On Friday, March 4th, The United Way hosted two distinguished guests. Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci were in town for the entire day and spent the final portion of their visit hearing from different sectors of the community during an engagement session held in The Redpoll Centre Conference Room. Representatives from the social profit, public, business and industry sectors were in attendance to share successes and challenges.
“A limited number of invitations went out as we only had one hour of time and government officials wanted the Premier and Minister to hear from a cross-section of the community,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director. “Premier Notley and Minister Ceci were able to hear directly from leaders in our community.”
Invited guests were asked to give a brief update during the session in The Redpoll Centre, providing a brief description of their organization and a few successes and challenges.
“It was a great way to give the Premier and Minister Ceci a better understanding of our community,” said Russell Thomas, Director of Communications and Community Impact, who facilitated the information sharing. “My only regret is that we ran out of time and several organizations were unable to pass along their updates. I hope this is something that can happen again so that these folks can have their opportunity.”
The Premier’s office had contacted United Way earlier in the week to see if they could assist in bringing a cross-section of leaders together for a private reception with the two provincial leaders. There was a strong interest on the part of Premier Notley and Minister Ceci to hear a variety of perspectives of the current situation in Wood Buffalo.
“We appreciated the opportunity to share some critical information about our community,” said Shannon. “Even after a long day, both the Premier and Minister Ceci seemed to appreciate the intimate setting of The Redpoll Centre and the opportunity to rest their voices and take notes.”