Richard Gotfried 高 飛 MLA, Calgary-Fish Creek

403-278-4444 •

Website: Facebook: Twitter: @GotfriedMLA

Legislature Update/Budget: By the time this newsletter comes out we will be in full swing for the Spring Session. I am hopeful that the temperature outside and inside the halls of the Legislature will be not too hot and not too cold, just right for respectful debate and discussion. The budget was released on March 16th, and that means a lot of work for me and my team in quite literally, holding government to account. Budget discussions and constituent input are very important to me; consequently, my MLA Café for April will specifically focus on budget issues. As our province slides deeper into debt, tough questions on what to fund vs how to fund must be continually evaluated. We know that our present course of action is unsustainable, meaning that our daily operational costs significantly outstrip revenue generated from personal and corporate taxes, royalties and other revenue. With this in mind, please join me Monday April 27th from 5-7pm at the office to discuss how to “better the budget” for Albertans. Did you know? Did you know that I offer notary and commissioner for oaths services free of charge? Did you know that MLA’s visit schools and give students an understanding of the political process and that democratic studies are included in the Grade 6 curriculum? Did you know that commemorative Birthday and Anniversary Scrolls from various levels of government can be coordinated through my office? Did you know that I love attending and supporting events in the community? Did you know that we can assist in filling out and submitting government forms? Many individuals are not aware of the services that our office is able to assist with. Please use me and my staff as a community resource and information hub. We are here to help, so if you are not sure, ask! Communication: All of you should have received our newsletter through Canada Post by now. If not, please contact me and I will get a copy for you. I would encourage you to fill out the comment card on the newsletter to give us an indication of what matters most to you. There is not a lot of space for feedback, so I would encourage you to send an email, make a call, write a letter or come into the office to give greater detail on issues of importance to you. We all need to have a voice in our communities and in our province. Education: Much has been discussed recently regarding education curriculum and funding of public vs. independent schools. My children have gone through the public system here in Calgary. I am a strong advocate for a great public system. With this said, I also feel that the public system cannot meet the needs of all students and other options need to be available. Choice in our education system is paramount for a strong public and independent system. All who pay property taxes, pay an education portion to the Alberta Government regardless of whether you have children in the system or not. All of us benefit from an educated population. As everyone contributes, I feel that continuing to fund independent schools is important in meeting the needs of a diverse student population, Strengthening resources in the public system is also in some ways achieved by savings in capital and per student funding of independent schools. I will continue to strongly support choice, and both public and independent schools options going forward. As always, I welcome your feedback and would encourage you to become involved in your community, and engaged in issues of importance to Albertans.