Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Message from the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland’s Chair, Linda Osinchuk

It is dismaying to read what has been deemed as important election issues and discussed to no end in the media and social media: pearls, clothes, hair, love or hate of Alberta, and so on and so forth.
I was pleased to finally see someone pointing out some very important issues. Gary Lamphier hit the nail right on the head in his Edmonton Journal article of April 12, 2012 : .

70% of Canada’s petrochemical activity takes place in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. This along with Alberta’s large natural gas supply makes the importance of the petrochemical sector vital to the economy of Alberta and all of Canada. It is therefore very important for Alberta’s political parties’ leaders to answer Mr. Lamphier’s question.

As chair of the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, I speak for 5 municipalities: Fort Saskatchewan, Sturgeon County, Lamont, Edmonton and Strathcona County.  We, as well as all Albertans deserve an answer to this question:

 “What specific plans do Alberta’s party leaders have to boost the growth of the province’s petrochemical sector?”

All municipalities throughout Alberta need to understand that jobs and quality of life for their residents is as much at stake as that of the Heartland’s.

Issues that affect Alberta’s economy have a trickle down effect on other important issues such as health and education. To ignore key economic issues is ignoring the source of the Alberta Advantage.

It seems that all promises are based on oil and gas revenues. Why, then, are these leaders not recognizing and maintaining these assets?

Will the leaders of Alberta’s political parties come forward and answer Albertans?

Linda Osinchuk, Chair

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Trip to San Antonio, Texas Update

I have just returned from a petrochemical conference in San Antonio, Texas. What a busy week filled with great opportunities for potential business for the Alberta's Industrial Heartland and for Strathcona County!

Upon our arrival to this beautiful city, the AIHA board and Economic Development officers from each municipality met to go over the itinerary and names of the various companies we were going to be meeting with. Then it was of to two networking events where we introduced ourselves and took the opportunity to invite company representatives and CEOs to the AIHA luncheon we were holding the following day.

The next morning, we all gathered for breakfast at 7:30 at the Conference Centre and hear the opening session. Three panelists addressed the present and future climate surrounding the petrochemical industry. Canada was referenced a couple of times but it was obvious that many conference attendees were unaware of our (AIHA's & Alberta's) huge resource base. It made our presence here even more important and it is one of the reasons why we must attend these conferences.

Our team later split into two groups so that we would be able to attend two meetings before our luncheon. I was part of the group who met with Platts, a major company who we want to connect with.

At our luncheon, I had the pleasure, as AIHA chair, to provide welcoming greetings to close to 50 guests from various companies coming from all over the world: Russia, Japan, Brazil, and the U.S., just to name a few. This was an excellent opportunity to showcase the Alberta Industrial Heartland and all it has to offer. Later on that afternoon, we once again went in two groups to meet with various company representatives. My group met with Williams, an amazing company already present in the Heartland.

Afterwards we were invited to the San Antonio City Hall to meet with their elected officials, their economic development representatives, and the Canadian Consulate.  What a great visit! I will be bringing back some good ideas that we could possibly look at for Strathcona County, such as their Alamo Academy, a concept for job creation and training.

That night we met Barbara Korol, the Director of Hydrocarbon Processing from Alberta Energy, Barbara also happens to live in Sherwood Park!

On Tuesday morning, we had meetings with three companies who have a presence in the Heartland: Air Products, Air Liquide, and CBI. This was followed by a very interesting lunch presentation by Dr. Bates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. He spoke on Country Security when oil and gas are at stake.

In the afternoon we met with the Port of Antwerp, Belgium to compare chemical cluster comparisons. Tuesday evening  the AIHA and EDO had dinner together to discuss this conference and future strategic plans for the Heartland.

Attending this conference was an important opportunity that allowed us to present the Alberta's Industrial Heartland to the world. We need to let others know what we do, what we offer and how we are the best.

Mayor Linda

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mayor's Update

Spring has finally arrived to Strathcona County! Take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy our many trails and parks.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of Alberta's mid-size city mayors which was graciously hosted by the City of Medicine Hat. What a great meeting it was.

It is very important to stress the importance and benefits of our mid-size cities working together and sharing our varied experience. There is much strength in numbers.

The focus of this last meeting was on three important areas:

  • Emergency medical services, with a special focus on ambulance services in our municipalities.
  • The need to focus on supporting equitable funding for policing.
  • Communicating with Municipal Affairs regarding sustainable funding and a four year term for municipal elected officials.
I am very pleased to announce that we will get to showoff our beautiful Strathcona County as we host the next Alberta Mid-Size City Mayors' Meeting this up coming August.

On a different note, upon my return from Medicine Hat, I was pleased to find out that Strathcona County has been ranked #1 out of 190 Canadian municipalities in MoneySense business magazine's report in not 1 but 2 categories! We are ranked #1 for Best Municipality in Canada to Raise Children AND #1 for Best Municipality in Canada for Jobs. We also ranked #11 in the Best Municipality to Live In category! MoneySense Magazine used Statistics Canada's information to compile, weigh and rank 190 cities and towns in Canada by 22 separate categories. This is the first year that the magazine included Strathcona County! You can read their report through these links:

We Strathconians have always known that we have amazing communities. Now all of Canada knows our best kept secrets. Congratulations everyone!

Always proud to be a Strathconian!

Mayor Linda

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February is Rotary "World Understanding and Peace Day Month"

The following was given to the Sherwood Park Rotarians at our last morning breakfast meeting and I wanted to share it with everyone.  -- Mayor Linda

A. Peace and Understanding
  • Rotary Peace Day is Rotary's Anniversary of February 23, 1905.
"The way to war is a well-paved highway and the way to peace is still a wilderness." - Paul P. Harris 1945.
  • The Rotary way works! But Rotary has no patent on it, for it is the Golden Rule in action. Any person, any nation, can apply it by displacing negative hatred and fear with goodwill based upon understanding. Peace among nations is not impossible of attainment; they can find peace if they will." Paul P. Harris, January 1946 (Passed away in 1947).
  • Rotary's Peace Action - 1. Provides future leaders with education at six Rotary Peace Centers around the world. 2. World Understanding initiatives.
B. World Understanding
Partial excerpts from Frank Deaver writings (Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  • World Understanding is part of Rotary's fourth ideal of International Service
  • Thought provoking - Our world is full of minorities: racial and ethnic, religious, political, and many more. Interestingly, Rotarians also constitute a minority: of the more than six billion people in the world, our number is only a little more than 1.2 million. What makes Rotarians different is that we are a distinctly privileged minority. We are all too often the victims of a lack of understanding, or perhaps more accurately, of misunderstanding. We give to the Rotary Foundation, but we are only minimally aware of how our contributions are spent. February challenges Rotarians to introduce one minority (ours) to other minorities (those who are in need) at home and abroad.
  • How shall Rotary further its goal of World Understanding, and its ultimate goal of World Peace?
          1. We must recognize and admit to our differences, whether they be differences of
          national pride, ethnicity, language, politics or religion.

          2. We must focus on our commonalities, not on our differences. As Rotarians, we have
          embraced lofty goals of humanitarian and educational programs through our Rotary
          Foundation. Understanding leads to respect, respect to friendship, and friendship to
          service. Only with understanding can we be bound together in the common goals of
          Rotary friendship and service.

Written by Dennis Pommen
Reprinted with permission.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Thank You!

Happy New Year Everyone!

2012 will be an exciting and busy year.

Yesterday's New Year's Eve event around Broadmoor Lake was incredible. I received so many positive comments. Great job everyone. Thank yo to all Strathcona County staff and amazing volunteers who made this all possible.Thanks to all! At our Mayor meet and greet table over the 5 hours my staff and I were there we handed out over 2000 sugar cookies . Wow!

Thank you to Diana and Theresa for organizing the Meet and Greet table and ordering the delicious sugar cookies from Sobey's. I would also like to thank Councillors Vic, Peter and Brian for coming out and helping!

Have a wonderful New Year's day and an even more wonderful  and blessed new year!

Mayor Linda