In about a week, Albertans will troop to polling stations to cast their vote and decide who will lead this once very strong Province in the next four years. Since 2014, the Alberta economy has taken a downturn. Because of this, a lot of Filipino-Canadians lost their job and many of them are still trying to find a job. This is why I encourage all Filipino-Canadians living in Alberta to go out and Vote in this coming Provincial Election. Let your voice be heard.
175,000 is not a small number. If you find Filipino candidates, please do support them. I know Marjorie Newman is running in Edmonton-Glenora and Cesar Cala in Calgary East. As a Proud Filipino Canadian, I would like to see the Filipinos represented properly. Wouldn’t it be nice if our voices are heard properly? Honestly, Filipinos are known to be some of the nicest people on planet earth. Not only do they carry a very high intellect, they also work hard.
To make it easy for everyone who does not follow politics to understand the importance of this election, I have prepared 3 major questions that hopefully can help shape your decision on who to vote as the next Premier of Alberta.
On the Economy and Jobs
Rachel Notley of the NDP promises to continue to diversify the economy. Her Made in Alberta Petro Chemical and upgrading facilities has attracted billions of dollars in investment and creating about 90,000 new jobs mostly in the Public Sector. She will not stop until pipelines are built. She will also get Oil moving today not years from now through her rail deal. Notley says they will balance the budget in 2024.
Jason Kenney of the United Conservatives promises to introduce an Open for Business Act that will reverse the massive cost on businesses that has forced the employers to lay-off people. The Canadian Association of Petroleum producers estimates that getting a well licensed in Saskatchewan and Texas is about 140 to 190 days faster than Alberta. Kenney says he will get Alberta books out of the red and will have a surplus of $714 Million in 2023.
Stephen Mandel of the Alberta Party is putting in a broad base vision to diversify the economy like investing in forestry, and plans to double the number of employment from 16,000 to 32,000 jobs in that industry. Mandel says Rural Alberta is getting hurt the most. He shares the same view on diversifying through Petro Chemicals through natural gas but does not believe in the annual program. He says Companies don’t make billion-dollar decisions annually. He will make it a 10-year program but will not give a grant but a Gas Royalty in Kind that they pay back when they earn money. As for the rail, he believes the best route is from Fort McMurray to Alaska, which will help the communities in Northern Alberta and will open up more opportunities as well as the Redwater Upgrader 2 & 3.
Both projects will be about $30 billion without costing the Government money. We give them the bitumen and we get it back as a partnership. There are too many obstacles in building the pipeline going to British Columbia.
Rachel Notley promises a strong and stable public healthcare system. She cancelled plan to bring back healthcare Premiums. Due to the increase in population, she added 1,200 more doctors and 1,200 more nurses and resisted calls for major cutbacks and hospital closures. She has moved on projects like Calgary Cancer Centre, The South Edmonton Hospital. Dialysis units in Lac La Biche, Whitecourt, Edson & Hinton. She froze wages to make sure services are maintained.
Jason Kenney has said he wants to Privatize Healthcare. He recently signed “Public Health Guarantee” promising to maintain health spending but clarifies that what he wants to do is open up more opportunities for Private Sector to bid on the Public Healthcare system. He says there will be only one healthcare system it will still be public but allowing private Doctors to bid for surgery or other services which will drive the cost down for Government and improve wait times.
Stephen Mandel says he wants to expand healthcare, which is currently called the Alberta medical trust Fund and was formed by Lougheed in 1975 or 76 which the current contenders have no interest in keeping alive. This is where most doctor get their funds to do their research and brings people from all over the world here.
On Foreign Credentials
Notley has made a lot of headway in helping immigrants through the Alberta Immigration Nominee program. It is not clear though as to what her stand is on the Foreign Credentials Accreditation as of Presstime.
Kenney wants to implement a Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan which will help ensure that regulated professions and Individuals are transparent, objective, impartial and fair. The office will work with trade and professional licensing bodies to streamline, simplify and accelerate foreign credential recognition with a goal of giving applicants for licensure a clear answer in 6 months or less. The office will also publicly identify and hold the regulatory bodies accountable for unreasonable barriers.
Mandel says it is important that everyone is given an equal opportunity provided the standards are upheld. He is open to the idea of having foreign credentials accredited from the country of origin through the help of educational institutions like University of Alberta, MacEwan University and NAIT. With today’s technology, this can be done through online courses which would not cost the government any money. When people arrive here, they are ready to work in their field of expertise thus helping the province reach its potential.