Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000

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Looking Ahead

Dear friends,

As I write this, the days are getting longer, and I am so enjoying the sunshine. And when you read this, I hope we’re all the way into spring and enjoying warm weather and green leaves!

Because my letters are due a couple of weeks before they’re published in the wonderful Boyle McCauley News, writing them is a great exercise in looking ahead. What community events am I looking forward to? What are my hopes for all of us over the next couple of months, and what are some challenges that we may need to address together?

I know that this past winter was tough for so many of our neighbours. During some of the coldest days on record, we saw people scrambling to save their belongings and find safe places to stay. The cost of living has continued to rise, meaning that so many people cannot afford even the basic necessities they need to get by.    

I mentioned in my last letter that I know that we have a long way to go, and a lot of work to do, to meet the needs of everyone in our community. We must ensure that we are all able to live safely, that we are all treated with dignity and respect, and that we all have access to community care and support. This is truer than ever.

I also mentioned that, back in December, I had the opportunity to introduce my first private member’s bill in the legislature: Bill 205, the Housing Statutes (Housing Security) Amendment Act 2023. This bill includes a proposed four-year cap on rent increases in Alberta, and a requirement for the provincial government to report to Albertans on how much affordable housing is being built each year. I am pleased to share that this bill will go to debate in the legislature during the second week of March. 

As I prepare to debate Bill 205, please know that I’ll be thinking of all my constituents, including all of you in Boyle Street and McCauley. I’ll be thinking of the heartbreaking stories I’ve heard about spiking rents, and of folks who have been waiting for years to access safe, affordable housing. I’ll urge my colleagues in the legislature to do what’s right - to ensure that all of us have steady and secure access to this basic need.

I know that housing is an important piece of making life affordable, but it’s not the only piece. So please be assured that my Alberta NDP Caucus colleagues and I will also fight for things like funding for municipal infrastructure, including for the schools and hospitals that our communities desperately need.

I know that we have a lot more work to do together and, as always, I want to hear from you. Please reach out and know that I’m here to listen and to work alongside you as we build a better province for folks in Boyle Street, McCauley, and in communities all across Alberta. 

Take good care of yourselves and each other.

Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
Email: Edmonton.HighlandsNorwood@assembly.ab.ca
Phone: 780-414-0682

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