Media releases | October 21, 2004

EDMONTON—Just days before an expected election call, a network of organizations and individuals launched a new province-wide strategy to get all politicians to make this election about the many serious public interest issues facing this province.

A Fair Deal for Alberta Families is a strong statement that outlines eight major public interest issues. These organizations are asking Albertans to go to the Public Interest Alberta web page to sign on and send this statement to their candidates.Candidates are asked to respond if they agree with all eight aspects of the statement, and if not, they are to explain their position.

“When it comes to our health, education, environment, childcare, rural communities and the support for our seniors and most vulnerable, PR spin and non answers from politicians are completely unacceptable”, says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Albertans want real answers from their candidates on how they intend to address the increasing stress on individuals, families and communities.”

“We want politicians to clearly lay out their health care policies and plans during, not after, the election”, says Harvey Voogd, Coordinator of Friends of Medicare. “Albertans have consistently indicated their opposition to the commercialization of health care. They want waiting times reduced by expanding the public system to provide more home care, community health facilities, staffing and diagnostic technologies.”

Frank Bruseker, President of the Alberta Teachers’ Association said, “Teachers know that a fair deal for Alberta families is a good deal for our province’s schools. We need to have children arrive at the school door ready and able to learn. And once students are at school, we need to have the resources to meet their needs and help them achieve their potential."We are deeply concerned about threats to public institutions that impact on individuals and families, says Emily Drzymala, President of the Alberta College of Social Workers.

“If we are going to address the serious social deficit in this province, citizens need to actively participate in the democratic process by learning the facts and asking questions about issues that affect their day to day lives."Other people and organizations who participated in the press conference included, Brett Bergie, Provincial Director, Alberta College & Technical Institutes Student Executive Council, Jan Slomp, Director, National Farmers Union, Lynn Odynski, Individual; Stephen Legault, Executive Director, Wild Canada.Net; Dr. Brian Staples, Chairperson, Seniors Action Liaison Team; Kerry Barrett, President, Alberta Federation of Labour; Heather Smith, President, United Nurses of Alberta; John Nicholls, Alberta Colleges & Technical Institutes Faculty Association; Alan Meech, Executive Director, Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations.

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