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April

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    MPcon
    Apr 18, 2016 12:47 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Tomorrow I am hosting a free Career Services Event at Foothills Alliance Church. If you, or someone you know is out of work please take a few minutes to drop by and connect with one of our amazing local organizations, take in an informative breakout session or get a professional head shot to help with online job search. Our community has phenomenal local organizations, with resources available to those facing unemployment, who are ready to help. Please share with those you know who are looking for work.
    Apr 15, 2016 11:44 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    Saturday's Career Services Event will include a series of free breakout sessions. 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Using LinkedIn to Enhance Your Job Search 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM: Working For You: Career Resources, Tips & Tricks 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM: Service Canada Information Session 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM: 2016 Modern Job Search You can find out more information and RSVP for breakout sessions at www.michellerempel.ca/career_services_event
    Apr 14, 2016 9:52 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Happy Vaisakhi!
    Apr 13, 2016 7:11 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    I appeared on Global today to share details about the Career Services Event on Saturday - watch below
    Apr 12, 2016 1:01 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Are you, or someone you know, out of work and in need of a professional head shot but can't afford one? Come get one for free April 16. A professional and current head shot is an important part of any online resume or digital job search profile. A professional photographer will be on site at Foothills Alliance Church (333 Edgepark Blvd NW) from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM on April 16 to take one complimentary head shot for attendees. Guests will be served on a first come first serve basis. Please share with anyone you know that is out of work and could use this free service.
    Apr 12, 2016 11:33 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Are you, or someone you know, looking for a job? This free to attend event will showcase local organizations and resources available to individuals in Calgary that can assist with your job search or help with the challenges that come with unemployment. Attendees will also be able to connect with local post-secondary institutions to discuss options around furthering education, and with groups who can point attendees to resources available for managing the stress related to a job loss. We will also be offering a complimentary head shot photo session at this event. Head shots can be used for Linkedin and other online job search sites. A full list of organizations attending can be found at www.michellerempel.ca (check back for regular updates). Free break out sessions will also be offered (registration required for breakout sessions due to limited space www.michellerempel.ca): - The Modern Job Search – hosted by University of Calgary Career Services Take control of your job search, be pro-active! Learn how to prepare and connect. Also learn how and when to follow up with employers. Learn more about effect networking and how to expand your network and stay organized. - Using LinkedIn – hosted by a career services professional who will discuss how to use LinkedIn in your job search Please come or share with someone who you think may benefit from this event!
    Apr 07, 2016 10:16 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Update..."Simba" had a microchip and his been reunited with his owners!
    Apr 06, 2016 12:02 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Earlier today this little thing darted into my constituency office. They're being fed and watered, but I'm sure a family in the Crescent Heights area is missing one fairly gorgeous creature. Please share...hopefully we can find their owner!
    Apr 05, 2016 12:24 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Apr 05, 2016 10:53 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Have you or anyone you know ever had to contact a Member of Parliament’s office to inquire about an immigration process? One of the many things a MP office does is respond to constituent inquiries regarding issues with the immigration process. This is non-partisan work. By the time a person contacts a Member of Parliament’s office, they often present a very complex or urgent issue. Today, we heard from staff within the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship that the Liberal government is eliminating access for Members of Parliament and their staff to the Ministerial Inquiries Division. This is where MP offices, of all political affiliation, seek information on highly complex details and information on a constituent’s immigration file. This includes those being processed at an overseas Embassy, or those in an emergency situation. Additionally, this is the venue by which MPs bring forward legitimate and verified concerns with how departmental staff dealt on a file. According to staff that we talked to, as of Friday, MP offices will be have to start the process of inquiry through a general help line, who will in turn direct the MPs inquiry to the Ministerial Inquiry Division. What does this mean for our constituents? It means it will add an extra layer of redundant bureaucracy for those seeking help to get answers to questions regarding their loved-ones, or trying to get a straight answer from an officer who may have erred on their file. It means adding an extra step of bureaucracy by having MPs contact the central intake office, bogging down the processing system even further. It means our constituents will experience further delays while a middle-man makes the phone call we could have done ourselves. Even worse, the Liberals are making Members of Parliament find out about this by chance, and they haven’t engaged in meaningful consultation with our offices. For a party that promised “to raise the bar on openness and transparency in government” during the election, this is very rich sauce. I call upon the Liberal government to rethink this short sighted decision that will impact the ability of every MP, including Liberal ones, to help their constituents.
    Apr 04, 2016 3:04 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Conservatives Call for an End to Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh http://www.conservative.ca/conservatives-call-for-an-end-to-violence-in-nagorno-karabakh/
    Apr 04, 2016 2:12 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Over the last ten years, how we communicate with each other has changed. Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of other social media outlets have made us more interconnected and accessible. News is available instantly, and we consume our information in 140 character soundbites. While there are a lot of positive aspects to this, there is also a downside to it. Accessibility coupled with the ease of acquiring anonymous accounts on platforms like Twitter often reduce public discourse to hate filled ignorant quips, aimed to silence and degrade, rather than elevate debate on public policy issues. At its worst, we have seen cyberbullying drive people to suicide. While the law can be adjusted, such as our former government did with new cyberbullying legislation that made it illegal in Canada to distribute intimate images of a person without their consent, much of the hate that we encounter on social media can only be changed by taking responsibility for our own behavior. I was an early adopter of Twitter, getting onto the platform in 2007. When I was elected in 2011, Twitter was already part of how I communicated. I’ve always used it as a way to connect with people and get a sense of what the issues of the day are. I’ve also always largely managed my own content, because I believe in authenticity in communication. The big downside to me managing content on my social media accounts is that I see a lot of hateful stuff come my way. While I still find utility in the platform, I've put together guidelines for my self on engaging with someone on twitter. I've put them onto paper and pasted them below. What do you think of them? As they way we communicate with each other changes, so does the way that elected officials and their constituents communicate with eachother. What are some of the best ways that the public can connect with elected officials in this new communication context?
    Apr 04, 2016 2:06 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Apr 02, 2016 5:49 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    The tweet below just got pulled down off the Liberal Minister of Natural Resources Twitter feed (we can only hope it was some sort of weird April fools joke). Aside from the creepy 7 minute reference, if you're an energy sector worker, what would you tell this man if you were granted the *enormous privilege* of seven minutes in his presence?
    Apr 01, 2016 8:46 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North

March

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    MPcon
    Is there room for transformative leadership in Canadian politics? In 2010, I attended a Women’s Executive Network Top 100 seminar which looked at a case study regarding U.S. banking firms that were successfully emerging from the 2008 downturn. What did these firms have that others didn’t? What made them resilient? The answer sounds counter intuitive, but makes perfect sense. The firms that had been successful embraced constructive dissent in their organizational structure. Simply put, firms that had employees who were empowered to say, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t be selling this super risky financial product anymore, because X is likely to happen”, and, who in turned listened to these employees and implemented their advice, survived. Those that didn’t failed. Leaders who train their team members to constructively challenge their world view, empower them to help set a vision for the organization, who see vision building and subsequent implementation as an ever changing picture are considered to be transformational leaders. Much like structures constructed in earthquake zones that are built to shift when the earth moves, organizations led by transformational leaders are resilient and don't easily crumble. Young in my career, and prior to entering politics, I had the opportunity to work for transformative leaders in different organizations. These were people who saw my desire to affect change, my vocalness, and my talent not as something to be squashed for fear of upsetting the status quo, but something to be harnessed for the good of the work that we were doing. I was seen as something to be shaped, but not silenced. I certainly was encouraged to voice opinions on how we did business, but these opinions were frequently challenged back in return. I learned how to develop an argument, how to see the value in divergent ways to potentially solve a problem. In short, I was empowered to become a leader, and in turn I contributed to my organizations. I felt ownership and joy in my work. But what about the political arena? I will qualify the following by saying that I have been given every opportunity to succeed in politics. Since the day I first set foot in a campaign office to volunteer right through to today, my full participation in my party has always been encouraged. There have been many people who have believed in me, have fought for me, and have allowed me to work hard. This however, isn’t about me - it's about you. Elected officials in Canada have a social contract with those who we represent; you elect us to be your voice and in turn, we are supported to listen to what you have to say and do our best to represent the collective interests of our community. In this context one would think that transformational leadership is not just a nice to have, but an absolutely must do. If we are to have resilient, effective government, we need transformational leadership. However, how does this work in the reality of a 140 character limited, zero second news cycle, that seems to reward sensationalism as opposed to substance? Or, how does this work when being a political leader necessitates growing a thick skin to cope with the constant firehose of vitriol (all political stripes) face in this new media context? Can you be a transformational leader if the electorate isn’t always engaged in political discourse? For all political parties, the result of these realities can be ugliness that doesn’t promote public policy that has been developed under the lens of transformative leadership. Staid talking points and messages, populism or its inverse; policies and programs that don’t recognize that the electorate is not static or homogenous, pandering to special interest groups, impotent caucuses, hyper partisanship, unnecessarily whipped votes, non-innovative policy conventions that are disconnected from a political party’s grassroots…..the list goes on and on. The choice in engaging in transformational leadership can often boil down to resisting the urge to cocoon one’s ego in a soft nest of sycophants, with your fingers crossed that the status quo will cut it, or actually daring to listen to those who might challenge your world view in a positive and constructive way. In the business world, failure to do this can result in disasters like some of the big US banks saw doing the economic downturn. In politics, failure to do this can result in missed opportunities to affect positive change, bad policy with detrimental impacts on groups in our community, the loss of confidence of the electorate, or all of the above. So, is transformational leadership in politics still possible? I think so. With the right management structures and values, training processes, and feedback mechanisms in place, there is no reason political parties, including mine, can’t do this. As my party’s leadership race unfolds, one thing that I will be looking for in our next leader is someone who is a demonstrated transformational leader. We need this in order to be a resilient, positive force for good for Canadians long into the future. I also think each of us, regardless of political stripe, has a responsibility to be transformational leaders in the political process. This could mean being active in the policy making process for a political party, to writing your elected officials on any given issue, to speaking out against the vitriol and sensationalism that often takes place on social media when political issues are discussed. For me, I’ll continue to strive to be a transformational leader with my team of staff and volunteers (e.g. I have a staff member who fundamentally disagrees with most conservative policy…and they are a fantastic asset in challenging whether or not my policy positions are sound), I’ll strive to listen effectively and resist giving in to some of the ugly aspects of politics I mentioned above. I’ll use my voice. Sometimes I’ll succeed, and sometimes I’ll fail, but going forward, I’m not afraid to do either. *** Is there room for transformative leadership in Canadian politics? What do you think?
    Mar 31, 2016 7:57 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    He is Risen! #HappyEaster #Alleluia
    Mar 27, 2016 6:09 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." #GoodFriday
    Mar 25, 2016 9:39 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Today, Prime Minister Trudeau presented his federal budget. I have stated many times that governments must be accountable to you as taxpayers because the money we spend in Ottawa comes from you. What we see today is broken promises and the brazen plans by the Liberal government to spend not only your money, but the money of future Canadian generations. Prime Minister Trudeau campaigned on a capped $10 billion dollar deficit. They have broken that promise in a major way that will impact future generations of Canadians. They also promised to return to a balanced budget by 2019, a promise they appear to have now completely abandoned. Broken promises, out of control spending and no plans to get back to balance seem like enough bad news for one budget. But it gets worse. The Liberals, in their own budget released today, admit that “Canada is starting from a relatively strong fiscal position in 2016, with the lowest total government net debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio of all G7 countries.” How did we achieve this “relatively strong fiscal position?” Our Conservative government made targeted, short term, strategic investment that created jobs and kept taxes at the lowest levels in 50 years. We did this because we know that if Canadians and small businesses have more money in their pockets it helps grow the economy and create jobs. Today’s fiscal monitor shows our previous Conservative government left the Prime Minister with a $4.3 billion dollar surplus. The Liberals approach of no-plan out-of-control spending is just a “starting” point for them. On a day that we were reminded that, whether the Prime Minister likes it or not, Canada is a part of a world that continues to grapple with the fight against ISIS and the horrors that come with that, the Liberal’s budget cut funding to our men and women in uniform by $3.7 billion dollars. In the face of this global threat we see very little in the way of support for our military or mention of Canada’s role in this important area. Canada cannot simply pretend that ISIS and the threat they represent do not exist. Instead, Canada should stand proudly with our allies and offer whatever support, militarily and humanitarian, that is needed to defeat this threat. Canada also faces challenges within our own country including an aging population, and the long term sustainability of our social programs is important. Our Conservative government recognized the coming pressure our provinces would face in the healthcare system and that’s why transfers to the provinces for things like healthcare and education were at an all-time high. Again, this is not a situation we can simply ignore and hope will go away. We must provide support to our provincial colleagues so they can deliver the healthcare that Canadians expect in the context of a balanced budget. As an Albertan, I was anxious to see if the pleas of thousands of workers and their families would be answered with compassion and understanding from this government. With the challenges that exist in the energy sector today we must support skilled labourers, return investor confidence in safe energy infrastructure, and help small businesses and families by keeping taxes low. Instead, what we received was a budget that does little to help create a bright and hopeful future for the families struggling with challenges today. But, I know that Albertans are fighters and they are resilient. I will continue to take the stories and the voices of workers and families to the halls of Parliament and demand the attention and respect these Canadians deserve during one of our province’s most challenging times. I believe we can create jobs, make strategic investments in infrastructure, support students in their pursuit of education or employment, deliver quality healthcare to all Canadians including seniors and chart a bold and bright future for all Canadians without mortgaging the future generations of Canada. In the coming days I will continue to speak with a strong voice on behalf of my constituents, offering solutions to our challenges as a country that leave us in that “strong fiscal position”. I will also be working hard to hold this government to account for their reckless spending, broken promises and lack of any plan to create jobs and support workers and families.
    Mar 22, 2016 2:57 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    Canada's Minister of Defence on today's terrorist attacks in Brussels:
    Mar 22, 2016 11:05 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Yesterday former NDP candidate Linda McQuaig published this article: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/03/17/what-i-learned-from-my-foray-into-politics-mcquaig.html In it, she states that what she learned from her run for office was that, “perhaps we’re not so well served by a conventional wisdom that has reduced the voter to a simple-minded consumer who’s only out for herself”. She partially attributes this learning to the experience of communicating the position of a party that she chose to affiliate herself with. The core of McQuaig’s argument stems from an exchange on CBC’s Power and Politics that took place during the last federal election. McQuaig was put up on the panel by the NDP as their representative to speak to the issue at hand. During the panel I questioned her on her position of supporting a moratorium on the oilsands. This seemed like fair game. She was a star recruit for the NDP, with leader Thomas Mulcair on the record stating that if elected McQuaig would have a prominent role in their party. Had the NDP formed government, McQuaig’s stance on the development of one of Canada’s key industries would undoubtedly have an impact on their policy. When I brought it up, and when she was subsequently (and rightly) pressed on her position by host Rosie Barton, she said, "A lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground if we're going to meet our climate change targets." There we had it. In her article she said of the exchange, “If I didn’t pivot, I knew I’d be stepping into a trap laid by Conservative strategists to portray the NDP as anti-development. But if I did pivot, I felt somehow I’d be betraying the planet.” This wasn’t a trap maliciously laid out by evil Conservative strategists; it was basic use of Google. Neither did her discussing her policy position in the context of NDP official policy constitute a betrayal of the planet; it was an important piece of information for voters. The development of Canada’s energy sector has an enormous impact on hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers, on government revenue that is used to sustain our social programs, on our country’s energy security, and on the environment. A moratorium on the oilsands would have far reaching implications for our country. It was a vigorous discussion. If Linda McQuaig was to have a prominent role in a potential NDP government, so how would she reconcile her position on this issue with what the NDP stance was on the issue….and what was the NDP’s stance anyway? Why was that position the right one to take? The reality was that Linda should have been prepared to answer for her previous policy positions, and discuss her party’s position as well. I’ve been in this hotseat before; sometimes I’ve done well, and other times less so. What I’ve never done is attributed my performance to voters somehow not getting me, as she implies when she states her key takeaway from her campaign experience. McQuaig also talks about the pressure to only communicate “tight” political messaging. Now that I have a few years under my belt as an elected official, I do feel a bit of a kinship to her in occasionally bucking the chafe of a poorly thought out political talking point. All political parties are guilty of compacting and compressing debate into soundbites. The reality of the migration from a traditional news cycle to live, often raw consumption of information on multiple new media platforms isn’t necessarily conducive to the acceptance of envelope-pushing debate in a party based, partisan political system. That said, both Linda and I made the conscious choice to run under the banner of a political party. That means we generally support the principles our respective parties use make policy decisions. In a functioning party, when a policy comes up that might diverge with our personal opinions or those of our constituents, we should have the privilege of being able to voice concern and alternatives through our caucus processes and other platforms. In the end, it is our choice whether to remain affiliated with the party. While every party has its misses on policy or communication, for the most part when you make a choice to run for a party it’s usually because there is a core of policy that you identify and support. It shouldn’t be a chore or a burden to communicate that to the public. So has the voter been, as McQuaig states, “reduced… to a simple-minded consumer who’s only out for herself”? I don’t think so. I think as a country we can do a better job of respecting divergent viewpoints in our public policy process (yes progressives, that means you too), resisting the temptation of hyper partisanship (with an occasional mea culpa from yours truly), and not sensationalizing politics and politicians (I’m looking at you, media). However, to imply that the voter’s capability of doing so has somehow been removed or diminished is an arrogance that should never be deemed to be conventional wisdom.
    Mar 17, 2016 4:39 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    I may or may not be wearing my Jets jersey at this Calgary home game.
    Mar 16, 2016 7:31 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    I'm honoured to have been selected as a Young Global Leader, a program that forms an important part of the World Economic Forum. http://widgets.weforum.org/ygl-2016 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Global_Leaders This year 25 people who were selected were from North America, with three being from Canada.
    Mar 16, 2016 7:37 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Michelle shares her thoughts on immigration plans
    Mar 14, 2016 3:00 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    It's International Women's Day. I'll be raising the plight of Yazidi women in the House in about 15 minutes. You can watch live here: http://www.cpac.ca/en/
    Mar 08, 2016 3:19 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    STATEMENT BY HON. MICHELLE REMPEL ON THE PROPOSED CUTS TO ECONOMIC IMMIGRATION OTTAWA, ON – Today Hon. Michelle Rempel issued the following statement in response to the announcement that the Liberal government will be cutting the number of newcomers it receives through economic streams, and through the Caregiver Program: “It is the responsibility of the federal government to balance the needs of the Canadian economy with our humanitarian responsibilities. The 2016 Immigration Levels Plan, which was finally tabled today after much delay, indicates that the federal government will be cutting economic immigration, which was at no time communicated to Canadians during the election campaign. With nearly a 250% increase to the refugee stream, Syrian refugees are still without language training and permanent housing, which the government has not explained how it will pay for. Cuts to the economic immigration stream will further compound these issues. The Liberals talk about transparency, but their actions are deceptive and misleading.” “The Liberal government has announced that they are cutting 15,000 spots for federal skilled workers, 8,000 spots from caregivers, and 900 spots from business immigration streams. They are effectively cancelling our previous Conservative government’s plan to reduce the backlog in the Caregiver Program, which included increasing our targets to 30,000 caregivers each year for a two year period.” “These caregivers support families and the most vulnerable, and they play a vital role in Canada’s economy. What effect will this have on the backlog in caregiver applications?”
    Mar 08, 2016 11:49 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Mar 07, 2016 3:46 pm | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    Yesterday, the Quebec government filed an injunction on Energy East. A year ago they did this. http://www.cbc.ca/1.2964868
    Mar 02, 2016 7:46 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North
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    MPcon
    The workers in Canada's energy sector have been there for Canada for decades. Now it's time for Canada to be there for them. Over to you, JT. http://m.huffpost.com/ca/entry/9352440
    Mar 01, 2016 9:00 am | Alberta, Calgary Centre-North

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