Friday Focus: Pride Month

Take Pride, Alberta

I am privileged to join Albertans in celebrating Pride Month. June is a time to celebrate the diversity and contributions LGBTQ2S+ Albertans bring to our province. We also must never forget that they continue to suffer discrimination in our society. We must keep working against this injustice.

The Alberta Liberals are proud of our forward-thinking record on LGBTQ2S+ issues. Our party was the first to push for Gay-Straight Alliances. We continue to fight for equality on issues such as banning conversion therapy, improving access to medical procedures for trans Albertans, and strengthening the Alberta Human Rights Act. 

On behalf of the Alberta Liberal Party, I wish all Albertans a happy Pride Month. 

Supporting Families with Disabled Children

This week, a disturbing report has come out from the Auditor General on Alberta’s Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) program. It revealed that only twenty percent of caseworkers had completed their training and many breezed through the training in only a few minutes. Families are also being left to the whims of these caseworkers, rather than following a consistent set of rules to ensure everyone is treated fairly. 

Needless to say, this is unacceptable. Helping the vulnerable is one of the most important roles of government. There are none more vulnerable than these children. The UCP must address these issues by implementing the recommendations of the report. If the government won’t help children with extra needs who will? 

Solutions over Stigma

Last election the Alberta Liberals were the only party to support decriminalizing possession of small quantities of drugs. The reasons for that were simple. It has worked elsewhere and it's recommended by experts the world over. Addiction is a healthcare issue and should be treated as such. We in Alberta need to change our focus from punishment to prevention.

Drug overdoses are at an all-time high in Alberta. We need innovative and compassionate solutions. B.C. clearly feels the same. Their government, working in conjunction with the federal Liberals, is moving ahead on decriminalization. Meanwhile, in Alberta, Jason Kenney is sniping at our neighbours for taking an evidence-based approach. 

If the conservative approach worked, we wouldn’t have an overdose epidemic. Punitive measures, ignoring science, and interprovincial bickering won’t help Albertans with addictions. Decriminalization coupled with more support programs will.