‘More government takes Albertans in the absolute wrong direction’

As the fall sitting of the Alberta Legislature convenes this week, there will be questions to ask and Bills to debate.

As the fall sitting of the Alberta Legislature convenes this week, there will be questions to ask and Bills to debate. Among the Legislation up for debate will be Bill 208, the Seniors’ Advocate Act, which is sponsored by Wildrose seniors’ critic Kerry Towle, the MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

Bill 208 calls for the appointment of an individual whose mandate would be to represent and advocate for seniors — that individual would report directly to all members of the Legislature.

The proposed seniors’ advocate’s responsibilities would include standing up for the rights and best interests of all seniors in Alberta, should the request be made by a senior or that of custodial family member for assistance.

MLA Towle travelled the province last winter hosting forums, which included stops in both Stettler and Drumheller.

The ill-advised AHS policies “divorce-by-nursing-home” and “one-bath-per-week” were found to be far too common throughout Alberta. Not surprisingly, they topped the list of issues.

Bill 208 is a personal conundrum when I take into consideration what appointing another government employee will mean — more government.

Larger government has been progressively taking Alberta in the absolute wrong direction, a trend that does not appear to be coming to an end under the current Alberta government.

However, when considering the reasons, my colleague felt it necessary to table Bill 208. It gives way to a different perspective that you must view this bill.

Ultimately, the incompetence with which the Alberta government has administered seniors’ care in Alberta, warrants the request for the creation of yet another government position.

The need for an advocate also clearly signals that the current system is not adequately meeting the needs of Alberta seniors

The type of failure seems to be nothing new in Alberta. Case in point — property rights.

The Alberta government claimed that we should not be concerned with property rights — yet, in contradiction to this claim, they put in place a property rights’ advocate.

If there was no problem with property rights, then why do we need an advocate?

Once again, their actions spoke louder than their words.

At the root of the problem, the Alberta government’s absolute failure to consider the human condition has moved them further away from understanding what it is to be a senior in Alberta today, and the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Begrudgingly I will support Bill 208 the Seniors’ Advocate Act, all the while realizing that the last thing the debt-ridden province of Alberta needs is another government mouth to feed.

The ineptitude that has been demonstrated by the Alberta government and AHS has created the necessity for yet-bigger government once again.

Adequate seniors’ care in Alberta should be a nonpartisan issue. I just hope my colleagues on all sides of the house consider that before voting on Bill 208.

— From The Legislature