May 19th, 2024

The voices of rural Albertans matter

By Lethbridge Herald on January 8, 2022.

Dr. Angela Grace – guest columnist

Dear rural Albertans:

As a rural Alberta-raised girl, I know what it is like to have one school, one hospital, and a single RCMP detachment in the area, or perhaps a couple within a reasonable driving distance. 

We make do with the services we have in more remote areas and hope that amazing teachers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and law enforcement officers are willing to make these towns their home and care for our communities like we do.

However, things are changing drastically, and they are not in your best interests. If you are worried and confused right now, you should be. 

The current government is seeking to transform the very fabric of what makes rural Alberta strong. 

The premier elected to care for Albertans is seeking to privatize our valuable public services and vilifying the people that serve our communities – teachers, doctors, nurses, paramedics as well as RCMP. This ongoing running down of our valued professionals is leading to burnout, despair, and eventually loss of these services. It is death by 1,000 cuts.

One major issue that will impact your children’s lives is education. Jason Kenney is throwing around some buzzwords that sound good on the surface but are far from helpful. 

For example, “choice in education” means that funds are being diverted from public schools to private and charter schools. What if you live in a rural area and public school is your only choice? 

What if the Kenney curriculum becomes law and your children are subject to an outdated, fact-based curriculum that experts deem inappropriate and regressive? 

Did you know that Kenney defunded a valuable educational resource for rural Alberta students (the Alberta Distance Learning Centre) and replaced it with an e-learning model for a fee? Are you really ready for homeschooling? 

What if your child has special needs? Funding cuts across the province means your children will not get the services you need. 

Your voice is important. Please learn about the changes to education, healthcare, and law enforcement, and write your MLA and the opposition. 

 You deserve so much better than what is coming down the pipe.

Dr. Angela Grace is a registered psychologist in Calgary.

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Southern Albertan

Wholeheartedly agree! As a born and raised rural Albertan, myself, and others, we watch this Kenney UCP government drop the ball on any number of issues every day, 365 days a year. Even alone, based on the “open pit coal mine-gate,” many rural Albertans will not be voting for this Kenney UCP government on May 29, 2023. And, even UCP rural constituency associations have concerns about Kenney’s leadership and have demanded a leadership review. It is definitely hard to ignore the facts re: voting intentions indicating that the AB NDP would win an election now with a 99% chance of a majority. As a rural Albertan I did not vote for the UCP in 2019 and I certainly, will not vote for the UCP in 2023. Many of us knew, that if the UCP got in with a majority it would be ‘bad,’ and it has turned out to be ‘really bad.’ There are so many issues now, which will need to be ‘fixed’ and reversed and not too soon.
Many of us know, and realize, that what we have now is, not, our beloved, more inclusive, fiscal conservatism of yore, but the disturbing Kenney UCP/Trump-style populist authoritarian, ultra right wing neo-liberalism. It needs to go.


The sad irony here is that the UCP, as the PCs did before the merger with Wildrose, draw a disproportionate share of political support from Rural Alberta.