Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins has enjoyed a wonderful Christmas holiday with his family, but as January unfolds he is gearing up for a new year and ready to face the challenges and responsibilities of his job head on.
He is pleased with the direction the government is taking and stressed that growing the economy is the key to a balanced budget, not cutting benefits and raising taxes.
“We need to live within our means and tighten our belts, but that doesn’t mean cutting back on the services Canadians have come to expect.”
Calkins is pleased the government has cracked down on crime.
“There was some tough sentences handed out in 2013,” he said.
An agreement with the European Union was struck in principal last year and this is a very good thing, he said.
He said in Alberta, businesses, workers and their families, including those in sectors such as agriculture, energy, chemicals and plastics, industrial machinery and oil and gas will benefit from the agreement.
2013 was the Year of Korea in Canada, marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, including Canada’s contributions to help defend the country’s freedom.
Canada and Korea enjoy a healthy relationship and Calkins said this relationship was further cemented during activities held last year. One such activity involved a hockey game between Canadian government officials and former NHL’ers who took on visiting Koreans on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
Calkins said the hockey game was held in honour of a game played between Canadian soldiers and the Koreans on the Imgin River during the Korean War.
“Ironically, it was tied 12-12,” said Calkins. “I know that for sure because I scored the 12th goal.
Another highlight for the MP was the passing of a bill creating a Canadian Korean Veteran Day to be held July 27.
On a lighter note, Calkins agreed the amount of snow received in Alberta has been incredible. However, he believes Albertans can deal with it.
“Albertans are so resilient, I don’t think we need to send in the army,” he joked.