July 12th, 2024

NDP working to strengthen health system and the province

By Lethbridge Herald on October 29, 2022.

Shannon Phillips – NDP MLA for Lethbridge West

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the back half of October! This time of year is always filled with a sense of familiarity with our routines, the crunch of leaves under our feet, and the sights and sounds of neighbours spookifying their homes in anticipation of trick-or-treaters to come. Taken together, all of these things remind us of what it means to live in such a remarkable community as well as the natural beauty of our region as seasons change.

For many families in southern Alberta, that seasonal change that normally draws us together through our return to routine is fraught this year. 

This fall, as we consider ferrying our kids to basketball tournaments and dance competitions in places further-flung than we’d like, many of us are worried about just how much those road trips to Medicine Hat or Brooks or Okotoks will cost as the price of fuel once again crawls upward. 

If the rising costs of registrations and school fees weren’t enough to dampen our fun, one look at the cost of gas will be enough to worry most of us about how we’ll be able to afford to give our kids and grandkids the things that make their lives richer and fuller.

Unfortunately, the rising cost of everything is impacting almost every part of our lives, especially as furnaces kick on and light switches are flipped on earlier and earlier with the cooling nights and shortening days. 

Every night that I go canvassing, I hear from southern Albertans who are opening their monthly bills with a grimace and worrying about how the cost of electricity and natural gas will strain their monthly budgets, inform their purchasing decisions, and determine the sorts of things they’ll be able to invest in. 

When the costs of heating and lighting our homes grow exponentially as they have over the last year, so many of our neighbours are putting off other expenses, or saving money that would otherwise have been put into our local economy to create jobs and prosperity right here at home.

All of this is to say nothing about the increasing proportion of our neighbours who are having to make heartbreaking decisions between heat and food, and between paying their utility bills or paying their rent. 

This is increasingly the case for so many people who despite their hard work and sacrifice are still facing impossible decisions at the end of the month when the bills come due.

The deep and bitter irony of the situation is that we live in a province that should be able to afford to make life easier for working people. 

The provincial treasury – on the back of high resource prices – is doing well, but the bank accounts of southern Albertans are strained and overdrafted and more and more reliant on short term fixes to long-term issues. 

We should be able to help our neighbours and ourselves pay the bills so that we can invest in the things we need to make life better for ourselves, our families, and our community. It is, after all, Albertans who make this province what it is, and we deserve a government that puts the needs of families and seniors at the centre of public life.

Unfortunately, that is not what we have. Instead, we have a party and premier in government that is more committed to wonky schemes to undermine public healthcare and the solidarity of our country than to the needs of the people who live, work, and make their homes in this province. 

Rather than focusing on bringing down costs for families or ensuring that seniors have access to the medical care that they need and deserve, Danielle Smith and her UCP met last weekend at their annual general meeting to talk about how they can insert themselves into our kids’ classrooms and further compromise our public health systems.

The good news is that while they were doing that, Alberta has another party – Rachel Notley’s NDP – that also met last weekend, and that meeting was focused squarely on the things that matter: strengthening our health system, making sure our kids have what they need to learn and grow, and supporting families through this once-in-a-generation inflationary crisis. 

Together, we can do better for our friends and neighbours and seniors, and I am proud to be a member of a party and a caucus that is dedicated to doing that rather than playing silly political games.

As the weather cools it’s also a good reminder for all of us to take advantage of Alberta’s vaccine programs: both for COVID-19 (including the new bivalent boosters which target Omicron and its subvariants), and for influenza. 

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that it’s incredibly important for us to invest in the health of our communities by making sure we protect ourselves and those around us. As always, should you need the services of our office, please don’t hesitate to reach out lethbridge.west@assembly.ab.ca or call 403-329-4644.

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More NDP drivel Shannon! Our new gal in office does not want to split from the rest of Canada like your leader seems to be professing. Nothing wrong with wanting the Trudope government to stay in its own lane with regards to Provincial jurisdiction and to bring in a new set of laws to enforce that.
Your party caused a lot of long-lasting harm when it was in power here, the last thing we need Shannon is another four-year sentence as our little city down south here is still paying the price for your incompetent four-year stint!

Dennis Bremner

Considering the fact the NG and Oil are priced globally do you intend on bringing in the equivalent of the Daddy Trudeau’s National Energy Policy and force Alberta into a recession created at home Shannon?
Every province is short doctor’s, do you intend on participating in oneupmanship and compete against BC only to find another province raises their pay higher to lure them there? Perhaps starting a shuttle bus system would be better?
It is very easy to itemize the problem, but as per usual you have no answers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dennis Bremner
Southern Albertan

Albertan’s voting intentions now indicate that the AB NDP are in majority territory….says volumes.