2015 Christmas Greeting,
As the MLA for the provincial constituency of Livingstone Macleod, it is my sincere pleasure to have this opportunity to once again say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone in Southern Alberta.
Christmas time is for me normally where I reflect back on how I have celebrated this wonderful occasion since I was a child here on our family farm in the early 60s. It always brings back so many fond memories of that time of year. Bundling up each day, doing chores in the barns, feeding animals, struggling through deep snow drifts out to the fields in our old tractors pulling hayracks to get to our stacks of hay, for another load to last the cattle and horses for a few days. I fondly remember while working away too, how ravenous I would become as the smell of my grandmothers’ savory soup drifted across the yard to the barns.
One of my favorite memories each year is of the outings to get “the tree” for Christmas. My grandfather, my dad, my sister and I armed with shovels and axes, would hook up the stone boat behind the old Case tractor and push a trail through to the back country of our ranch along the Bow River in search of the best one. What a fabulous adventure, plunging through waist deep snow, helping to fell that special prize and ride with it on the stone boat for about an hour back to the farmyard. Often while there, we would shovel the snow off the ice on the nearby slough and skate for a couple of hours before returning home. This of course was just the lead up to a day of wonderful celebration full of gifts, great food and joyous times.
Unfortunately for myself and so many Albertans this year, these hearty Country Christmas thoughts have been delayed and high-jacked by the chain of events regarding the Bill 6 issue that has so negatively impacted and threatened our Farming and Ranching businesses and lifestyle. My heart goes out to all of those that took the time to write the thousands of emails and letters we have received and to those that felt so strongly about this to drive for hours to attend the many rally’s both locally and at the Legislature grounds in Edmonton. There has been a lot of emotion surrounding Bill 6 and other Alberta government policies that most of you are justifiably worried about and the consequences of these rushed and ill-thought pieces of legislation. We in the Official Opposition Wildrose Party work for you and we will do our best to advocate for you as we monitor how these changes will affect all Albertans.
Just like the days gone by, Christmas should always be a time for all of us to set aside challenges and enjoy our time with families and friends. I wish all residents in Southern Alberta a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season.
PAT STIER – MLA