Lesser Slave Lake MLA Scott Sinclair might be onto something!

On the front page of this week’s newspaper, Sinclair says he is going to hold something he calls Constituency Days. You can read about it by flipping back a few pages.

I was not happy that a constituency office had not opened in High Prairie since the May 29 Alberta election. As weeks went by, I was more peeved each week. “How long does it take to open an office?” I asked myself.

Besides, former MLAs Pat Rehn, Danielle Larivee and Pearl Calahasen all had offices in both High Prairie and Slave Lake. I am confident Larry Shaben and Denis Barton did also.

Sinclair is opening a constituency office in Slave Lake. If there is only one office in a riding, Slave Lake makes sense being the larger centre. However, it is then up to Sinclair to ensure he is visible in other parts of the riding. Here is where Constituency Days comes in. Sinclair says he will hold one each month in High Prairie and rotate others in the smaller centres in the riding.

People generally hate change when anything has been done the same way forever. Having only one constituency office instead of two, especially when High Prairie once again looks like a weak sister to Slave Lake, is sure to get some locals dander up.

But let’s give this a chance.

Sinclair says you get to meet more people at community events rather than having an office open and waiting for people to come. Essentially, this is true.

“The reason I’m going with this is if I go to an event already being hosted, I get to talk to 50 people,” says Sinclair.

By just being in the constituency office, far less people attend so Sinclair sees this as a way of meeting and talking to more people.

It is hard to argue that point. You talk to a lot of people at a meeting, community gathering, birthday party, etc.

Besides, with modern communication, it is too easy to text or call Sinclair. He has an office at the Alberta Legislature (which you can call toll-free by dialing 310-0000) and Slave Lake. In today’s world, do we really need three offices?

There will be many who do not like the idea. From an economic point, High Prairie does lose the rent of office space from either the Town of High Prairie or private owner. I get that.

This idea at least deserves a chance. Just because the constituency has had two offices for decades does not mean it is right. Times change. Ways of communication change. People’s habits change when it comes to contacting the MLA.

All I am saying is this idea deserves chance. If it does not work, or there is a great public outcry targeted toward Sinclair’s decision, he can change his mind.

The first Constituency Day is in High Prairie at Amiro’s Steak House Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you strongly disagree, attend and let the MLA know it.

When open, the Lesser Slave Lake Constituency Office will be located at Unit #101, 201 4th Ave. NW in Slave Lake. The phone number which is currently in use is (825) 219-1000.

Inquiries to Sinclair may also be sent by email to Lesser.SlaveLake@assembly.ab.ca

byChris Clegg

This item copyrighted by   AlbertaChat.com / South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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