The Friday Focus is a weekly blog post from Interim Leader John Roggeveen. It covers some of the pressing political issues of the week.
It’s happening again. We saw the UCP drop the ball on wave after wave of COVID, and they’re about to do it again. Just as a new, highly contagious sub-variant is triggering another COVID wave, the UCP is leaving Alberta unprepared.
Last week I highlighted the need to get more Albertans their fourth shot in light of this looming threat. Unfortunately, the UCP decided to head in the opposite direction, requiring a referral for PCR testing. This move will not only leave us with less data, but it will also put additional strain on our healthcare system and waste the precious time of our already overburdened healthcare workers.
How many times can the same government make the same mistakes?
More Transparency Required
Following the Council of Federation Summit of Canada’s Premiers, the UCP is calling for more federal healthcare funding. The federal government says they are willing to provide the funding, but only if there is greater accountability and specificity on how the funds are spent. The federal government is right to take this stance.
Here in Alberta, the UCP government has underfunded healthcare only to cut taxes for corporations and run a surplus budget. On top of that, there is $4 billion in COVID spending that is unaccounted for by the Alberta government
Our provincial government needs to stop with the posturing and put forward a sound and accountable plan on how they would spend more funds. More money alone won’t solve our problems, nor will playing political blame games with the federal government.
While many Albertans were likely relieved to hear about the UCP’s electricity rebate, apartment and condo dwellers were left out of the program. The rebates will not apply to apartment buildings and condo associations where sub-metering occurs.
This is extremely concerning since many low-income Albertans live in these kinds of residences. Many who need this rebate relief the most won’t be getting it. The UCP claim this makes the program “more efficient”, but it is an easy excuse to ignore urban and low-income Albertans, both of whom are less likely to vote for the UCP.
Politicizing financial support during these challenging times is completely unacceptable. Albertans deserve real relief, not a political stunt.
If you agree with me and want to see a “people first” approach to politics, please get involved with the Alberta Liberal Pary. Buy a membership, donate, participate in the policy process, or consider running as a candidate in the next election. I’d love to hear from you.