Friday, 30 December 2011

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Yesterday, I saw a message come across Twitter that suggested their was a lot of Progressive Conservative party nominees running in Calgary Currie. I think having a lot of people interested in representing their neighbours is a wonderful thing. The more voices we hear during an election increases the chances for renewal in our province. This is especially true during the nomination process when members of political parties focus on defining their issues and interests. Participating in a political party at these moments is a vital way to make your voice heard.

To me, the Progressive Conservative party represents a progressive voice for the future of Alberta, one built upon the experiences of the past...both good and bad. This province has thrived for forty years because of the ability to manage the ebb and flow that exists between the public and private sectors. 

We are a province wealthy in resources and energy, within a country rich in beauty, freedom and democracy. This is our good fortune by right of citizenship. Our provincial government recognizes the importance of balancing these complementary resources (public and private) and has been responsive to this delicate balance since Lougheed and throughout our PC history. 

We are on the threshold of becoming a global leader politically, fiscally and environmentally because of the decisions made by this government and because we are open to learning from the decisions that we have made that have had less positive impact.

What does the PC Party mean to you? Tell your local candidate when he or she knocks on your door. It's the only way to help shape the party to reflect the changing province we live in. 

I believe that in the upcoming provincial election, the party that reflects the voices of Calgary Currie the best will have the chance to represent you in the Legislature.

Let your voice be heard. Make sure to vote this spring, and make sure to have your say in helping to pick a candidate for Calgary Currie on January 28th. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A New Calgary, a New Alberta, and a New PC Party

Premier Redford has said "We are now going through a generational change in politics and business.We have to embrace the world in a way that we've never done."

A recent Bloomberg article noted that Calgary has the fastest growing immigrant population of any Canadian city, and will be quickly adding more as companies struggle to fill 100,000 oil industry jobs over the next eight years.

This news is not likely to surprise anyone in Calgary Currie. At St. Michael School, we have significant populations of students from Columbia, Venezuela, Sudan and the Phillipines, as well as smaller numbers of children from many, many other countries. Everyday I see families making the decision to call this city, and specifically Calgary Currie, home, in no small part because of the economic opportunities that Calgary offers in oil and gas, finance, and agriculture.

But there is another opportunity I see reflected in their faces - an opportunity to become involved in the political process of our city and province. The elections of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Premier Alison Redford as leader of the PC Party points not only to the increasing multicultural nature of Calgary and Alberta, but more to the point, the gains the Progressive Conservatives have made in welcoming all Albertans.

To me, this is the moment that makes this year's election so exciting; the opportunity to be a part of a new generation reflective of our multicultural reality.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is meant to be a peaceful time of year, but like a lot of people I find that it takes a bit of time before I can relax and enjoy what the Holiday Season is all about.

The responsibilities of work and home need special attention during the Holiday Season, but it is always worth it.
Christmas can just roll by unless you take time to note it and its special significance.

As the Principal of a Catholic School, Christmas for me is one of the most significant dates in the Christian calendar.

But I don't think it matters what your religious or ethnic background is, this is a great time of year to reconnect with friends and family and take some time to think about what is really important in life.

For me, the priority is family.

Life is busy, and it's easy to get wrapped up in its ongoing whir.

This season I will make time to spend with my daughter, to enjoy the special bond that exists between a parent and child.

My Mother is also a special presence in my life, and my Dad has been a great inspiration throughout as well - he always told me I could do anything I wanted.

But don't get me wrong - I will still be campaigning!

After a very short break, I will be out attending functions and knocking on doors in Calgary-Currie, looking for support as I seek the PC nomination for the constituency.

That vote will be held January 28 at the Killarney Glengarry Community Centre (28 Ave and 28ST SW), so please come out and support me.

Christine Cusanelli

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A new Alberta for a new millenium

One of the exciting things about this upcoming election season is the sense of change in the air. Under Premier Alison Redford, I see signs of a rejuvenated connection to between Albertans and their government. While this spirit is more noticeable with the PC supporters I talk to while campaigning for nomination in Calgary Currie, I have no doubt that the other parties are feeling a similar infusion of energy.

This is important, not just because it makes communities feel stronger, but because we have an upcoming generation of Albertans that need to feel included in the political process, that provincial politics is a meaningful way for them to make their voices heard. While the video below was created for an American audience, our own Albertans born after 1977 share many of the same concerns and characteristics, and like their American cousins, they are too numerous for us to ignore.

With Premier Redford, we arguably have our first Generation X provincial leader in Alberta. I too am a member of Generation X. As an educator, I am acutely aware that the so-called Millennials outnumber my generation in any given social situation. Whereas we grew up in the shadow of the baby boomers, the numerical superiority of the Millennials allow them to create their own social and cultural reference points. If we do not actively engage them in the political process, if we cannot convince them that politics can be for them and by them as well, then we risk losing them to indifference and apathy.

The party that can engage the Millennials will be the party that leads Alberta into the future.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Diversification...the new relationship between Canadian provinces and the world

Canada will relinquish $630-billion in additional GDP over the next 25 years as is estimated by the Canadian Energy Research Institute. Does shipping lower value products for other countries to gain financially continue to make sense for Canada? In Alberta, the future of oil producers and pipeline companies appears to be working in tandem with our federal and provincial governments. Together, we need to use every available asset we have to diversify.

Making access to other world markets like Asia via a West Coast pipeline must be a national priority. Access to our East Coast pipeline is also an important part of the diversification of our resources. Former Premier Lougheed has expressed support of processing more of our national raw products which he believes offers more return to the Canadian economy. This is why Premier Redford's suggestion of the government investing in a kick start of upgrades to CNRL and Northwest might make sense for Alberta. The risk would be low.  We know that bitumen is readily available, even over the long term, and unlike companies, the government can make the financial commitment to the anticipated volumes. Moreover, bitumen from more than one source is then possible and increases the likelihood of return.
So, it would seem that in light of the seemingly stalled Keystone XL Pipeline, Mr. Lougheed's point of view is very apropos. Let's throw in these ideas too: Capitalizing on existing Canadian refineries and refitting lines as well as building new lines to send and process raw bitumen into synthetic crude oil.

While Canada and the US will always be friends, it is clear that Canada is at the threshold of making a huge impact in the world. Alberta cannot make this happen alone but rather, as part of a country that is unified in using her resources effectively and in concert. If we can achieve national unity on this issue (and yes, agree that Kyoto is not for us), we can become the economic force that leads the world fecund in resources, and also, in ways of responsible reduction of emissions. This means we set the tone and agenda in Durban negotiations that can very well place us in a newly empowered position on the world stage as a country abundant in resource and highly ethical in guarding it's environment.

A respectful process is critical. Developing policies and concurrently honouring the roots of our aboriginal people, environmental groups and all stakeholders is a challenge that we must take on. We are a country resplendent in richness that can ensure high quality of life not only for ourselves and our children but, perhaps around the world.