By Little Bow MLA Dave Schneider
There is no question 2016 has been a challenging year for many Albertans. A struggling economy, an uncompromising government, and even inclement weather had many of us fighting a persistent uphill battle.
However, in a year where successes were so few and far between, persistence itself is no small victory. The truth is success is rarely built on success, and it is never built all at once. Far more often, success is built on failure, frustration, and sometimes catastrophe. It is built slowly, day after day, by good people doing the best they can in circumstances not of their choosing.
It is in this spirit the Official Opposition has approached the work of serving this province. Yes, we have given our full-throated opposition to the government’s most calamitous policies, but we have also suggested amendments and alternatives every step of the way. And, most importantly, we have worked diligently to make sure the voices of all Albertans are heard and represented inside and outside the Legislature.
A core belief that unites our party and the conservative movement is our success will always be linked to our willingness to be of service to each other.
This is the same spirit of goodwill that has come to define the upcoming holiday season. When I think of the Christmas story, what stands out to me is the sense of wonder felt by all those people crowded around the manger. These were people from all walks of life, folks who held next to nothing in common. When they looked upon the babe, they saw a child of limitless potential who would change the world by putting others before himself. In those moments, the world was changed. To this day, the most effective way to change our world — here and now — is to put the needs of others ahead of our own interests. In these difficult times there is no shortage of charitable initiatives crying out for donations and volunteers. In particular, Alberta’s food banks are struggling to keep up with increasing demand.
While government certainly has a role to play in ensuring equality of opportunity, we must recognize this is a task far too important to leave to governments alone. The sense of community we share is nurtured by mutual goodwill, the responsibility for which ultimately rests with individual citizens and individual acts of kindness.
So long as we maintain faith in each other and the will to reach out to our neighbours in need, there is no challenge we can’t face.
On another note — the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future invites input for its looking into the growing and diversification of the agrifood/agribusiness sectors in Alberta, focusing on value-added production, small business opportunities and local food production/promotion. Submit your feedback to EconomicFuture.Committee@assembly.ab.ca by Jan. 15 or call toll-free (dial 310-0000 then 780-415-2878).
From my family to yours, I wish you all a merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year.