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Tag: New Democratic Party

NDP candidate Kevin Van Tighem – smiling white man with short grey hair wearing a grey dress shirt

Alberta NDP candidate Kevin Van Tighem

Six candidates are vying for your vote on May 29, hoping to be Livingstone-Macleod’s next MLA. All were invited to submit a piece outlining their election platform for publication in Shootin’ the Breeze.

Until last year, I was always non-partisan and was never involved with politics.

But that ended when I saw what the UCP was doing to the province I love and call home. 

I started my campaign about a month before being appointed as the NDP candidate for Livingstone-Macleod at a nomination meeting last November.

Since then, I’ve had conversations with people on over 2,000 doorsteps in Coleman, Fort Macleod, Beaver Mines, Pincher Creek, Blackie and High River. When counting the conversations volunteers on our team have had, we’re well past 5,000 doors.

 

 

Each conversation has been fascinating, meaningful, and even heartbreaking. After more than three decades of working with neighbours on what matters here, I thought I knew Livingstone-Macleod.

I now realize I had barely scratched the surface.

I’ve talked to people who’ve lost their family doctor and can’t get primary care. The severe challenges facing rural health care under the UCP have forced people to turn to emergency rooms instead of walk-in clinics or doctors’ offices.

I’ve heard about expectant mothers driving to Calgary on winter roads for maternity care because Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek can no longer have it.

On the other side, doctors have told me they are burnt out and frustrated. They’re too busy to take on more patients. A nurse told me she and her whole team are in counselling after three years of constant work, overtime and pressure — all while the UCP government disrespects them.

 

Wedding banquet view of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

I spoke with an elderly woman who has to stretch her pension further to keep up with her rising mortgage and utility bills. Now, she has to rely on the food bank. She used to donate before the UCP took the caps off utility rates. Now she’s a client. 

Doorway after doorway, I’ve learned of our communities’ challenges. It’s been sobering. It’s also been inspiring.

I’m more determined than ever to represent the people in my community and make sure a trustworthy government hears these concerns and acts.

Politics has to be about more than partisanship and political games; it has to be a sincere offer and commitment to deliver a better future.

That’s why my team and I have been to every community in our riding. It’s why we started hosting meet-and-greet sessions in the winter and have gone to school meetings, health workshops, trade fairs and countless other gatherings. 

 

 

We are in this for our neighbours and their families.

And what we’re seeing is more Alberta NDP supporters. Almost a third have told me they are conservatives but cannot vote, in good conscience, for what the UCP has become under Danielle Smith’s chaotic leadership. 

Last November, I chose to fight for a better future for Alberta by stepping out of retirement to run for the party that puts people first: the Alberta NDP. I am running with a real leader who cares and who’s focused on what matters to Albertans: Rachel Notley.

I want people to know I’ve done my homework, and you can rely on me. I am in this for Livingstone-Macleod and the families, communities and land we all cherish.

 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

 

 

Related articles:

Livingstone-Macleod Candidates Make Last Appeals At Crowsnest Pass Forum

‘Not Notley’ Sign To Come Down, Says MD Of Pincher Creek

Scheduling Conflicts Derail Livingstone-Macleod Election Forum In Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Health-Care Forum Draws Large Audience

UCP Candidate Calls Out Heart Attack Survivors

Claresholm Politician Enters UCP Nomination Race For Livingstone-Macleod

Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

 

Travis Toews, man with short grey hair and glasses, and dressed in a blue suit jacket, white shirt and blue tie, speaks to reporters

UCP unveils Budget ’23 ahead of spring election

Finance Minister Travis Toews tabled Alberta’s 2023 budget Feb. 28, predicting a $2.4-billion surplus through a fiscal plan that relies heavily on oil and gas royalties to swell Edmonton’s coffers.

The budget, released roughly 90 days ahead of this spring’s provincial election, contains a massive bump in health-care spending and a plan to boost policing. 

Speaking to rural journalists the next day, Toews touted the United Conservative Party’s “fiscal responsibility” since taking over from Rachel Notley’s NDP in 2019. The UCP has done much “heavy lifting” to curb the government’s per-capita spending, which had been roughly $10 billion higher in Alberta than in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, the minister said. 

Fiscal responsibility remains “a key theme” in this year’s budget, with Toews outlining legislative steps to rein in deficit spending in the years ahead.

 

Red and black angus bulls on poster for Blades Angus Bull Sale

 

“Those fiscal rules will require a balanced budget, with appropriate exceptions [for heavy revenue shortfalls, sudden emergencies, etc.], and the fiscal rules will provide a strategy and a framework for surplus management.” 

Budget 2023 projects roughly $71 billion in revenue by the end of next March, $18 billion of which is expected to come from oil and gas. 

“The fact is, Alberta has a volatile revenue structure. We do still depend to a significant degree on royalty income [from non-renewable resources] to cover operational spending,” Toews acknowledged, qualifying in the next breath that Alberta’s economy was rapidly diversifying. 

Vowing that “support levels for our most vulnerable cannot be dictated by globally set commodity prices,” Toews highlighted several commitments to boost health care, many of which had been announced before budget day. 

 

Solar panel on ad for Riteline Electric in Pincher Creek

 

To that point, the budget provides nearly $1 billion to shave ambulance wait times, plus $4.2 billion over the next three years to boost health care in rural and Indigenous communities. 

The budget meanwhile provides 13 per cent more for the ministries of Justice and Public Safety. Toews said he would hold Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis accountable for putting 200 extra law enforcement officers on Alberta streets, mostly in the form of provincial sheriffs. 

Toews did not say how much money the province has spent on exploring the possibility of replacing the RCMP with an independent Alberta Police Service, echoing Ellis’s comments last month that the government hasn’t made up its mind. 

“We’ve obviously made no decision as would be reflected in this budget. But we have made a decision to increase enforcement in the meantime,” Toews said.

 

 

Notley’s NDP panned the budget, pouring scorn on Danielle Smith, who succeeded former premier Jason Kenney last fall.   

“Frankly, the best news in Danielle Smith’s first budget is that it could be her last one because, very soon, Albertans will have a choice to turn the page,” Notley said. 

The Opposition leader swung at Smith’s contentious revamp of the province’s RStar program that rewards petro companies for meeting their legal obligations to reclaim spent oil wells, calling Budget 2023 “a fraudulent budget designed to buy votes ahead of the election and then spring the costs on Albertans after the polls have closed.”