July 17th, 2024

UCP chasing billions of dollars away from Alberta

By Lethbridge Herald on September 23, 2023.

Shannon Phillips – NDP MLA for Lethbridge West

Every September feels like a new start, doesn’t it? While it has been a few years since I was getting excited about picking courses for the term, I still feel like September brings a renewed energy and focus to us all. 

It is as if we have moved on from the issues of the summer and opened to a fresh page. If only the Alberta government felt renewed and focused. Instead, the government of Danielle Smith has left us with a lot of troubles from their summer decisions.

To start with, we are a month into the seven-month long ban on renewables announced by the UCP in August and already the consequences of that ideological decision have been exposed. International headlines have declared that Alberta is not a reliable jurisdiction. As if damaging Alberta’s international reputation as a place to invest wasn’t enough for the UCP government, it was revealed this month that over 100 projects worth over $33 billion in investments are at risk. 

The projects would have meant tens of thousands of jobs in an industry we were leading in Canada. Now, submissions to the Alberta Utilities Commission about the damage from the moratorium read like a horror novel with businesses declaring things like: “The moratorium will result in severe uncertainty among investors, jeopardizing billions of dollars of investment in Alberta.”  

In just weeks the UCP have managed to tank investor confidence, chase billions of dollars in investment away, and leave Albertans wondering what this government has against energy development. Alberta’s NDP Caucus have been strong supporters of Alberta’s energy industry and we believe Alberta can be a leader in all forms of energy development. The UCP government need to listen to Albertans, businesses, and investors by immediately removing the renewable energy moratorium. Furthermore, the UCP needs to help get our province get back to being the leader in renewable energy development in Canada that we were just a few months ago.

As if destroying our renewable energy industry was not enough of a bad summer, the UCP government had a few more ideas up their sleeve when they suddenly cancelled the contract for lab services across the province. In less than a year, the UCP had switched lab service providers twice and the changes have left people who need those lab services mystified and worried about their ability to access necessary health care.

 We have asked repeatedly what this has cost Albertans but the Minister responsible for the decision has been unable to answer. Did the UCP government even know what this would cost Albertans? We have no idea. I will certainly be asking about it again when we return to the Legislature this Fall but I do not hold out much hope that the Minister will have found out by then. 

The lab service contract cancellation was just one more crisis for the health care system to navigate this summer.

 Despite promises by the Premier to solve the lack of access to family doctors, routine health care remains hard to find for many of my constituents. My office often fields calls from constituents who do not want to access an Emergency Department for their routine health care needs but with no doctors accepting patients in the city, they feel frustrated and desperate. Albertans were told by Alberta Medical Association president Dr. Fred Rinaldi that the doctor shortage is having potentially deadly consequences because people are delaying screening like mammograms and pap smears. 

The shortage of family doctors has to be a top priority for the government this Fall. We cannot have Emergency Departments (ED) close in rural hospitals because there is no doctor available.

 We cannot have people attend EDs with concerns they know could be handled by a family physician, if only they could find one. And we cannot have people delay key screenings because they lack a doctor.

I want to make sure you know there are some services available to you, even without having a family doctor. 

If you are over 50 you do not need a referral from a physician to access a mammogram every two years. 

Additionally, everyone 50-74 is eligible to order a FIT kit to screen for colorectal cancer. More information about these tests, and how to access them, is available at ScreeningForLife.ca. I hope you visit that site or ask a trusted friend or relative to help you so you will know how to access screening programs, even if you have not been able to find a family doctor.

While the summer of political news has been bleak in Alberta, I hope that you have found some moments of peace and that you are looking forward to the fall.

 I will be returning to the Legislature when it opens again at the end of October and I will bring your concerns to the government’s attention so feel free to let me know how you have been affected by any of these provincial decisions. As always, my email is Lethbridge.West@assembly.ab.ca and my phone number is 403-329-4644.

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Ms Phillips does not disappoint readers with her excessive rhetoric about the evils of the UCP policies. With reference to the moratorium on renewables she assumes that a pause in approvals instantly puts at high risk future investment in the sector, despite the facts that existing projects will continue to be evaluated, that environmental conditions in Alberta are superior to many other jurisdictions in Canada, in terms of sunshine and wind, and that important issues need to be evaluated during this period, including protection of valuable farmland, egress rights and many more.


Your assumption that the UCP will put in place regulations that allow development to proceed as before, after the green ban, does not jive with our experience of this green-phobic government.


What the UCP is doing might have caused a lost of some jobs, this is no where near what the NDP cost Albertans in lost jobs and revenue by stopping Oil & Gas production with the backing of the stupid carbon tax. Lets talk about the lost of our power supply by closing down the coal generating plants, switching to windmills that can not keep up with demands. Come on Ms Phillips why don’t you try for once telling the truth?


The only truth worth listening to is the one the earth is telling us: “mmf mmf get your knee off my throat mmmf”


Lol….thanks for the morning chuckle Sophie….when everyone else is trying to make a point its nice ot have some humor and you hearing voices from the dirt certainly is laughable.


your reply is a fine example of how the all too literal tend to be very thick


Based on your writings if there is ever an expert on ” THICK” it wld be you. BTW, humor is a great stress reliever, you shld try it sometime…..and Sophie is a comedienne of repute.


nicely put – touches on two pressing issues

Citi Zen

LOL. More of Phillips’ fake news, more rhetoric.

Citi Zen

Can’t understand why the Herald continues to print this mindless drivel.


Ahhhhh Mrs. Phillips, before you tout your horn about “brining our concerns to the Government’s attention” don’t you think it would be a great idea to actually respond to letter’s, e-mails, phone calls and even visits to your office, from your constituents? By the way, thanks for the warning/notice that “I will be returning to the Legislature when it opens again at the end of October…..” did you have other “plans” to be elsewhere? By the way, Mrs. Phillips, where were you when the Fresh Start facility ribbon cutting/opening was held? Are you “above” joining our City dignitaries, Mayor Hyggen, Reeve of Lethbridge County, Lorne Hickey and MLA Nathan Nuedorf at these stellar events of positive solutions to possibly one of our greatest concerns right now, addiction and recovery????

Last edited 9 months ago by HaroldP