Friday Focus: Acknowledging the Past and Looking to the Future

The Friday Focus is a weekly blog post from Interim Leader John Roggeveen. It covers some of the pressing political issues of the week.

A First, Not Final, Step  

This week Pope Francis visited Edmonton to apologise to Indigenous peoples for the abuses they faced under the church-run residential school system. Many, myself included, see this as a positive step forward.

Although this is encouraging progress on the road to reconciliation, the Pope failed to address many issues, including sexual abuse and the doctrine of discovery. Nor did the apology acknowledge any fault of the Catholic Church as an institution, instead only recognizing the wrongdoings of the individual Christians involved. 

Ultimately how this apology should be received and what next steps should be taken is up to  Indigenous peoples. I will listen to their thoughts and encourage all Albertans to do the same. 

Immigration and Labour

Labour Ministers from four provinces, including Alberta, have called on the federal government to give them greater control over immigration to address labour shortages. This makes sense. Provinces have their fingers on the pulse of their particular labour needs, so giving them more control is smart. However, Alberta’s government can do more to address labour shortages as well. 

The provincial government must make education and training more financially accessible for out-of-work and underemployed Albertans. Alberta also needs to ensure a clear and accessible path to upgrade foreign credentials for new Canadians and foreign workers already here. Again, a hybrid approach is our best option.

Policy Opportunities 

I have exciting news for Alberta Liberals: Our Board has set December 10th, 2022, as our AGM and Policy Convention date. This is a fantastic opportunity for any Alberta Liberal looking to get involved in developing our 2023 Election Platform.

If you want to learn more, you can review our rules here. Better yet, you can attend our first policy workshop on August 10th. At this workshop, the Alberta Liberal Policy Chair will demonstrate to members how to write and submit policy proposals. 

I look forward to hearing the ideas you’ll bring forward and hope to see you on August 10th. Today, Alberta desperately needs the innovation and insight that Alberta Liberals have always contributed to Alberta politics. 

Thank you for getting involved and for your continued support of Liberal values.