By Amy Badry
Gary Mar has 14 years experience as MLA for Calgary Nose Creek and Calgary McKay. He has served as minister of environment, minister of health and wellness and minister of international and intergovernmental relations. Mar also represented Alberta in Washington as Alberta’s U.S. minister-counsellor.
When asked what he thinks is the number one issue facing young Albertans, Mar thinks it is getting their voices heard.
“When I listen to young Albertans they have a great deal of interest in matters relating to public policy, but the concern they express is that there is not a very easy pathway for young Albertans to be able to express what their views are to their government,” said Mar. “I think it is really important that we use new tools in government to make it easy for young people to put forward their ideas on important matters of public policy that affect them.”
Mar wants to see the government take the initiative to ask young Albertans their opinion using a medium that they appreciate and understand.
“I have tried to use tools like electronic town halls and the ‘Gary Mar app’. We have used things like Twitter and Facebook and have gotten really good feedback on what [young Albertans’] ideas are on public policy.”
Mar would like to see all government policy committees live-streamed.
“Decisions about public policy should not be made behind closed doors. Those things that are in the public agenda should be accessible by all members throughout the province so you can see the process of policy being made and have input and perhaps even be able to ask questions about that policy as it goes forward through the process.”