New Year's Message 2022

Happy New Year!

I hope you were able to spend some time with family over the Christmas break.  I was certainly grateful to have a bit of time at home, though I’m excited to get back to work in the constituency before we head back to Edmonton in February.

2021 was a memorable year for Alberta Infrastructure.  We passed the Infrastructure Accountability Act, which legislates criteria by which government projects are evaluated (providing more transparency around how taxpayer dollars are spent), we built 14 new schools (with another 57 in various stages of design and construction), and we completed six health projects (with another 27 underway). 

On the Infrastructure Ministry’s website, you can read about work taking place across the province.  It’s really an incredible feat that in spite of the pandemic and all the extra protocols in place, we’ve experienced very few project delays or cost overruns.  I want to sincerely thank the hardworking Alberta Infrastructure officials and project managers, along with the contractors and skilled trades who have done such great work over the past two difficult years.

Here in Calgary-Edgemont I was blown away by the success of this year’s iteration of our annual Veterans’ Food Drive.  The army of volunteers who came out to deliver bags across the riding and then returned two days later to collect them from porch steps was extraordinary.  It’s entirely because of the incredible volunteers in our community that the Legislative Assembly’s Speaker presented me with the Parliamentarian of the Year award for “Best Community Outreach” in December.  It’s an honour to have your help on initiatives like the Veterans Food Drive, last year’s moustache shave for the Alberta Cancer Foundation, this year’s fundraiser for neo-natal intensive care, along with events like our Stampede breakfast and Christmas reception.

As we begin 2022, I know that there remains a great deal of uncertainty facing many families.  COVID-19 continues to throw us curveballs, and despite hopeful signs that Omicron’s symptoms may be milder for most, high rates of infection warrant a cautious approach over the coming weeks.  While we have extended the Christmas holidays in schools by a week, we are committed to the imminent return of in-person instruction.  I’m hopeful that if Albertans continue to reduce their social contacts, as they did over Christmas, we can avoid large-scale lockdown measures as we have seen in Quebec and Ontario.

I look forward to connecting with many of you in the weeks ahead.  As always, you can contact the constituency office for help accessing provincial government services, along with any thoughts about government programs, policies, or legislation. 

Here’s hoping warm weather is around the corner!

Sincerely,

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Prasad Panda