Sunday, March 19

Hello Friends

It has been almost two months since the election and since I communicated with you in my blog. The reason I didn't was that given the outcome of the election and to give Mr. Harper and his team a chance to get established and to avoid prompts that might arise or lest I feel inclined to critique. However, now going on two months it is time to get over the skittisness and as suggested by some of my supporters it is time to get back to using the medium and to communicate some of what I have been up to. As you might imagine I have been very busy.

Two days after the election I was back working my regular job. As you can imagine I ahve been busy catching up. The following week-end I had to attend Provincial Liberal meetings in Red Der in my role as South West Alberta Chair which also precluded me from attending a 'Wrap-up Session' for Southern Alberta Liberal candidates held in Calgary on January 28. However, we had our own most successful local debriefing session on February 18 chaired by Senator Joyce Fairbairn. Even a few people came from Calgary and the MacLeod Riding for it. Unfortunately, because of severe weather conditions the following week-end I missed the 'Debriefing Session' for Candidates and their Managers held in Calgary on February 24. However, as a result I was able to attend the Annual Dinner and GM of the Legion Credit Union here. Since then we've had a couple of meetings of both the Provincial and Federal Party organizations and we are well underway getting input from the "grassroots". Also, attended several fundraising functions including a successful one for our local Provincial Constituencies Associations not forgetting that I had to reactivate and get back to my duties in the other organizations I'd been active in, Habitat for Humanity, the Medicine Tree Centre and Aboriginal Housing in Action as well as almost get reacqainted with my family since as you can imagine I did'nt see much of them during the campaign. Along with all that, I compiled and overview of the campaign and as soon as I got and organized the lists of those who supported and volunteered during the campaign I started writing 'Thank Yous'. In all, I did about 170. In attempting to keep up with everything the activity took a few weeks. I hope I didn't miss too many; if I did, it wasn't intentional. And, thanks to peoples generous support we fared quite well on the financial side. Mary, my agent appears to have evrything well in hand to date, and since we got more than 10% of the vote we're supposed to get back a percentage of our expenditures. It will sure give a good start for the next election whenever called. Sure beats being in debt. Thanks a mil. everyone again for all the hard work and generosity. And; now I'll give some observations on occurrances since inaugeration of our new government.

Lest you be one that doesn't get time to read papers or listen to the news contrary to what one would expect it didn't take Mr. Harper long to add to many people's cynacism of politicians. Though I like to try and take the high road and attempt to dispell and counter such attitudes it sure is more difficult to defend when rightaway Mr. Harper bucked a key plank of his platform, government ethics and transparency which he and his party pounded the Liberals on. Many people ask how ethical it was to approach and appoint Mr. Emerson, former Liberal Cabinet Minister to his cabiet. Seems like there's one set of rules for him and another for everone else. Have we seen much of him since or is his policy to avoid the media and hope the issue will disappear. Many of us find it difficult to understand how anyone can do such a quick about-turn. I'll reserve further opinion on it lest I be accused again as I was by one individual during the campaign of being "a slimy campaigner" for daring to remind voters that it was Mr. Harper and the Conservatives that pushed for Canada to join the war and the Liberals that kept us out; which obviously with hindsight was the best decision. Being aware of what ocurred on our neighbor's territory to the South of us we can imagine what the repercussions may have been for us too. Thank God Canadians are a peace-loving people.

Already it appears like Mr. Harper is soft-pedaling on Medicare. Have we heard him say anything on it recently since Mr. Klein, intent on changing it started pushing his "Third Way". Many Albertans are concerned, expect a similar outcome to what occurred with energy deregulation and are emphatic they do not want a two-tiered system of healthcare. I wholeheartedly agree with them. It appears incomprehensible that anyone could be so stuck on and wanting to destroy what so many including many including our Southern neighbors also question why, when many of them yearn for and are working to develop a more public system that can assure more of the basics for more of its citizens. I am highly concerned and hope that everyone will involve and educate themselves before it is too late to help ensure we end-up with decisions that achieve the "greatest good for the greatest number of our citizens". Keep posted.

Now that I'm back in the swing of this I will provide observations and details as opportunity arises and I will endeavour to respond to any concerns or observations you may have. And, of course; I would be most appreciative of any suggestions you have to help us improve things and, we'd all be ecstatic and welcome anyone wishing to join us in our thrust for review, renewal and revitalization. As we all know more of anything good is much stronger when working togeter even if it's threads made in to a rope. Let's do our part in adding to that strength so we can achieve even greater outcomes. There are all kinds of opportunities available, from policy to helping organize activities. It is also my hope to share more as time rolls on on Liberal orientation and values, and; don't forget to add your voice on the Health Care debate and on Saturday, April 1, a demonstration is scheduled for Galt Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30. Let's move forward together. Sincerely, Michael

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