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Candidates Q&A

Posted on May 25, 2023 by admin

Southern Alberta Newspapers reached out to each candidate in Cardston – Siksika and asked a series of questions about issues of interest in the provincial election. 

Angela Tabak

Independents for Alberta candidate for Cardston-Siksika, Angela Tabak,  provided the following answers to SSN’s candidate questionnaire:

1) What are the top issues in the Cardston-Siksika riding and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues? 

My concern for my riding is that we haven’t had good representation the last 4 years.  Unfortunately, there are probably many ridings across the province in the same boat. This problem stems from the ‘party system’ and the fact that MLAs are expected to represent the party, the party agenda and the party leader rather than the constituents who hired them in the first place. My ultimate goal in running as an independent is basically choice and democracy. Rather than having disaffected voters simply decide to not vote (I have heard this way too many times already!) I am giving them a choice to have their voices heard and hopefully, ultimately, to have the representation they deserve.

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force or retain the RCMP? What about CPP versus a provincial pension plan?

Yes, we should implement our own police force. We need to start blocking any avenues of overreach the federal government may have. While implementing our own police force will have an increased cost (at least in the beginning) the resultant control and accountability provided through this change will be priceless.

I’ve heard so much fear (relating to) folks losing their CPP. No one is suggesting we move forward with this plan if it’s going to cause our seniors to lose their pension. This fear comes from the NDP despite the fact that the studies on the feasibility of an Alberta Pension Plan have yet to be completed/released. I’m all for the concept of Alberta having its own pension plan. Currently, our younger and larger work force pays more into CPP than our seniors take out in benefits. Alberta is essentially subsidizing CPP for the rest of Canada If Alberta was to have its own pension plan (just as Quebec has) both workers and employers could contribute less while our pensioners could pull more. It is one more priceless way to combat possible federal overreach.

3) With a global national push for more green energy– how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry? 

Tabak: Alberta has the top knowledge, expertise, skilled work force and standards in the world when it comes to oil and gas production. However, as long as we have a federal government, other provincial governments and even our own provincial government trying to ‘phase out’ our oil and gas production in pursuit of meeting climate goals, we will never be allowed to provide the world our clean oil and gas. The fact is, the world needs more clean and reliable energy. We can provide that, to help lift nations out of poverty and

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?  

Tabak: We need to bring back small regional health boards. The demographics and needs of Albertans vary from area to area. Only through local control will the specific needs of an area be properly addressed. Funding needs to follow the patients with hospitals being paid per service rendered. This way patients will be viewed as a source of revenue and not an expense in the hospital budget. We need to start listening to the frontline workers to determine how best to improve our system. They will know exactly what needs to be done to become more efficient and better able to provide the quality health care we need. Consultants and multiple layers of management are too removed from the reality of what our frontline workers and patients face.

5) Do you have a vision of what this province will look like in ten years and what does this look like?

My hope, by running as an independent candidate (no party affiliation) is to a) give conservative voters a choice of candidates in Cardston-Siksika b) allow voters the opportunity for true representation c) send a message to the ‘parties’, the career politicians and the bureaucracies that Albertans are tired of the same old political games and warfare amongst themselves and that we expect better of them.

Colleen Quintal

Alberta NDP candidate for Cardston-Siksika, Colleen Quintal provided the following answers to SSN’s candidate questionnaire:

1) What are the top issues in the Cardston-Siksika riding and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues?

The Alberta NDP wants a better future for Albertans. Right now, we’re seeing families who aren’t able to get their sick kids the care they need. High costs are making it almost impossible to keep up with groceries bills, home heating or planning for your retirement. After years of a UCP government that claims they’ve got people’s interests at heart but is driving away doctors,  putting your pension plan at risk, not helping with costs or doing anything to bring good-paying, sustainable jobs to the province – people want to see a stable government with different priorities.

The NDP will invest billions into growing Canada’s Premier Food Corridor. We would make sure a targeted value-add incentive is available to help companies build infrastructure and hire workers. We are proposing lower borrowing rates for municipalities and irrigation districts so essential infrastructure is in place to attract agri-food investment. The NDP will make sure farmers and southern communities get real support.

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force or retain the RCMP? What about CPP?

The Alberta NDP will keep the RCMP. We reject the UCP’s plan to replace the RCMP and spend hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more, to build a provincial police force. Albertans have made themselves clear that they do not want a provincial police force, and Danielle Smith does not seem interested in listening to what Albertans say. 

Instead of wasting massive amounts of money on a pet project, the Alberta NDP will restore funding to municipal policing grants that the UCP cut so that 150 more police officers can be hired across the province. We will also guarantee funds to hire 150 social workers, mental health workers, addictions counsellors and community navigators to work hand-in-hand with the police. 

When it comes to retirement, Albertans want to know that the pensions they’ve worked for their entire life will be there for them when they need it. That our pensions are stable and secure. That’s why the Alberta NDP won’t pull Albertans’ life savings out of CPP. We won’t gamble with Albertans retirement like Danielle Smith plans to do.. 

3) With a global, national push for more green energy, how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?

So many Albertans rely on our oil and gas industry to earn their income and put food on the table. The Alberta NDP and Rachel Notley know how important growth and development are to protect these jobs and bring in even more jobs to the province. So to ramp up job growth in our energy sector, we’ve been working with industry leaders to devise a plan to diversify and invest in Alberta’s energy resources. Our plan will create 47,000 good-paying and sustainable jobs across the province. 

What our energy sector needs most is stable investment and leadership, not the unpredictability that Danielle Smith’s sovereignty act has created. With Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP, Alberta’s energy sector will get the stability and willingness for growth that it needs to keep thriving for future generations.

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?

Quintal: Public health care in Southern Alberta is in complete chaos. We can’t afford any more healthcare blunders that make doctors and nurses want to flee to other provinces when our lives literally depend on them. People’s lives are at risk because Danielle Smith and the UCP started a war with frontline workers, then, when thousands of families were left without doctors, they refused to clean up her own mess. That’s why an Alberta NDP government will bring real resources to the front line and restore a respectful relationship with healthcare professionals. We’ll ensure our healthcare system will be strong and public, attracting the best healthcare professionals from around the world, not forcing them away. We will make sure one million more Albertans will have access to a family doctor through Family Health Teams, and with an Alberta NDP government you will never, ever have to pay out of pocket to see that doctor.

5) Do you have a vision of what this province will look like in ten years and what does this look like?

Quintal: It’s time that Albertans stop getting the short end of the stick, and that’s exactly what the Alberta NDP is fighting for. Better healthcare you can rely on, a more affordable Alberta so you don’t have to worry about making ends meet or saving to retire, and better-paying jobs. We understand that people in rural Alberta need access to reliable high-speed internet to run their businesses, study, and for every day work around the house. The Alberta NDP is committed to ensuring each and every Albertan has access to broadband by 2027, no more delays. We want better for Alberta.

Par Wantenaar

Solidarity Movement of Alberta candidate for Cardston-Siksika, Par Wantenaar, provided the following answers to SSN’s candidate questionnaire:

1) What are the top issues in the Cardston-Siksika riding and what would you and you do to try to address those issues?

Wantenaar: To end every connection to any outside influence from radical environmental organizations (i.e., WEF). If this is allowed to continue, possibly all other decisions regarding the governance of Alberta will be overshadowed by the dictates of this entity.

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force or retain the RCMP? What about CPP versus a provincial pension plan? 

Wantenaar: Alberta should have both a provincial police force and pension plan. Also the chief of police should be elected.

3) With a global national push for more green energy how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?

Wantenaar: We need to push back against the underhanded campaign which has blackened the name of our oil and gas industry by making widely known the role of the AER and how it continuously keeps this industry in check in regards to  management of environment issues. Alberta is hailed around the world for it’s clean and well managed oil and gas legacy – it’s time that that legacy was celebrated here at home too.

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?

Wantenaar: A total review of the AHS management structure, organization, and administration is needed and the ‘fat’ needs to be trimmed which would result in huge savings. Also Private Healthcare should be allowed and encouraged for those that can afford it; this will help to alleviate some of the stress on the current system. Rural areas should have equal access to primary and secondary healthcare – things need to move away from centralization, i.e., ambulance stations need to be local (everywhere).

5) Do you have a vision of what this province will look like in ten years and what does this look like?

Wantenaar: My future vision for Alberta is to see people truly prospering and enjoying the fruits of their labour. To see the oil and gas flourishing again and farming without detrimental, government interference. I  would like to see our children being kept truly safe in mind, body and soul – no inappropriate ideologies being forced upon them. Finally, a justice system that properly aligns with the ‘Charter of Rights and Freedoms’.

Joseph Schow

MLA for Cardston-Siksika, Joseph Schow provided the following answers to SSN’s candidate questionnaire:

1) What are the top issues in the Cardston-Siksika riding and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues?

Schow: I would say the issues for the population of Cardston-Siksika are not much different than anything else across the province. People are already concerned about affordability, access to education, healthcare, and making sure we have a strong economy and jobs. In particular to Cardston-Siksika is the strength of our agriculture sector. We have a lot of producers of my constituency, who have all expressed their concerns about the potential NDP plan to reopen the anti-farm legislation, and they want a government that is going to focus on the needs of agriculture and what the families that grow the food need.

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force or retain the RCMP? What about CPP versus a provincial pension plan?

Schow: “What I’m really hearing is the issue of people feeling safe in this province, that is a real concern for a lot of my constituents. As a province, prior to the election, and in a commitment, going forward, as a government, if we’re re-elected would be to continue to focus on the safety of Albertans. So you did see that we put more boots on the ground to help law enforcement and Calgary and Edmonton. We’re also working with Grand Prairie; they are looking to move towards their own local police force. The nation of Siksika has also requested, and is working with the Province on a police force. I think to address the over the overarching issue, which is crime and public safety, we’re adapting. We’re listening to the municipalities and working with them and addressing their needs and their requests.”

On the topic of CPP Schow offered the following comment: “It’s the people’s pension. The report is going to be laid out at some point whenever it’s ready and whenever that’s done, then the people have the chance to look at it and make a decision for themselves.”

3) With a global national push for more green energy how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?

Schow: “I feel really strongly that we have a world-class energy sector with some of the highest ethical and production standards in the world, if not the highest. The world needs more Canadian energy, and as the government, our job is to support that. We had to be very serious about being responsible for future generations, but also recognize that like i said, the world needs more Canadian energy and as a province, we’re going to continue to support our sector unlike the NDP whose emissions cap plan, would cost Albertans over $80 billion. It is not a credible plan, and frankly, i think that anybody who sees that would see that it will hurt our province, it’ll hurt our country and we just can’t go down that road. We’ve seen with the NDP wants to do with energy sector in the past and we can’t allow them to that again.

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?

Schow: “Healthcare is a complex issue and it’s something that doesn’t have just a one-size fits all solution. We’ve worked very hard especially in recent months, naming Dr. John Cowell on the AHS board to ensure that we’re meeting our targets. As of Dec. 2022, we have 11,400 physicians, that’s up from the year prior which was almost 1,000 physicians fewer than that. Rural Alberta continues to struggle to attract physicians, but working with municipalities to find ways to solve that problem. We also look at increasing funding we have committed, for example, 72 million dollars over the next three years, to create another 3,400, new seats in post-secondary health care programs across Alberta. We’ve also invested $113 million to add 100 residency training spaces for newly graduated physicians particularly in rural areas which of course is very important to my constituency and also making sure both Siksika and the Blood Tribe have access to health care as well.”

5) Do you have a vision of what this province will look like in ten years and what does this look like?

Schow: “In 10 years, this province has more workers, and families moving to this province who feel like it is a beacon of hope and opportunity. With low taxes, and small government which truly understands what Albertans need. That’s why i ran for office four years ago; it’s why I am running for office again. As a fifth generation southern Albertan, I owe it to my parents, grandparents and their parents, who helped build this province, to keep it a place of opportunity. They moved here because there’s there’s a lot of great opportunity and they worked hard to build this province and i want to continue on the legacy and so an Alberta that i see in 10 years from now or 20 years from now has a strong driving energy sector, great health care, as it does now, great education for families, rural Alberta is thriving.”

Terry Wolsey

Terry Wolsey of the Independence Party is running in the Cardston-Siksika riding. He provided the following answers to SSN’s candidate questionnaire:

1) What are the top issues in the Cardston-Siksika riding and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues?

Wolsey: The top issue is our MLA supported every mandate imposed on us by his party .  He needs to be held accountable for doing that.  We cannot enable this behavior as the result will not improve. 

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force or retain the RCMP? What about CPP versus a provincial pension plan?

Wolsey: It is up to the voter to decide on these issues surrounding the RCMP.  The Independence Party’s (TIP) policy is the voter is the deciding factor for implementation of such policy we call that Direct Democracy.

3) With a global national push for more green energy how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?

Wolsey: TIP supports responsibility and balance for all industries actions that help or affect economic and social stability.

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?

Wolsey: As to healthcare problems it has over 3000 managers where it could function with much less.  Move the managers out or back to the front line.  It requires a forensic study to fix it.

5) Do you have a vision of what this province will look like in ten years and what does this look like?

Wolsey: There is hope if we take off the shackles put on the people by the upc and ndp if they are removed and the unnecessary regulations are removed.  Its everyday Albertans that made this province and can make it even better.

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