Heartwood’s big anniversary – Athabasca Advocate – January 9, 2018

The Heartwood Folk Club approximately celebrated their 20th year with live music as their fall 2017 season-opener Oct. 1.

About 200 people crowded the Nancy Appleby Theatre to see acoustic guitar folk duo J.P. Cormier and Dave Gunning perform. During intermission, Heartwood Folk Club Society board member Richard Zwicker gave thanks to the music club’s artistic director, Peter Opryshko, for all his work putting on shows for the past 20 years.

Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquette was at the show, and presented Opryshko and the society with a certificate of achievement.

Opryshko said that it was “very special” to have such a good crowd, and that the club has survived for so long. “It’s fantastic. It couldn’t have happened without all these good people. They give me more credit than they should, I think.”

Looking for help this summer? Why not hire a student! Financial assistance for wages is available


The 2018 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) application deadline for employers is February 2, 2018Canada Summer Jobs is a Government of Canada initiative. It provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer jobs for students between the ages of 15 and 30.

The application form as well as the applicant guide are currently available at www.canada.ca/canada-summer-jobs. You can submit your application online, by mail or in person at any Service Canada Centre.

We encourage you to submit your 2018 application online. By doing so, you will benefit from a fast, easy-to-use, and secure way of applying as you will:

  • have access to the Canada Summer Jobs application 24/7, from any location, allowing you to complete it at your convenience;
  • ensure your application is received immediately by Service Canada;
  • receive an instant acknowledgement confirming that your application has been received; and,
  • avoid postal delays.

There are two systems available to enable you to apply online:

  1. Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS): If you already have a GCOS account, please use this online platform to submit an online application; or
  2. CSJ online application form.

More information about how CSJ benefits both students and employers is available on our YouTube page

For more information:

Click: www.canada.ca/canada-summer-jobs

Call: 1-800-935-5555 (ATS: 1-800-926-9105)

Visit: a Service Canada Centre

If you are interested in attending an information session, please reply to this email (W-T-CSPD-SCEP-CSJ-EEC-AB-GD@servicecanada.gc.ca) providing the following so we can provide you with the teleconference number:



Date of session:

Your name:

Your organization:

Your telephone number:

Your email:

Anticipated number of organizations to attend the session:



Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Friday, January 12, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Friday, January 19, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)


Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Time: 10 am (MST) and 1pm (MST)

Athabasca Community Dinner Draws Over 1000 People – Athabasca Advocate -December 19, 2017


Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquette donned a Santa hat and pitched in with the dinner. He said nothing could be more in the spirit of the season than an event like the community dinner. 

“This is the very definition of what community is,” he said. “People are getting together and sharing fellowship and good cheer. Raising funds for the less fortunate.”

-MLA Colin Piquette 

Speaking in the House – Electoral Boundaries Commission – December 13, 2017

The Acting Speaker: Any questions or comments under 29(2)(a)?
Seeing and hearing none, is there anyone else wishing to speak to Bill 33? The hon. Member for Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater.

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yeah. I just wanted to briefly get on the record a couple of points. Of course, I mean, I haven’t made secret my own concerns over the Electoral Boundaries Commission. I just want to respond to some of the things from the people on the other side. As a rural member I don’t feel like my colleagues are throwing me under the bus. I have to say that, I mean, they’re looking at this from a different perspective. I respect that. I understand where they’re coming from when they look at their own ridings and when they look at that we appointed this commission.

That all being said, I’m going to be voting against this on third reading. I feel like I can’t do otherwise. I mean, I did very extensive consultation with members in my riding. I spoke to every individual municipality, and I had unanimous consent. I had unanimous consent not from the municipalities merely but from every single councillor that was a member of every municipality. They all said the same thing, that they were really concerned about the changes. They were concerned about the dilution of representation that the expansion of the boundaries of our riding represented, and they urged me that what they wanted to see was the status quo. Because of this overwhelming voice from the riding, I can’t support the report’s recommendations. I have to give credit, too, you know, that I do have the ability to vote against this, and I intend to exercise it.

Thank you.

Speaking in the House – Agricultural Exports and NAFTA – December 13, 2017

The Speaker: The hon. Member for Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater.

Agricultural Exports and NAFTA

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last year 40 per cent of our agriculture products were exported to the United States, bringing in $4 billion to the Alberta economy. The North American free trade agreement, or NAFTA, has played a critical role in giving Alberta producers access to the American market. To the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Farmers in my riding are curious to know: what is the government doing to protect Alberta’s agricultural interests under NAFTA?

The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Mr. Carlier: Thank you, Mr. Speaker and to the member for the question. We understand how important it is for Alberta producers to get their products to market. It makes life better for farm families, makes life better for small communities, small rural communities. It’s important for diversifying our economy and creating jobs that support families. We’re working closely with the government of Canada and with other provinces to defend Alberta’s interests during the review of our trade agreements with the United States and Mexico.

The Speaker: First supplemental.

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the same minister: how is the government ensuring that the supply management of agricultural products is protected in any proposed changes to NAFTA?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Mr. Carlier: Thank you, Mr. Speaker and to the member for the question. Our government strongly supports supply management. Together, SM5 commodities accounted for 6.9 per cent, or $891.6 million, of the total value of agricultural production in 2015. The latest demands to scrap the supply management system in the United States are unacceptable to us and industries like dairy. They’ve made unsupportable suggestions like this on other issues before. We’ll continue to advocate for a system that ensures stable access to safe, healthy food.

The Speaker: Second supplemental.

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the same minister: what is being done to diversify Alberta’s agricultural exports to make us less dependent on exports to a single market such as the United States?

Mr. Carlier: Mr. Speaker, the world knows our reputation for good, safe, and quality products. Our government will work to open those opportunities for producers. That’s why I’m pleased to participate in trade missions that showcase our amazing products, places like China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. We will continue to monitor developments in the U.S. very closely, and we will take a pragmatic, long view of any proposed changes to ensure that we’re protecting Alberta’s interests. The United States is Canada’s biggest trading partner, and we value that relationship. We also know that we need to diversify our markets so that more people around the world have the opportunity to enjoy amazing agricultural products: beef, pork, grain, and oilseeds.