Posted on Nov 1, 2017

MLA Jabbour's Member Statement regarding the Mace

The following is a transcript of MLA Jabbour's Member Statement:

All of us are aware of the importance and the significance of the Mace. It is a powerful symbol of democracy and of the rights of the common people to pass legislation here in this House. What members may not be aware of is that our Alberta Mace has embarked on a series of adventures of its own.

As part of Mr. Speaker's Outreach, you, Mr. Speaker, and I along with the Sergeant-at-Arms and visitor services staff have accompanied our Mace on trips around the province so that those who live long distances from the Legislature can connect with our work and understand the democratic process. While on the road the Sergeant-at-Arms closely guards the Mace and ensures that it is treated with the utmost respect. At the same time, the opportunity to see the Mace up close and learn about its history has been an unforgettable experience for the communities we have visited.

Our first visit was to Medicine Hat, including a stop at Siksika First Nation, where a group of dynamic young people shared ideas about incorporating a First Nation presence into the Legislature. The second visit was to Fort McMurray, Fort MacKay, and Anzac. This was around the anniversary of the fire, which reminded us of the important role government plays in caring for Albertans in times of need.

This month the Mace tour came to my own constituency of Peace River. Because of its size we only toured the northern part this time, including High Level, La CrĂȘte, Fort Vermilion, Manning, Blue Hills, Paddle Prairie, and Beaver First Nation. On our visit to Beaver First Nation one of the community leaders suggested that, given the important role of the Mace in making good legislation, perhaps the Mace should be smudged. We agreed, and the smudging ceremony we participated in was a solemn and profound moment that felt absolutely right and truly historic, another small step forward in forging new relationships with Alberta's indigenous peoples.

The Mace adventure continued as we crossed the Peace River by ferry. The Mace has now crossed most of Alberta's major rivers: the Peace, the North and South Saskatchewan, the Red Deer, and the Athabasca.

Other areas of the province will be visited in months to come. Mr. Speaker's Mace outreach tour is an important way to connect with Albertans, and I'm proud to be part of the adventure.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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