Being parliamentary secretary of tourism is a role Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin had hoped to fulfill one day.
She's ecstatic that her wish came true when Premier Danielle Smith released her appointments on Oct. 21.
"It is the exact portfolio that I've been hoping to hold at some point in my career. I'm so proud of the tourism operators in Canmore, Banff, Kananaskis, Lake Louise, and throughout Alberta," she says.
"Throughout my three years in office, I've had the opportunity to connect with so many tourism operators, hospitality workers, business owners, and entrepreneurs, and I've become so passionate about advocating for the sustainability of the industry, but also the growth and diversity of the industry. There's so much potential all across this province and I'm so excited to finally get to work with all these people to capture that."
Parliamentary Secretaries work as key representatives of their respective portfolios. Rosin will work closely with Todd Loewen, minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism, to champion the government’s policy development, legislation, stakeholder engagement, committee leadership, and issues management with regard to tourism. The role requires extensive knowledge of the tourism and hospitality industries.
Rosin earned her stripes to fill this position long before her appointment. During the pandemic, she witnessed first-hand the crippling impact of the pandemic on tourism in her riding and took action. To her credit, she didn't limit her interest to the mountain parks but the entire province by heading up a task force to help find ways for operators to survive.
"I got to know a lot of the people all across Alberta and I really feel so passionate about the industry and the people that belong to it, so now I'm very excited to finally have the designation and the portfolio to really work with them on meaningful policy and legislation change."
Despite being a seven-month window, she's hoping to make progress in some areas that would benefit the industry. During her initial interview with Premier Smith, Rosin pointed out the untapped potential in the province.
"That conversation was really what lead to my appointment because I believe Premier Smith agreed with me that there is so much untapped potential that we can capitalize on if we work together."
She wants to address the tourism potential on Crown land that accounts for 60 per cent of the province.
She says by doing so, it has helped British Columbia build a thriving multi-billion-dollar recreational tourism industry.
"In Alberta, we don't do that right now. We have some recreational industry but there's a huge opportunity for growth to make us very much competitive with British Columbia."
She wants to see red tape reduction on tourism leaseholds and create more transparency around the Kananaskis Conservation Pass. She believes people are happy to pay the fee but the province needs to provide assurance that the money is being used to improve the K-Country experience.