Feature News Stories

Election reform, Alberta’s economy and assisted dying bill fires up Rempel

Lukey TownHallTHUMBThe state of Alberta’s economy wasn’t the only thing on the mind of Michelle Rempel, the Conservative MP for Calgary-Nose Hill, when she held a town hall meeting to a crowd of about 60 constituents at the Harvest Hills Alliance Church on May 25.

The self-described “fiery” MP had lots to comment on after a heated week in Ottwa that included passionate debates about assisted dying legislation, the so-called “elbowgate” incident involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the news that former prime minister Stephen Harper will give up his Calgary seat in the fall.

Here are four takeaways from Rempel’s meeting with northwest Calgary constituents.

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Impromptu barbecue organized by local MLA Leela Aheer and her husband

chestythumbnailWhen Malkeet Aheer answered a phone call from his wife on May 3, he was not prepared for the news that she had for him.

In tears, Leela Aheer, the Wildrose MLA for Chestermere-Rocky View, explained that her colleague Brian Jean (MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin and leader of the Wildrose) had to rush home from the legislature to check on his home and gather belongings.

Portions of Fort McMurray were in flames, the entire city at risk while nearly 90,000 raced to safety as the province, and the nation, looked on.

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Family finds community and support at Mount Royal University

Evacuees2thumb copyDespite knowing there was a wildfire nearby, Sandeep Kondaveeti and his wife were rushed when Fort McMurray officials demanded city residents flee for safety on May 3.

“I could see smoke from our home. When I came out(side) . . . ashes were falling,” Nishu Reddy said. “When I was evacuating, I was told that the fire was 14 kilometres away from our place.”

Reddy, her husband Sandeep Kondaveeti and their son Virat Kondaveeti started a long journey from Fort McMurray on May 3 after the blaze forced a city-wide evacuation. They finally arrived in Calgary, settling into their temporary home May 8 at Mount Royal University (MRU), where they were interviewed May 9, less than a week after fleeing their hometown.

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Despite one successful unity, the unite the right movement in Alberta has faced many obstacles.

4640634355 3d57ec7d99 bThe right-wing in Alberta has been plagued by divisions and mistrust among little-c conservatives. Despite one successful merger between the Alberta Alliance and the Wildrose Party, there seems to be no indication that the fault lines will be bridged any time soon. Indeed, the ill-conceived attempt to unite the right in 2014, driven by Danielle Smith and Jim Prentice, only seemed to widen that gap.

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