June 18th, 2024

Phillips, Miyashiro slam budget for disregarding city

By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on March 4, 2023.

Shannon Phillips, NDP MLA for Lethbridge-West, and Rob Miyashiro, NDP candidate for Lethbridge-East, spoke at a news conference at the Galt Museum Friday. Herald photo by Cal Braid

Shannon Phillips, NDP MLA for Lethbridge-West, and Rob Miyashiro, NDP candidate for Lethbridge-East, tag-teamed as they took shots at Premier Danielle Smith and the provincial budget during a news conference at the Galt Museum Friday.

“You know, like so many of us here in Lethbridge, I am truly disappointed by the provincial budget,” Miyashiro said. “Danielle Smith doesn’t care what matters to our community. This budget is also a brutal failure by the MLA for Lethbridge East, Nathan Neudorf, who’s also the infrastructure minister and the deputy premier. Somehow, he came back from Edmonton empty-handed.”

Miyashiro said it’s the job of the city’s MLAs to be the voice of Lethbridge in government, not the voice of government in Lethbridge.

Phillips affirmed Miyashiro’s introduction, and said Smith’s UCP has failed to deliver for Lethbridge.

“Let’s start on healthcare. We’ve been calling for a cardiac catheterization lab in the hospital for years. I called for it in the 2019 campaign. We met in late 2018 with the physicians who were advocating for it, and the NDP health minister at that time committed to work with them and with AHS on the project.

“This is critical, life-saving care, and I have spoken with our leader Rachel Notley about this need for new services at our Chinook Regional Hospital.”

Phillips said the expansion of cardiac and critical care at the hospital would remove the need to airlift patients elsewhere during acute cardiac events. She said AHS has a well-developed sense of the need and the costs, but the government is asleep at the wheel in terms of what small and medium-size cities need for healthcare.

Phillips pointed out that the five UCP budgets since 2018 have failed to expand critical heart health services at the hospital. She also noted the continuing lack of family doctors, and said Lethbridge is still not eligible for any of the rural physician initiatives.

On education, Phillips said the budget still leaves the city years behind on school building, and the UCP continues “to starve our university.” On housing, she said “not a single project in Lethbridge has advanced under the UCP. The only housing project in this budget is the one that was announced in 2018-19 by me.”

Cost of living was on her mind as well.

“Families are really up against many pressures. Prices for food, gas, insurance, and utilities have climbed faster than we’ve seen in 40 years, but under the UCP we have some of the slowest wage growth in Canada. In real terms, most people have gotten a pay cut.”

Phillips said the new budget will make life more expensive for everyone-right after the election.

“The utility rebates stop, The payday loans that they’re using to disguise the price of utilities come due. The gas tax snaps back on, and accommodation charges for seniors in continuing care-those also go up, right after the polls close.”

However, Albertans don’t have to stand for it, Phillips said, pointing to the upcoming election and an NDP plan that promises family doctors for everyone, a reduction in bills, and a resilient jobs economy that supports families in the community.

When asked about the UCP’s assertion at a Thursday Chamber of Commerce meeting that they’re making major investments in the school divisions and post-secondary institutions, Phillips said the incremental increase in transfers to post-secondary institutions province-wide is only 0.6 per cent.

“This is not an acceptable amount at all, given the inflation that we’ve seen and given the fact that we’re about a billion dollars in the hole of where we would have been if post-secondary funding had gone up simply by two per cent.”

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Dennis Bremner

“Miyashiro said it’s the job of the city’s MLAs to be the voice of Lethbridge in government, not the voice of government in Lethbridge.”
Where was Ms Phillips voice in preventing the installation of the Community Care Campus, and the protection of Downtown Businesses?
Why has Miyashiro, who supported our Old SCS not spoken out about this, oh right, Miyashiro supports the NDP unfunded 42 bed unit they announced when in power, for Stafford and 5th North. Miyashiro still supports this boondoggle!
Where was the “unfunded promise to twin highway 3 Ms Phillips? It looks like it took the UCP to actually fund these projects even though you announced them as if funded?
So Ms Phillips what actually have you done for Lethbridge when “speaking for Lethbridge” could you put it in a list for us?
Mr Miyashiro, other than bullying fellow councilors when they objected to yours and Spearmans SCS, what exactly have you done to make you even a reasonable candidate? When are you going to tell the Stafford at 5th North businesses you support the 42 bed HIGH Acuity facility and the Obliteration of our downtown with a Community Care Campus installation?

Last edited 1 year ago by Dennis Bremner

Tw, what more could be expected from the “Westside Whiner” and her ” East side Emulator ” than the usual litany of woe and half baked promises to “fix it all” by pouring more $ into the administrative and unionized end of health care and other issues.
IF these 2 get elected we are in for a world of hurt. The ” westside whiner” eeked out a slim 300 vote win last time and has done nothing to garner even that slim degree of support. You could list her positive contributions to the City of Lethbridge residents on the fingers of a double amputee. She has to go and Miyashiro has to be sent packing….


Actually, Phillips ( a former NDP Cabinet Minister) had slightly over 200 votes over her UCP rival, a little known “real estate agent”…..what does that tell you about her support base??? By the way Phillips recently stated she was getting positive response while “door knocking” in her riding. Has anyone had her visit their door? When I called her office to ask where she was campaigning…..”crickets”!


Mr. Miyashiro and Ms. Phillips, a fine pair indeed! One can only imagine the rhetoric and misguided false/deceptive campaigning that they will, in tandum, be speading like manure in their campaigning efforts!

Ms. Phillips where is your NDP “shadow budget”? Where is the NDP vision for Southern Alberta? Where are you? Your representation of our community is/was very telling! We are still in damage cleanup after your ill-gotten stint in office, along with your colleagues, who all but ruined our community. Who and where are you Ms. Phillips as you are never responding to telephone calls or email let alone requests for meeting with you???? As for Mr. Miyashiro, we are not of short memory and knowledge of how you acted and operated on our City Council…. if you couldn’t get along with your fellow Council members, often belittling them and bullying your way around, how can we expect anything else from you? Your poor performance as a City Councillor proceeds you and your efforts for a bid at the provincial level of government. In retrospect, if you hope to glean any votes, it would be best to distance yourself from Ms. Phillips and the NDP and run as an “Independent candidate”.

Last edited 1 year ago by HaroldP

These two are so full of it. They don’t give two hoots and a rats butt about the City of Lethbridge and its residents. Just look at their undying support of and SCS and using in some cases bullying tactics. Here is an article that summarizes fairly well of just went into the budget. Don’t forget Shannon, your salary and perks and benefits are part of that public service pay.



No government gets everything right, however , the previous NDP administration added $50 billion dollars to the provincial debt in a spending spree of biblical proportions. In contrast , the UCP set an objective of reducing expenditures to a level that was no greater than that spent by Ontario and BC. They acheived that goal and are now
responsibly paying down debt from the tax and spend NDP years in power.
Like petulent children, these two do nothing but complain with no constructive alternate plans for the province as a whole.


Too bad some people may vote for Miyashiro just to see the back of him at the Senior’s center.

Southern Albertan

It appears the mayor of Lethbridge would agree.
“I thought I was missing a page: Lethbridge mayor responds to provincial budget.”


See next day’s article from Nathan Neudorf in the paper. Just for some balanced reporting.