The Alberta Liberal Caucus has enjoyed several victories in the legislature this session.
Healthcare dominated the fall session of the legislature, led by our call for a much needed emergency debate on healthcare. The government, continuing to be out of touch with issues of importance to Albertans, limited debate to 75 minutes. It was only after Dr. Sherman was kicked out of the PC caucus for speaking his mind and his proposal of an amendment to Bill 17 that enabled the Liberal Caucus to push for adequate debate. Debate lasted 25 hours, none of which the Premier chose to attend. With Albertans waiting 18 hours in emergency rooms for care, the Premier showed disinterest and contempt towards Albertans accessing the healthcare system and to medical staff who are working diligently to make a broken system function.
The Alberta government backed off from park legislation. The proposed bill put too much power into the hands of the minister. Without rules backed by legislation, the door was left open for more development in Alberta’s parks. Local and national conservation groups have campaigned against Bill 29 since it was tabled on November 4th. They called it one of the worst pieces of conservation legislation to come forward anywhere in Canada.
Our efforts helped kill the bill. The entire Liberal caucus opposed the bill and Tourism, Parks and Recreation Critic Harry Chase presented letter after letter from concerned Albertans who opposed the bill. This public backlash along with continued efforts forced the government’s hand. The bill was withdrawn.
The Alberta Liberal Caucus released two major policies during the fall session. One policy focused on the environment and the other focused on the crisis we are facing in healthcare. The environmental policy provides a strong balance between maintaining Alberta’s natural beauty while not compromising economic development. The health policy provides real world solutions and a concrete plan towards solving the ER crisis and ensuring that Albertans are never put into this situation again.
This contrasts with the government, which has announced and re-announced the same plans, with no real action ever taken. This government has a fixation on central control of all decisions across the province in healthcare delivery. This is a major part of the bottleneck that needs to be opened up to more regional control and decision-making. I am continuing to push for changes that will improve the regional delivery system. I have no confidence that this government understands how to improve the effectiveness of our services, and more and more Albertans and health professionals are saying the same thing. A poll done before Duckett’s dismissal and the ER crisis revealed less than 25% confidence in the government’s ability to manage the healthcare system. It is time for Albertans to become more involved in political change for Alberta. There’s a better way.
I am very interested in hearing your feedback on both the environment and healthcare policies. Please read them here: