By Kalinowski, Tim on July 11, 2019.
Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips is digging into her new role on the frontlines of the fight against the Kenney government’s agenda as the Official Opposition’s finance critic.
“It only became more obvious over the course of the session what a tremendous honour it is to serve as an opposition member on Rachel Notley’s team as part of, what I would argue, the strongest opposition the province has ever seen,” she told The Herald on Wednesday when asked about her impressions of this spring’s legislative session. “I think we shone a light on what goes on in the legislature, and what this government’s real agenda is. It’s not jobs, economy and pipelines – it’s an approach which is arrogant and entitled. It is uncaring. And it is untrustworthy, ultimately.”
Phillips said she is proud of the way her party held the Kenney government to account through three massive filibusters this session.
“In all three cases when we did filibuster,” she said, “these were issues that were off-side of what Jason Kenney’s mandate was. He didn’t get elected to roll back the minimum wage for young people. He didn’t get elected to raid people’s overtime pay. He didn’t get elected to pass unconstitutional laws with the eventual aim of rolling back wages for 180,000 public-sector workers. And he definitely didn’t get elected to roll back human rights protections for LGBT youth. In all three of those cases, we drew a line in the sand.”
Phillips said she will be knocking on doors here in Lethbridge this summer to try to understand the real impact of what she expects will be significant cuts to education and possibly health care introduced in this fall’s budget in October.
“By all indications it’s going to be a bit of a bloodbath,” Phillips stated; “so we’re all going to have to keep a good eye on how that affects our communities and figure out ways to advocate effectively for our communities. That’s going to be my priority. If there are going to be significant cuts, and it’s going to be a really cold-hearted budget, my job is going to be to work and advocate in any way I can to minimize those impacts on the people of Lethbridge.”
Phillips said she is honoured to continue to serve the citizens of Lethbridge-West as their elected representative and vows to continue to carry their concerns forward to Edmonton.
“It is never something to feel regretful about when you win the tremendous honour to represent our community,” she said. “I was elected in 2015 and 2019 to do a particular job, and that is to represent the people of Lethbridge.”
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