New Democratic Party Leader Rachel Notley (left) and United Conservative Party Leader Danielle Smith (right) both held public rallies in Calgary, the battleground of Alberta's 2023 election. (Archives )
Mid-campaign, the leaders of Alberta's two main political parties held press conferences to outline their respective health plans on Saturday in Calgary. While the United Conservative Party (UCP) focuses on care for children and women, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is particularly focused on recruiting medical personnel.
Many people agree that the 26 seats at stake in Calgary will determine who, Danielle Smith or Rachel Notley, will be Prime Minister after the election. The attention that the two leaders are paying to the metropolis this weekend tends to prove it.
In the riding of Mountain View, the leader of the NDP, Rachel Notley, has outlined its plan for retaining healthcare professionals in the province.
First, New Democrats plan to offer signing bonuses of up to $10,000 for medical professionals. We will invest $70 million a year for this essential measure […] to keep our hospitals open and to ensure that Albertans have access to the care they need, said Rachel Notley.
By email, the party clarified that this investment will be spread over three years.
New Democrats are also proposing to provide income assistance to medical students so they can focus on their studies. Their leader says her party will add up to 10,000 places in Alberta post-secondary institutions to train doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
We will invest $375 million over three years to create these spaces so that people who want to pursue [health care] careers don't have to leave Alberta.
“This strategy is ambitious, but it is essential for our future. »
— Rachel Notley, Leader of the New Democratic Party
A few miles away, PCU leader Danielle Smith, meanwhile, outlined her plan for health care for children and women. At a press conference, she explained that her party wants to hire more obstetricians in Lethbridge and in the province's rural communities.
The United Conservative leader wants to increase access to newborn screening tests by funding a study led by Alberta Health Services to add five disease diagnoses. This would include congenital cytomegalovirus, argininosuccinic aciduria and guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency, among others.
The PCU also wants to increase funding for testing, educational support and programs for children with autism or a complex disability.
“Today's investments will enable more Albertans to lead healthier lives.
—Danielle Smith, leader of the United Conservative Party
Ms Smith also wants to increase investment in midwifery positions. Midwives play a vital role in Alberta's health care system […]. They reduce pressure on obstetrics, emergency rooms and primary care, she argues.
Through its Alberta calls you plan, the CERB is committed to offering a signing bonus for professions where there is a labor shortage, such as those in the health field.< /p>
On its website, the party specifies that these workers will be entitled to a non-refundable tax credit of $1,200 after having lived in the province for more than one year.
Finally, the United Conservatives intend to grant a $10 million grant to the Alberta Foundation for Women's Health.
In addition, the NDP is committed to donating $1 $.5 million to revitalize Alberta's Chinatown.
During an afternoon press conference in Calgary, Joe Ceci, the New Democrat candidate for the riding of Calgary-Buffalo, explained that this investment will allow for vital repairs and improvements to the most iconic places. and the most popular in the neighborhood.
“It will also improve the public spaces where many businesses in Chinatown are located,” he added. “It will increase the number of visitors and refresh the storefronts. »
In a press release, Jason Luan, UCP candidate for the riding of Calgary-Foothills, responded by stating that “the NDP has hurt Chinatown with policies that have raised taxes, cut jobs and gutted ] downtowns of their substance” when he was in power, from 2015 to 2019.
The PCU works with Chinese communities in Alberta to make neighborhoods Chinese again safe and pleasant. We invest to fight crime and disorder and provide grants to help Chinese business owners clean up their businesses and storefronts, he added.