The Friday Focus is a weekly blog post from Interim Leader John Roggeveen. It covers some of the pressing political issues of the week.
Kenney’s Catchup on Energy
Oil sands executives and Jason Kenney visited the U.S. this week, attempting to rehabilitate the image of Alberta’s energy industry. This effort highlighted the “Pathway Alliance,” a plan to capture all the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Promoting Alberta’s energy industry hinges on demonstrating greater environmental responsibility. Instead, the UCP has wasted taxpayers’ money peddling conspiracy theories about foreign-funded campaigns. That hurt Alberta’s ability to capitalize on higher oil and gas prices. The UCP is playing catchup, costing Alberta billions.
Deja vu: Disagreements with Doctors
Is it any surprise that Alberta’s doctor shortage is getting worse every day?
Doctors met another impasse in negotiations with the UCP government again this week. In early 2020 the UCP gave itself the authority to cancel the Alberta government’s master agreement with doctors unilaterally and proceeded to do just that. So there’s been no new agreement in over two years.
The chaotic and disrespectful approach drives doctors away and worsens Alberta’s healthcare system. Albertans are struggling to find family doctors, languishing on endless wait lists, and spending hours in ER waiting rooms. This is just another example of how UCP mismanagement is leading us towards a crisis.
Half-measures on PSE
The UCP has announced a new bursary to help low-income students enrol in programs for high-demand jobs. While this certainly isn’t bad news, the specifics of the announcement leave a lot to be desired. The program comes in at a paltry $15 million and is also too narrow in scope, only covering programs hand-picked by the UCP.
The Alberta government should do more to help Albertans find prosperous careers through greater access to education. The UCP also needs to roll back their devastating cuts and tuition hikes, end its dubious new funding model and invest more in financial support programs like this.
You can't be forward-thinking when you're constantly backpedalling. This week it's clear how the UCP's reckless lack of foresight is costing Alberta.
P.S. I will be in Lethbridge tomorrow (Saturday, June 25th) to march with fellow Liberals in the Lethbridge Pride Parade. Afterwards, I will visit Pride in the Park and host a Meet and Greet at Sisters Pub and Grill from 2 PM to 4 PM. Hope to see you there!