Cold Lake Councillor Vicky Lefebvre attended the AUMA Conference last week and says along with the ability to network, grab the attention of the provincial Ministers, and bring the City’s issues to the forefront, one of the most rewarding parts of the conference was the professional development seminars.
“There’s some really good programs,” Councillor Lefebvre explains, “if you have someone new on your council, they teach you how to deal with the press. I went on one Get to Know Your New Government.” Alberta having been governed by the Progressive Conservative (PC) party for decades, everyone (including the municipal governments) is adjusting to a new style and approach to governing that comes with the New Democrats (NDP).
“They told us a lot about the NDPs and they told us about their caucus, who it’s made up of. Lots of different elements,” Lefebvre says she left the seminar with a new appreciation for the new government, “it’s made up of a young demographic. So, people coming to the table are going to come in with a different mindset then what we’re used to in the past. It was all a very good learning experience.”
Something that struck Lefebvre was when Premiere Rachel Notley noted in her speech at the AUMA that the new MLAs are “the most educated bunch in the legislature.” They may be young, and somewhat inexperienced, but they carry with them the most education over any other majority party that has lead Alberta.
“You also learn where they’re coming from, their perspective. Some of them come from different walks-of-life. They’re made up of social workers, and professions like that, where in the conservatives they tended to be business people. It’s a whole new look at everything, I enjoyed it,” states Lefebvre. The Councillor is more confident in the NDPs having met a lot of them and partaking in the seminar.
Lefebvre says she was moved my guest speaker, Alvin Law, who spoke of making the best of what you have. Law a motivational speaker and former radio broadcaster. He was born without arms as a consequence of his birth mother’s use of the infamous morning sickness medication, Thalidomide, while pregnant. “He was born with no arms, and raised by adoptive parents because his had given him up. His message was, ‘whatever happens, you deal with it.’ It may not be what you wanted, but you wake up and this is what you have, you learn to deal with it.”
Lefebvre explains how that tied into the NDP government, “Whatever the situation, gain some knowledge on the subject and do your best. So like anything, [for the new government] get to know them, get to know what they’re about. Just like how you tackle any problem. This is what you woke up to, this is what you have for the next four years, learn to live with it, and work with it.”
Lefebvre says there was a stronger, more confident vibe among many of the Ministers and MLAs from some she had met in June and from taking in the conference and meeting a lot of them face-to-face she has a stronger confidence in the NDP government.