It is with mixed emotions that I read this edition (Vol 20, No. 38) of The Cochrane Eagle. I was angered, saddened, and disappointed all in the space of 32 pages. It was after reading the articles in the news sections that I realized that the real focus of my emotions is the result of the uncaring, tone deaf, actions of the UCP government which is at the core of my emotional distress.
Firstly, the front page, the Cochrane Primary Care Centre announces closure. This is directly due to the bull headed, myopic vision of the UCP government and Minister of Health Tyler Shandro. Cochrane will be poorly served as a result. Our local MLA Peter Guthrie’s self-serving comments about recruitment of doctors ignores the work at recruitment done in the past. The other side of that recruitment coin is RETENTION which the UCP has ignored. If an organization recruits, it must then work to retain those that have been recruited.
The second article that caused me great concern was with the announcement of a ‘user fee’ for Kananaskis Country. While I do understand that the demand from users has outstripped the ability of the area to handle the numbers, it is successive Conservative governments that have ignored the population growth of the province and the stagnation of increases in the infrastructure to provide the services for the growth. All Albertans have a right to access and opportunities to enjoy our parks and to impose a fee will mean those of lesser means will have a hard economic decision to make. If there is a need for increased funding for Parks, then it would be much FAIRER to use the general revenues of the province (progressive taxes) to fund such needs.
The current provincial government, headed by Kenny and the UCP, have embarked on a course of action that attacks many of the very basic ideas that Albertans have. I point to the delisting of Parks ( rescinded), the coal mining on the Eastern Slopes, the attack on Public Heath Care (doctors and nurses contracts), an ideologically driven curriculum change, attack on Public Sector pension plans, giving billions to O&G companies with no promise of return, funding a pipeline on the premise that one United States presidential candidate would win reelection, and I am sure there are many other equally questionable actions that will come to light.
In conclusion, I do understand that the provincial government is acting in a time of great turmoil. I am sympathetic to the pressures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic but that is still no excuse for the attacks on the public good that this government has embarked upon.