Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely at the Alberta Legislature Building. (Facebook)

Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely at the Alberta Legislature Building. (Facebook)

MLA Jackie Lovely: An open letter to picketers

Opinion

To the picketers who meet outside my office every Friday:

It is your right as citizens to gather and protest. Many of you are board members for the local NDP chapter. Because you hold socialist views and I, as a UCP representative, hold a free enterprise approach to life, we simply have different views of how things should be done. Socialists believe ultimately that most everything should come under government control, while conservatives believe in less government and that industry should take the lead in what they do best. The UCP government focuses on implementing legislation that will allow industry to thrive, believing that this approach will put our province back on the path to economic prosperity.

I welcome emails and letters from all of my constituents, but many have been too brief for me to bring your concerns to my colleagues. For example, simply stating you don’t like how we are working with the First Nations does not indicate your concerns. Please expand on your comments and clarify where you see issues with the approach being taken. Each one of you is protesting for different reasons. Some of you are healthcare workers – my daughter is a nurse and I have tremendous respect for the difficult work those of you working in the profession do on a daily basis. Ministers Shandro and Sawhney are working to establish a fair system for all of you.

However, those of you who have come into my office and used foul language with my office manager will not have the opportunity to do so again. I will not respond to your rude comments made in emails, letters or on social media. However, if you wish to have a civil and constructive conversation about your concerns, I welcome the opportunity.

Despite any differing opinions we may have, I fully support and defend freedom of speech and welcome you to express your thoughts and feelings by protesting. However, I ask you to please respect the local businesses nearby. Many of them don’t share my supportive feelings towards protesting, but rather feel your presence has a negative impact on their business. I welcome your thoughts, in a respectful manner.

Kindest regards,

Jackie Lovely, MLA

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Opinion