Southern Alberta Newspapers reached out to each candidate in Cardston – Siksika and asked a series of questions about issues of interest in the provincial election.
Independents for Alberta candidate for Cardston-Siksika, Angela Tabak, provided the following answers to SSN’s candidate questionnaire:
1) What are the top issues in the Cardston-Siksika riding and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues?
My concern for my riding is that we haven’t had good representation the last 4 years. Unfortunately, there are probably many ridings across the province in the same boat. This problem stems from the ‘party system’ and the fact that MLAs are expected to represent the party, the party agenda and the party leader rather than the constituents who hired them in the first place. My ultimate goal in running as an independent is basically choice and democracy. Rather than having disaffected voters simply decide to not vote (I have heard this way too many times already!) I am giving them a choice to have their voices heard and hopefully, ultimately, to have the representation they deserve.
2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force or retain the RCMP? What about CPP versus a provincial pension plan?
Yes, we should implement our own police force. We need to start blocking any avenues of overreach the federal government may have. While implementing our own police force will have an increased cost (at least in the beginning) the resultant control and accountability provided through this change will be priceless.
I’ve heard so much fear (relating to) folks losing their CPP. No one is suggesting we move forward with this plan if it’s going to cause our seniors to lose their pension. This fear comes from the NDP despite the fact that the studies on the feasibility of an Alberta Pension Plan have yet to be completed/released. I’m all for the concept of Alberta having its own pension plan. Currently, our younger and larger work force pays more into CPP than our seniors take out in benefits. Alberta is essentially subsidizing CPP for the rest of Canada If Alberta was to have its own pension plan (just as Quebec has) both workers and employers could contribute less while our pensioners could pull more. It is one more priceless way to combat possible federal overreach.
3) With a global national push for more green energy– how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?
Tabak: Alberta has the top knowledge, expertise, skilled work force and standards in the world when it comes to oil and gas production. However, as long as we have a federal government, other provincial governments and even our own provincial government trying to ‘phase out’ our oil and gas production in pursuit of meeting climate goals, we will never be allowed to provide the world our clean oil and gas. The fact is, the world needs more clean and reliable energy. We can provide that, to help lift nations out of poverty and
4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?
Tabak: We need to bring back small regional health boards. The demographics and needs of Albertans vary from area to area. Only through local control will the specific needs of an area be properly addressed. Funding needs to follow the patients with hospitals being paid per service rendered. This way patients will be viewed as a source of revenue and not an expense in the hospital budget. We need to start listening to the frontline workers to determine how best to improve our system. They will know exactly what needs to be done to become more efficient and better able to provide the quality health care we need. Consultants and multiple layers of management are too removed from the reality of what our frontline workers and patients face.
5) Do you have a vision of what this province will look like in ten years and what does this look like?
My hope, by running as an independent candidate (no party affiliation) is to a) give conservative voters a choice of candidates in Cardston-Siksika b) allow voters the opportunity for true representation c) send a message to the ‘parties’, the career politicians and the bureaucracies that Albertans are tired of the same old political games and warfare amongst themselves and that we expect better of them.