October 31st, 2020

Listening to citizens’ concerns


By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on November 22, 2019.

Lethbridge remains one of the best places in the province to raise a family. Our city is a model of a diversified economy to which other communities in Alberta aspire. On Nov. 6, I was lucky enough to host a team of representatives from Team Lethbridge, a range of public-sector, private-sector, nonprofit and civil society leaders and organizations, at the Legislature. Team Lethbridge and I are hearing the voices and concerns of residents loud and clear. We are doing everything we can to make sure that this government listens to and addresses your concerns.

Lethbridge is known for two things: seniors and students. We have seen this government go out of its way to make cuts to both. They are raising post-secondary tuition and enacting deep cuts to our university and college. They are also cutting seniors’ lodge assistance programs, seniors’ benefits and kicking tens of thousands of older Albertans off the seniors’ drug plan.

I am receiving hundreds of phone calls, emails and letters from very concerned folks in our community. Parents don’t know if they will be able to work now that the government has cancelled the Kin Care program. Elders are worried that cuts to family supports like Family Centre and Opokaa’sin will lead to serious impacts in their communities. Seniors are worried about their insurance and benefits. Teachers and school staff are worried about class sizes and effects on student learning. Nurses are concerned about their patients. And it seems that we are all worried about the future of our pensions.

We have already seen this government’s disregard for our city in their budget. Here’s just a short list of our challenges. A broken promise on a new bridge for Highway 3. Cuts to ambulance services. No new schools despite the fact that we’re one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. No funding for a much-needed cardiac catheterization lab in our hospital. Cuts to the arts and those that work in the creative industries. Cuts to early learning, child care, and parent link centres. Layoffs of teachers, educational assistants, and others through millions in cuts to our two school boards. Cuts to urban Indigenous programs. Cuts to our parks and those who work to monitor and protect our environment. Cuts to programs and tax credits designed to diversify and grow our economy, and attract new types of investment and entrepreneurs.

Lethbridge withstood the worst of the last recession caused by the collapse in the price of oil. But this UCP recession will undoubtedly hurt our community. Bigger deficits, higher personal taxes, and thousands of layoffs, all to pay for a $4.7-billion no-jobs corporate handout.

Lethbridge remains one of the fastest-growing and most economically diversified and resilient cities in the province. It is a great place to raise families and find a deep sense of community. But we will have to look out for each other during this looming UCP recession.

If you are concerned about service cuts and broken promises I urge you to contact me at lethbridge.west@assembly.ab.ca or at 403-329-4644 or come to the office at #110 410 Stafford Drive South.

Shannon Phillips is the NDP MLA for Lethbridge West. Her column appears monthly.

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Citi Zen

As usual, use the media to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. A great city, where it’s unsafe for children to play in the parks, walk to school alone, or where it is unsafe to venture downtown. All this, thanks to you. Yes, pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Dennis Bremner

Shannon you forgot to mention your roll in attracting 1000 more addicts to Lethbridge? Should you not be including that in your success story? Or perhaps at least mention that to achieve your limited legacy that you raised the Alberta Debt by $57billion and still could not get any of the things done in this region that you said you would? So what exactly did you do for Lethbridge? Oh ya forgot the extra 1000 addicts you attracted with an ill conceived plan…I don’t think I will say thanks!

diplomacy works

A province can’t attract investment when it’s running around cutting everything in sight.

Much less when the Premier, for now that’s Kenney, is slithering about with a message of western alienation and separation.

And Kenney can’t talk “ethical oil” when he’s the head of a province that fires the man investigating his allegedly corrupt rise to leadership position.

And while Kenney’s pension is underwritten by all Canadians – he wants to take ours and sink it into oil & gas.

Seriously can’t think of one good policy developed since Kenney took office and nothing in the budget that’s helpful for kids or jobs.

Kenney’s the wrong man for the times and he leads no where good.

grinandbearit

Kenney is gaslighting Albertans. In the name of “fiscal responsibility” he has increased the deficit and debt over what the NDP did, reduced our health services and education, confiscated Albertans’ pension plans (worth billions) and transferred them to an investment body (Aimco) that is under provincial government control and that is transferring billions to oil and gas companies (and he plans to do the same with our Canada Pension Plan), while he provides tax cuts to the richest corporations who will take the money and run. Meanwhile thousands of jobs are being lost. It is clear that we are witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth from ordinary Albertans to the richest nonAlbertans in the history of this province.
We are on the brink of the biggest collection of wealth by the rich corporations exiting Alberta over the next couple of years and the most dramatic loss by the rest of us. Grab the “oh sh*t” handle while we go off the road

diplomacy works

Grinandbearit – sadly on the money.

johnny57

Shannon!…The sky is falling-the sky is falling! Or is it just the usual “sour grapes” bibble-babble you spew when you get your platform.

ewingbt

Yes . . . The NDP did nothing wrong and the big bad UCP will ruin Alberta . . . yet who was it the destroyed my city with a safe consumption site and destroyed many businesses in the area ? Neighbourhoods around the city are under seige from addicts stealing whatever they can to buy more drugs, even stealing little kids bikes and breaking their hearts
.
The costs of increased policing, fire and EMS, more social programs and guess what . . . it was all based on a program in BC that after 15 years continues to fail and bleed taxpayers dry.

Yes once the people of this city see the true costs, the increased taxes, the increase in insurance premiums they will really say thank you NDP!

BC was a complete failure, the biggest scientific data is right next door in BC that shows that enablling addicts doesn’t work and you can quote all the stats you want but the true evidence is right next door in BC . . . enabling addicts doesn’t work . . . effective treatment does.

BC has very little left for treatment because enabling users and all the rippling effects and costs are bleeding the government (taxpayer funded) dry.

Once the taxpayer calculates what it is costing them they are not going to be happy!!!!