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Stop the political games and build long-term care centre for Fort McMurray: Smith

EDMONTON, AB (December 3, 2013): Today, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith spoke in the Legislature on the ongoing campaign for Fort McMurray to secure a long-term care centre and the recent political games from the PC government:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  

The ongoing campaign by the residents of Fort McMurray to have a long-term care centre built in their community has taken a bizarre turn.  To date, there has been precious little progress on the long-promised facility. Despite the city’s rapid growth and aging population, Fort McMurray has been waiting nearly six years for a seniors care centre that was promised to them in the 2008 election.  While seniors in Fort McMurray move to Grande Prairie and Edmonton to receive the care they need, this government continues to find excuses as to why they haven’t made good on their promise. Enter their latest excuse.  If the PCs are to be believed, it is the current Member of Parliament’s fault that the facility hasn’t been built.  That is the latest deflection tactic this government and its supporters are attempting to use: Blaming others for their own inaction.  According to them, the local MP hasn’t done enough to secure a federally-owned plot of land downtown for the facility to be built on.  But there’s more to this. The PCs have been rallying support for a far-flung location 30 minutes away from downtown for reasons that are unclear – the so-called Parson’s Creek location. This, despite owning their own piece of land right downtown that could have shovels in the ground tomorrow.  The current MLAs for the region, both elected as PCs, campaigned on a firm promise to have the facility built on the downtown spot. Here’s where it gets really odd.  One of the MLAs, the Minister for AT&T, is now threatening to pull the funding for the facility if council doesn’t agree to Parsons Creek.  It’s a mess, Mr. Speaker, but here’s the bottom line. We’ve got the PCs blaming the feds for not building a facility they themselves promised, while PC MLAs who campaigned on building it one location are now bullying the local council to have it built somewhere else.  All of this threatens to wipe out the entire project, Mr. Speaker.  It’s time for this government to stop playing the blame game, start listening to the people of Fort McMurray, and get this facility built.