Our future is stronger when government policies work for rural and urban, North & South, East & West. A holistic view is needed.
Any talk about “Alberta Advantage” is like looking in the rear-view mirror. In the Northwest, we remember from that era how the cities thrived while rural and Northern communities paid the price. I want the UCP to look forward, not backward. Forward-looking opportunities; forward-looking values and policies.
We need to ensure there is more left in the pockets of the people. The rising cost of living is the over-arching challenge in the Northwest.
All costs are amplified in the Northwest. A Northern lens needs to be applied to policy, decisions and direction to ensure that continued hardship and the ever-increasing rise in the day-to-day cost of living is understood and minimized. The stagnant federal Northern living allowance is not enough. The lack of a provincial Northern living allowance is unacceptable.
Northerners face increased costs as many of us must travel for the very basics in healthcare, education and other services… even groceries in some cases! The ever-rising and sometimes prohibitive cost for the basic necessities like utilities and distribution, food, transportation puts pressure on families and small businesses. The costs (and time!) add up in a hurry.
In addition, we all face new and increasing costs due to carbon pricing.
Only someone with experience living, working and raising a family in the Northwest can understand first-hand the impacts of our higher cost of living. That experience must be successfully transferred into policy at the Provincial level.