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Q & A with Little Bow Wildrose candidate

Posted on April 28, 2015 by Sunny South News

We asked Little Bow MLA candidates in the upcoming Alberta Election May 5 a few questions. Here are responses from Wildrose candidate David Schneider.

*What do you and/or the party believe to be the three most pressing issues in the Little Bow riding? What are some solutions?*

“Health: We have 70,000 more seniors in Alberta each year. If there is one group that can’t afford the PC’s new taxes, it’s seniors. From long-term care to the cost of prescription drugs, the sitting government has repeatedly failed to protect seniors. Now, the new budget taxes them even more. We need better care standards in our nursing homes and more affordable prescription drugs. Wildrose plans to expand home care, open up long-term care spaces and make sure more seniors can live in their communities surrounded by their families and loved ones. We need to make sure our most fragile seniors can spend their final days with comfort and dignity. MSI: In fairness, the PC’s introduced a program that was a godsend to municipalities. It is called the Municipal Sustainability Initiative. Many taxpayers may not have been completely aware of this grant. It provided much needed operating and capital funds to municipalities. It is now being delayed and has not been increased, as promised. The Wildrose has a plan called the 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer, which allocates 10 per cent of all tax revenues and 10 per cent of surpluses to municipalities to fund the critical infrastructure we all use every day, from roads to bridges to water and water plants. This allows your municipality to keep its taxes in check. Finances: The latest budget has increased taxes 59 times. It will cost the average family household $2,500 a year. Instead of making tough choices during difficult times, this government chose to take money out of your pocket. Government should live within its means. That means not spending more money than is taken in. Just like regular Albertans do every year with their own finances. The PC’s should be proud of Lougheed starting the Heritage Fund, which should be helping in times like this. They should also be ashamed it’s worth no more today than when he started it 40 years ago.”

*How can you and/or the party deliver the issues of your constituents to the Alberta legislature better and more efficiently with solutions and feedback to voters? Do you believe there is a disconnect between voters and elected politicians?*

“I’ve always been a believer in listening. That would not change if elected. Politicians in days past used to have town hall meetings in order to get some direction from their constituents on difficult topics. That is the kind of politician that I always admired, and the kind that I would strive to be. A man that listens to the people, meets with the people and comes up with a solution that is truly from the grassroots of the riding. That is something that has been missing.”

*Why should voters vote for you? Not, why voters should vote for the party.*

“I will listen. More importantly, I will ask — and then listen. If this constituency determines to elect me as their representative to the Legislative Assembly, they will get the best that I’ve got. We will sit down as partners and neighbours in this riding, and come up with solutions that I can take to Edmonton.”

*What innovative ideas do you and/or the party have in order for Alberta to have a variety of revenue sources, so the province doesn’t rely mostly on the gas and oil and agricultural industries?*

“Wildrose will legislate 50 per cent of all surpluses to go into the Heritage Trust Fund. Decades of squandering non-renewable resource revenues, with almost nothing to show for it, must end. Wildrose has a responsible, balanced plan that eliminates wasteful spending and protects frontline services. This plan has been reviewed and vetted by experts and the numbers add up. Wildrose is the only party with a detailed plan to balance the budget without raising taxes.”

*Where do you and/or the party stand on taxes? A provincial sales tax? Albertans paying health care premiums? Are there too many cuts to seniors programs and care?*

“I think Albertans are being taxed enough now. It is becoming burdensome.”

*What ideas do you and/or the party have on fixing rural health care throughout the province, especially in Little Bow, including ambulance and urgent care centres? What are your thoughts on infrastructure and education funding in the province?*

“The ambulances in this riding are a shambles. When it became a centralized system, rural Alberta became an unknown land to ambulance dispatchers. Their unfamiliarity with rural addressing or directions from a known rural point has resulted in slower response — which is dangerous. In rural Alberta, firefighters have become our medical first responders. As a result, the system is irresponsibly burning out these invaluable volunteers. As far as education goes, the Wildrose has a plan. School boards will no longer have to play the funding guessing game. They will know how much money they will receive, which means better decisions for the tools teachers and school boards need to teach our children. We will get some standardized, flexible designs for schools and let the school boards work directly with developers.”

*Anything else you would like to add?*

“The only way to stop your taxes from going up is to send your Wildrose candidates to the Legislature. Alberta families and our seniors cannot afford a budget like we have in front of us now.”

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