This weekend marked the annual Pride Parade, a time when Calgary's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer (LGBTQ) population invites the city to join in a celebration of diversity and inclusion. And, I think it is great that so many politicians of all stripes are taking part in this parade where, just a short time ago, many were absent.
In fact, one of the many reasons that I am a Liberal is because of people like Laurie Blakeman, MLA Edmonton-Centre, who has been marching in pride parades for 20 plus years, long before it was fashionable to do so.
I am truly thankful that some of the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose MLAs joined to celebrate diversity and pay tribute to the values enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights codes across this great nation. Even if it is sort like seeing Oilers fans on the Red Mile following a Flames playoff victory -- they are at the party, but I am not sure they were hoping for the same result.
Alberta deserves both a strong economy AND a strong society. This is the central message of the Alberta Liberal Party, and it was the central theme of our 109th Annual General Meeting, which was held in Calgary on Saturday.
And what an AGM! A big thanks goes out to Pete Helfrich and his team of volunteers who did an outstanding job of organizing what everybody I talked to said was the best AGM in years.
The room was packed with people energized by our vision for Alberta and who believe the time has come for a government that takes a holistic and integrated view of the kind of society we want to live in and how to make it a reality.
As the Progressive Conservatives begin their second leadership contest in three years, one thing is crystal clear:
It is not PC leaders such as Alison Redford and Ed Stelmach who are the real problem. The real problem is the old, tired and insular Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta itself.
After 43 years, Alberta Liberals know it is time for new management. It is time for change. And it is long past time for a government that will deliver a strong economy AND a strong society.