Visiting the Stettler area for the first time since the provincial election in April 2012, Premier Alison Redford vowed last Friday that her Progressive Conservative party can regain Drumheller-Stettler.
“We have to work in partnership with doctors, nurses and health-care providers to make sure that in every community across the province, we’re providing the services that are necessary for people,” Redford said at the Stettler Town and Country Museum.
After announcing special funding to support Internet services in rural areas, she and her entourage of cabinet ministers and MLAs toured Big Valley, where they discussed tourism opportunities with Canadian Badlands organization.
With one of 24 family-care clinics planned for Castor, the provincial government says it’s meeting the healthcare needs in rural communities.
Municipal councils in the Town of Stettler and County of Stettler also say they’re committed to enhancing services and facilities at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre.
“Honestly, it may mean that health care looks a bit different,” Redford said. “But it doesn’t mean that it’s not a set of services that are valuable to the community.”
During the 2012 election campaign, in which Jack Hayden lost to the Wildrose’s Rick Strankman in Drumheller-Stettler, Redford said she and the party pledged to improve health care.
“So we’re building a system that responds to different community needs and does respond in a different way than what we’ve done before. We can’t simply presume that what we did 20 years ago is now good enough.”
As communities face changing demographics and attract younger people and families with children, health care must also evolve to meet those needs, she said.
“We want to make sure people can do things differently, that they can be partners in their health care and everything else they do in their communities, and that’s what will allow communities to thrive.”
With the next provincial election set for spring 2016, the premier urged local Tories to promote the word about the government’s commitment to invest in the future.
“I do remind people that there are parties that would not be investing in infrastructure,” Redford said. “As we do that, and continue to build communities with local leadership across the constituency, then constituents will decide what they want to do in the next election.
“In fact, the party that the current (Drumheller-Stettler) MLA represents has said that they would cut infrastructure and that they would cut operating.”
Redford has pledged that the under her leadership, the government will continue to build communities, roads, schools and hospitals.