Friday Focus: Wanted - Evidence Based Policy

Wanted: Energy Strategy

The Alberta Government announced a $50 million investment to create a “Clean Hydrogen Centre of Excellence” to support the development of Alberta’s hydrogen industry. Unfortunately, despite this good news announcement, it is part of a troubling pattern.

Alberta lacks a comprehensive energy plan. 

This piecemeal scattergun approach won’t cut it. The UCP are playing a game of catchup, chasing whatever trend they’re already trailing. With the full resources of the Alberta government at their disposal, neither the NDP nor the UCP has been able to articulate, let alone create, a holistic energy strategy that:

  • Acknowledges the continued importance of traditional oil and gas for decades to come. 
  • Capitalizes on the economic potential of renewable energy and new emerging industries. 
  • Allows us to grow our energy sector while meeting our climate change objectives. 

Alberta can and should be an energy superpower. Announcements like this week’s help but are insufficient for the task ahead. It’s time to think big, dig into the details and create the comprehensive energy plan Alberta needs. 

Wanted: Doctors

Between May 2020 and now, the number of primary care physicians accepting patients through AHS’s primary care portal has halved. Many Albertans struggle to find a doctor, especially in rural areas that depend on these services to keep their communities vibrant. The key to a sustainable healthcare system is keeping people out of hospitals. That can only happen when people have adequate access to family doctors. This situation has to be fixed. 

It’s easy to blame the UCP and their war with doctors, and they deserve a portion of it. But other factors are contributing to this shortage, and we need an independent study to get to the bottom of it. Let’s figure out all the root causes to develop the best solutions, whether it be helping more doctors have their foreign credentials recognized, training more doctors or making job offerings more appealing. 

Wanted: Evidenced-Based Decision Making

Before wrapping this week, I want to draw attention to the strain the 6th wave of COVID has put on our hospitals. Experts predicted that a 6th wave would result from lifting restrictions too rapidly, and Alberta Liberals sounded the alarm to no avail. 

This is yet another example of why we need a government committed to vigilant, evidence-based policy and why we need to get Alberta Liberals elected to the Legislature.