Mr. Rowe goes to Edmonton
These days, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Bruce Rowe is spending his time commuting to Edmonton for information sessions and Wildrose meetings.
Rowe, the former Beiseker mayor, was elected on April 23 with 57 per cent of the votes.
During the first information session at the legislative assembly on May 1, former speaker Ken Kowalski explained the ins and outs of being an MLA.
“All the new MLAs were there. There are 35 new people, something like that, in all the caucuses. It was very interesting and very informative,” said Rowe.
“We had another last Tuesday to inform us of what is going on with our offices up there and our budgets for the constituency offices and so on. It’s a very steep learning curve but we are getting there.”
It was recently announced that Rowe would be the Municipal Affairs official opposition critic.
“It’s an area I am familiar with. It’s where I feel I can best contribute. It works out very well,” said Rowe, who used to be the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s vice-president of villages and summer villages.
Rowe said he had a few matters he hoped to bring to the next legislative assembly session, which will start at the end of May, but it would depend on who would be in the PC cabinet. At the time of the interview, the PC cabinet still had not been revealed.
“It’s a little difficult to say right now, until we find out who those people are. We will go from there,” he said.
While he admitted he only looked at the peripheral numbers of the John Major report on MLA pay, he has a few issues with it.
“The pension plan needs to be looked at a little more thoroughly,” said Rowe.
In the report, Major recommended lowering MLA pay, increasing the premier’s salary, capping transition allowances, and reintroducing a pension plan.
“It’s an improvement over what there was, for sure. We need to analyze it thoroughly and just see which way we will go from there,” said Rowe.
He commended Premier Alison Redford for turning down a salary increase.
“She is already the highest-paid premier in Canada. To increase it more is over the top, I think,” said Rowe.
“However, she has not said where she will place her salary grid at.”
As for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills matters, the Olds overpass remains foremost in his mind.
“I feel it’s one of the most dangerous intersections between Calgary and Edmonton,” said Rowe.
“For whatever reason, the PC government has taken it off its priority list. I think it needs to go back on the priority list and placed very high on it. It needs to be corrected.”
Meanwhile, the village of Beiseker will have a nomination day on June 25 and a byelection on July 23 to replace Rowe.