EDMONTON, AB (April 23, 2014): Wait times for several key procedures, as well as other critical performance benchmarks, are well below targets and getting worse in Edmonton and area, according to new data obtained by the Wildrose Official Opposition. The data, obtained through Freedom of Information Legislation, shows that a vast majority of wait times for surgical procedures, treatments and other performance benchmarks tracked by Alberta Health Services continue to exceed maximum targets. Not only are wait time targets being missed, but only one of the 12 procedures currently missing their wait time targets is actually improving.
EDMONTON, AB (April 17, 2014): The questions asked of Persons with Developmental Disabilities clients to determine their level of provincial assistance are personally humiliating and need to be changed to show more respect, Wildrose Human Services Critic Kerry Towle said today.
EDMONTON, AB (April 22, 2014): Residents of Airdrie will have their voices heard in the Legislature today as the first 2,400 signatures on the “Airdrie 24″ petition calling for 24-hour health care services for Airdrie is presented, Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson said today.
EDMONTON, AB (April 17, 2014): The PC government should immediately publish a full, public and prioritized infrastructure list to avoid the appearance of political decision making in infrastructure, following its decision to hold off on building Phase 2 of the Strathcona Community Hospital Wildrose Infrastructure Critic Drew Barnes said today.
EDMONTON, AB (April 17, 2014): Today, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson released the following statement on Bill 9, the Public Sector Pension Plans Amendment Act, which threatens existing public pension benefits for hard working Albertans across the province:
“As usual, the PC government's standard operating procedure on labour relations issues is that of bullying instead of good faith negotiations.
“Wildrose has long supported the view that contracts and agreements must be respected. That includes the pension arrangements promised to current public sector workers and pensioners who chose their careers in the public sector based, at least in part, on the promise of the current public pension arrangement.
“Although we feel some reforms to the current system may be needed to ensure the long term sustainability of public pensions, we believe that any such changes need to be negotiated openly and respectfully with union leadership, and that any substantial changes should only be applied to workers who have yet to be hired, rather than those already employed or retired.
“Wildrose is committed to repealing Bill 9 if elected in 2016, along with Bills 45 and 46 which also unjustly ignore the legal rights of our public sector employees.”
EDMONTON, AB (April 15, 2014): Alberta Health Services doled out nearly $1 billion in untendered contracts over a two year period, the Wildrose Official Opposition revealed today. According to documents obtained through Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) legislation...
Education Minister Jeff Johnson should listen to the growing chorus of parents, teachers and experts telling him to fix Alberta’s math curriculum before the start of the next school year, Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister said today.
EDMONTON, AB (April 14, 2014):
Following revelations of further government plane abuse by PC MLAs, the Wildrose Official Opposition is today calling on the PC government to sell off the Government of Alberta executive air fleet.
Earlier today, the CBC reported
that former Premier Alison Redford used Government of Albert aircraft on multiple occasions for long weekend getaways to Jasper with family members, staff and even the family’s nanny. It is the latest in a string of controversies involving the government fleet, including Redford’s flight to South Africa and MLAs using the planes to fly to and from PC party fundraisers.
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said the PCs have proven they can’t be trusted to operate and executive air fleet while serving the taxpayers’ best interests.
“They’ve been caught time and again abusing the planes and wasting taxpayer dollars on personal vacation flights and trips to support the PC party’s fundraising efforts,” Smith said. “It’s time this government got rid of the air fleet once and for all.”
The Government of Alberta fleet consists of four aircraft, two Beechcraft King Air 200s, one Beechcraft King Air 300 and one Bombardier Dash 8. According to Budget 2014, it will cost taxpayers $7.1 million to operate this year.
Provinces such as British Columbia and most recently New Brunswick have sold their executive air fleets in order to save money.
“The planes are to be used for government business and government business only, but the PCs just can’t seem to figure that out,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said. “Rather than continue to waste taxpayers dollars on questionable flights, the PCs should join other provinces in selling off their aircraft and removing the temptation to abuse them.”
EDMONTON, AB (April 11, 2014): Today, Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister released the following statement about the upcoming “Back to Basics” math rally at the Alberta Legislature Building.
MEDICINE HAT, AB (April 11, 2014): On Monday, Wildrose Infrastructure Critic Drew Barnes’ private member’s Bill 204, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (MLA Public Interest Fee Waiver) Amendment Act, will be debated in the Alberta Legislature with the goal of enhancing information access and MLA representation.
Currently, the provincial government can charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for finding, reviewing and printing documents requested through FOIP. FOIP applicants can request a fee waiver based on the public interest, but the government can deny it and extend the appeal process out for years. These barriers can prevent MLAs from accessing the information they need to represent their constituents and should be waived, Barnes said.
“MLAs need the tools to represent their constituents to the best of their abilities. That means breaking down some of the barriers that bar MLAs from accessing information,” Barnes said. “FOIP requests are one of the best means we have as opposition MLAs to hold public bodies accountable.”
Bill 204 would allow each MLA four public interest fee waivers per year. MLAs would first request a fee waiver through the current process. If turned down, an MLA could invoke the Bill 204 waiver right through the Privacy Commissioner.
“I encourage all MLAs to vote in favour of Bill 204 in a free vote,” Barnes said. “Bill 204 will ultimately make better MLAs and give constituents better representation through enhanced access to information. That’s something I believe all MLAs should support.”