Since 2019, I have been proudly serving as the MLA for Grande Prairie. Now, thanks to the trust and confidence of Premier Jason Kenney, I also have the honour of serving as the Minister of Municipal Affairs. In my new role, I am thoroughly looking forward to working with rural municipalities to address their needs and concerns at this unprecedented time in Alberta’s history, and I have wasted no time.
I am currently travelling across our great province and meeting directly with local leaders in communities affected by a variety of important issues, including the assessment model review, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our government’s recent $1.1 billion infrastructure and operating stimulus support programs for Alberta municipalities. In just the past few days, I’ve been as far south as Lethbridge and as far north as Smoky Lake, meeting with dozens of municipalities in between.
I am committed to working directly with local leaders to ensure municipalities are partners in our province’s economic recovery, as I recognize municipalities are often on the front lines of the challenges we face, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial pressures facing our province – as well as other jurisdictions across our country and world – are immense. But Albertans have faced and persevered through tough times before, and I have no doubt we will again. Further, I assure you I am ready for my new role, as my dedication to hard work and community service has been forged through decades of business experience and community-building. Let me fill you in on a little bit of my background.
Along with my husband Serge, I successfully franchised Tim Hortons restaurants for more than 25 years. I know how to make a payroll and balance a budget. I also know how important local businesses and employers are to the communities in which they operate.
As board president of the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir, I worked with families to help make great musical experiences for our choir and city. I also had the privilege of sitting on the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation Capital Cabinet, where I was a fierce advocate for patient care in the Peace Region. I was also proud to sit on the board for the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, where I had the privilege of building comradery, service and leadership in our future generations.
As a mother of three, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand just how imperative communities are – it really does take a village.
I believe my blend of private-sector and non-profit experience has provided me with the skills needed to manage the broad and complex Municipal Affairs portfolio. In this role, I look forward to doing my part to ensure the Alberta Advantage, which has been so good to me and my family and so many others, is alive and well for all Albertans, for generations to come. And I will help accomplish this goal by working tirelessly to ensure the voices and concerns of our local leaders, the people who understand our communities best, are always being heard.
Tracy Allard is the MLA for Grande Prairie and the Minister of Municipal Affairs