Recently, the spring session at the Alberta Legislature wrapped up for the summer. MLAs are back in their constituencies until October when fall session begins.
As a part of the Wildrose Official Opposition, I am pleased to report a successful spring session holding the government to account on the issues that matter to Albertans. We exposed wrong doing when we saw it, opposed the back in debt budget of 2013, and proposed constructive solutions to the issues the province faces.
The back in debt budget is going to saddle Albertans with $17 billion in debt by 2016.
That means a return to interest payments for the first time in almost a decade. This year alone, Albertans will pay $238 million in interest on debt. That’s money that will be taken out of frontline services like health care and education just to keep creditors off our backs.
Despite the poor fiscal management of the Alberta government, Wildrose was able to positively affect the government’s agenda.
One of the successes for Wildrose and Albertans was a comprehensive review of the justice system to make sure victims of serious crime get the justice they deserve.
After raising the case of Dani Polsom — an Airdrie woman who was sexually abused and watched as her attacker walked free because of the delays in the courts — in the Legislature, the government commissioned a sweeping review to ensure similar cases don’t happen again.
Another success was that Wildrose forced Alberta Health Services to end its degrading one-bath per week policy for Alberta seniors in long-term care. By bringing attention to this policy in the media and repeatedly raising it in the Legislature, the government finally reversed the policy.
Wildrose MLAs also brought attention to the AHS “divorce-by-nursing-home” policy, which splits apart married couples in long-term care for bureaucratic convenience. We will continue working to end this callous policy so married couples can continue living their lives together.
This spring, Wildrose also opposed harmful changes to generic drug pricing. The changes were intended to lower drug prices for Albertans. You might have even heard the radio ads. But they backfired.
By forcing pharmacists to sell product at an unreasonably low price, they threatened the viability of local pharmacies and put Albertans’ access to their medicine at risk.
In fact, more drugs actually went up in price than went down to the government’s centrally mandated price.
Wildrose opposed this bureaucratic overreach to ensure Albertans would continue to receive the great care they do from their local pharmacists.
As you can tell, it was a brief but busy spring legislative sitting for Wildrose MLAs. I am proud to be part of a caucus that stands up for Albertans and achieves results.
While I am happy to be back in the constituency and to address any of your concerns, I will be eager to return to Legislative work and to represent Albertans in the fall.
— From the Legislature