Alberta Municipalities (ABmunis) is calling on voters to ‘Think Alberta, Vote Local’ in the upcoming May 29th, Alberta provincial general election.
The Municipal organization represents 275 member communities and is urging political parties and candidates to address critical issues that impact these communities.
ABmunis has identified three key municipal priorities that it believes should be at the forefront of any political party or candidate’s platform. These include community building, community safety, and community healthcare.
According to ABmunis, numerous provincial governments have attempted to address these issues, but with varying degrees of success. However, the municipal organization believes that more needs to be done to tackle these complex challenges.
“The complex challenges our member communities face did not erupt overnight," said President Cathy Heron. "Alberta Municipalities realizes it will take time for any provincial government, regardless of political stripe, to address the current $30-billion infrastructure deficit, the root causes of crime and public disorder, and Alberta’s strained healthcare system. Albertans need to know how the political parties and candidates intend to address these complex challenges if they are elected on May 29."
ABmunis is encouraging Albertans from all corners of the province, to ask candidates who show up at their doorsteps, ‘Who has the best plan for their community?’ when it comes to these three key municipal priorities. The association believes that it is essential for voters to be aware of each political party's stance on these issues before casting their vote.
To help generate discussion among political parties, candidates, and Albertans, ABmunis will be conducting several online media availabilities over the few weeks, beginning on May 9.
The events will focus on the critical issues of community building, community safety, and community healthcare, and more details about these events will be provided later this week via a Media Advisory.
The Cross Border Interviews will be covering these online sessions, and producing special episodes that will be released within the same day, via our Youtube Channel.
The issue of community building and infrastructure is particularly important to ABmunis. According to the association, there is currently a $30-billion infrastructure deficit in the province, which has been building up for years.
This deficit is a result of underfunding and neglect by this government and past governments. The lack of investment in infrastructure has left many communities struggling to maintain and repair their essential services, including roads, water treatment facilities, and public buildings.
Community safety is another key concern for ABmunis. ABmunis believes that the root causes of crime and public disorder need to be addressed to ensure that communities are safe and secure. The issue of policing is also critical to community safety, and ABmunis wants to ensure that there is a clear plan for policing in each community.
On March 1st, we sat down with Mayor Tyler Gandam, Vice President of Alberta Municipalities for Cities Under 500,000.
In our one-on-one interview, Gandam said "We got to address the root cause of the problem.
"Whether you're municipally enforced provincially or through the RCMP, it doesn't matter. Changing the uniform changing the deckle on the door doesn't change the level of safety," Gandam added.
The VP for Cities under 500,000 continued saying that If the province isn't looking at the addictions and the mental health, "then we're not going to see any changes (and) we're going to have to continue with the revolving door of prolific offenders."
Community healthcare, including emergency medical services, is another priority for ABmunis. The association is concerned about the strain on the healthcare system in Alberta and believes that more needs to be done to ensure that communities have access to the healthcare services they need.
The association hopes that by raising awareness of these issues and encouraging discussion among voters, political parties, and candidates, real progress can be made in addressing the complex challenges facing Alberta’s communities.
The ‘Think Alberta, Vote Local’ campaign, according to ABmunis is an important step towards ensuring that communities have a say in the political process and that their concerns are being heard by those who are seeking to represent them.
According Mayor Gandam, Mayors and members of the council know what their key priorities are for their community, and they must make sure that the candidates that are running to be their MLA know of their community priorities. He cautioned local elected leaders though, "Just because (the candidate has) got a great answer leading into an election doesn't mean that once they're elected, they're not still responsible for making sure that those key issues are looked after."