, click here.
It has been a busy week for all of us here at the Legislature, but it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to acknowledge the terrible tragedy affecting the friends and family of Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Cathy Likness. I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to their loved ones with the recent developments in their disappearance. Words cannot express the depth of my sympathies during this difficult time, and I know those close to the Likness and O’Brien families remain in the thoughts and prayers of Albertans across the province, as they remain in mine. Thank you to the first responders, the Calgary police Department, and everyone involved for the countless hours and dedication spent searching for answers in this unthinkable event.
I hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the summer by taking the time to enjoy our beautiful province, and maybe taking the K-Day’s festivities if you are in the Edmonton area!
-Premier Dave Hancock