Newly-elected Red Deer North MLA Kim Schreiner said she is looking forward to making a difference and to meeting people in the community.
“I want to make sure that anybody that wants to see me has an opportunity to see me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a constituent in my area or an organization, they’re all important. I want to make sure I make time for anyone who contacts my office because their issues are important,” she said. “There is such a variety of people in Red Deer North that I just want to make sure I get to meet with them all and listen to what their issues are and try and help them the best I can. If a person has a concern, it’s my concern.”
Since the election, Schreiner said she has hit the ground running.
“It has been very busy. It’s been a huge learning curve. I’ve been in Edmonton a lot and we had quite an extensive orientation. We had some business that was important that we wanted to attend to. We sat in the Legislature for a couple of weeks which was really great. I am glad we had the opportunity to do that before the fall so that we could get our feet wet and learn what it is all about.”
She added being in the Legislature for the first time was exciting.
“It was amazing. I found it an honour to be sitting with people like Rachel Notley and Brian Mason and David Eggen. I felt it such an honour to be sitting with them in the same room.”
Schreiner said to be part of such a historic time in Alberta has been exciting as well.
“I’m really happy to be part of that. I definitely could see that there was going to be a change but I don’t think people realized how much a wave it was going to be. I’m happy and honoured to be a part of it.”
As for issues she hopes to tackle, Schreiner said homelessness in Red Deer is one of them. “I do see a theme of homelessness in Red Deer that I would really like to advocate for.”
Recently, the NDP passed a motion to increase the minimum wage in Alberta to $15 by 2018. This October, the minimum wage will increase by $1 to $11.20 an hour.
“Our government did promise to implement a fair minimum wage. The minimum wage in Alberta has fallen behind the earnings of Albertans in general. The Parkland Institute found that Alberta has the highest average weekly earnings of $29.24 an hour, yet the lowest general minimum wage of $10.20 an hour. We also have one of the highest levels of wage inequality in Canada,” said Schreiner. “We just want to start bridging that gap. A higher minimum wage will make life better for all Albertans.”
Moving ahead Schreiner said she continues to look forward to listening and meeting with local constituents.