NEWS

2014: A year of action in the Senate

Posted December 18th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

As the Senate rose for the holiday break yesterday evening, I want to provide you with a brief update on what has been a year of action in the Senate.

We have accomplished much this year on behalf of Albertans and all Canadians.

In 2014, the Senate has been busy – we’ve passed over 42 pieces of legislation and our committees issued 16 studies.

Senators also work hard in 12 inter-parliamentary associations. I was honoured this year to be acclaimed to the position of Vice-Chair of the Canada-China Legislative Association. It will allow me to advance issues critical to Canada’s and Alberta’s prosperity as we build trade links with the Asia-Pacific region.

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I am working on a fascinating study on the impacts of digital currency and what role they might play in the Canadian economy. I also had the opportunity to ask the Governor about the impact of the falling price of oil on the Canadian dollar. You can see the statement here.

At Senate Energy committee, I have continued to advance Alberta’s energy agenda and we’ve discussed important studies in critical infrastructure and the use of renewable energy in Canada’s North.

Of course, Alberta issues are always at the top of my agenda.

I was fortunate to tour all parts of the province this summer and have ongoing meetings with municipal and provincial leaders across Alberta.

I have been forcefully advocating for solutions to the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the immigration system more broadly which works for Alberta’s labour needs. I will continue to advance these issues to ensure that Alberta businesses can meet their labour needs and support our growing economy.

Energy will be the top of my agenda for 2015. Market access, environmental performance and aboriginal engagement are key to the success of Alberta and Canada’s energy. I will continue to bring these important concerns to the forefront in the New Year.

Albertans are well served by their Senators. I want to specially recognize the efforts of Senators Scott Tannas and Betty Unger. They do great work on behalf of Albertans and deserve tremendous praise for their hard work.

It has been a wonderful year serving as your Alberta-elected Senator. I am confident in the promise of another productive year in 2015.

I wish you and your family all the best for the holidays.

Sincerely,

DB

My Holiday Cards: Showcasing Local Youths’ Artwork

Posted December 3rd, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

The holidays are a great time to take in some local art, and I like to celebrate our little local artists by displaying of their artwork on my holiday cards. For the second year in a row, I have selected artwork from two different Alberta schools for my cards, which will be sent out all over Alberta and Canada. The two winning pieces come from École Beau Meadow School in Beaumont, Alberta, and King Edward School from Edmonton, Alberta.

It’s always wonderful to see all the students’ submissions. Arts are so important to any community, and this is a fun way for me to encourage the arts among Alberta youth.

The winning pieces come from Cash Reiger, a grade-5 student from École Beau Meadow School and Aspen Link, a grade-6 student from King Edward School. You can see their submissions below. I’ll be sending the cards out to my friends, colleagues, and fellow senators and parliamentarians. Prime Minister Harper will even be receiving one.

It was so tough to pick just two of the submissions for my cards, but it’s a challenge I was looking forward to. There are some incredibly talented young artists in our province, and I can’t wait to show their talent to our holiday mailing list.

Cash Regier holiday card 2014

Cash Regier, Grade 5, Ecole Beau Meadow School

Aspen Link holiday card 2014

Aspen Link, Grade 6,  King Edward School

Libraries Inspire! Celebrating Canadian Library Month

Posted October 20th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

The Canadian Library Association has officially proclaimed October as Canadian Library Month, and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate Canada’s many wonderful libraries and the value they bring to our communities. Canada’s libraries are among the best in the world, with Edmonton’s own Public Library winning the prestigious Library of the Year award for 2014.

Academic libraries help provide students with the trusted resources they need for their studies. Public libraries help inspire the youth and adults who peruse the shelves. Professional libraries help professionals find the knowledge they need to assist their clients. The list goes on. And that’s not to mention the librarians, who guide us when we get overwhelmed.

But more than the knowledge found within the pages of the books on the shelves, libraries provide an endless list of services that contribute to the wellbeing of the community. Writing workshops, ESL programs, community and cultural events, tutoring and coaching, charity programs, and kids’ activities are all among the valuable services libraries offer to their patrons.

Libraries inspire, they spark a sense of wonder, and they help communities grow. I encourage you to pay a visit to your local library this month (and every month!) as we celebrate the lifelong learning that Canadian libraries support.

For more information about Canadian Library Month, visit www.librarymonth.ca

October is Canadian Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month

Culture Days 2014: A valuable contribution to communities across the nation

Posted September 22nd, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

Culture Days will be upon us again soon, and it’s a great time to celebrate some wonderful artistic and cultural activities across the country. 1.7 million Canadians participated in over 7,500 free activities nation-wide in 2013, and there’s more to come this year. Culture Days is taking place September 26, 27, and 28, 2014.

It’s no secret that culture and the arts contribute to more vibrant communities. Performance arts in Alberta alone provided $133.2 million in revenue to the economy in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. Arts and culture increase the quality of life in communities across the country, and it’s great to see movements like this making culture more accessible to Canadians.

Culture Days provides an opportunity for Canadians to engage in the arts  and culture in new and exciting ways. It fosters a fun, welcoming, and informative environment for artists, participants, and viewers alike. Help carve a totem pole, take some acting lessons, conduct an orchestra, or just observe as the streets fill with wonderful artistic projects over the weekend.

All the activities are free, open to the public, and encourage engagement in the arts. You can browse the entire list of activities here.

Culture Days

My Visit to Edmonton and Red Deer – Aug. 11-12

Posted August 11th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

Edmonton skyline

 

 

 

 

It’s been a productive summer as I travel around our province connecting with Albertans. Last month I visited Grande Prairie and Lethbridge, and today I’m in Edmonton to meet with Mayor Don Iveson. I look forward to a great conversation talking about Edmonton’s art scene, the exciting Blatchford Project, and Edmonton’s bid to bring the 2022 Commonwealth Games to the city.

Aerial view of Red Deer

Aerial view of Red Deer

Tomorrow I head to Red Deer, where I’ll be speaking to the local Rotary Club about my work in the Senate. As an important economic hub of central Alberta, Red Deer is vital to this province’s continued prosperity, and I’m excited to meet with the city’s local business community.

Stay tuned to social media for updates on my trip.