Leading up to the Alberta provincial election, AIR 106.1 FM and Discover Airdrie have asked candidates in the ridings of Airdrie-East and Airdrie-Cochrane, a series of questions about topics impacting our ridings.
Each weekday leading up to April 16th we will be posting their responses to our AIR 106.1 Candidate Question of the Day.
The order in which the candidates responses appear has been chosen at random and will rotate each day. The first answers are for Airdrie-East candidates, the second group of responses are from the Airdrie-Cochrane candidates.
A link will be provided with each response taking you back to the party’s website for more information on their platforms and policies.
The AIR 106.1 Candidate Question of the Day for Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 is as follows:
What do you think are the three biggest issues impacting the local ridings?
Alex Luterbach – Alberta Party
“I have been on the campaign trail since November, and have had the chance to knock on literally thousands of doors in Airdrie. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the top issue is Jobs and the economy. We need to get Albertans back to work, and we need to make sure that these are in high quality, high paying jobs. Airdrie is made up of young families, so I would say the second biggest issue is schools and education. We need to make sure we have the schools built to keep up with our growing young population. The third biggest issue I see is infrastructure. Airdrie has doubled in population in the last ten years, but we really haven’t seen any significant infrastructure funding from a provincial level. We are contributing our fair share of tax dollars, we need an MLA who is standing up for this community to ensure we receive our fair share of support in return.”
Angela Pitt – United Conservative Party
“Jobs, the economy and getting pipelines built.”
Rick Northey – Freedom Conservative Party
“From what I have been hearing, the biggest issues facing our riding are the economy, health services and traffic infrastructure.”
Jeff Olson – Alberta Independence Party
“Equalization and fair treatment by Ottawa. Even with over 150,000 people out of work in Alberta and Calgary having the highest unemployment rate in the country Alberta is still sending $40 billion to Ottawa. Debt and taxes. Both debt and taxes continue to rise as Alberta struggles.The AIP platform will raise Alberta’s income to $45,000 tax free from the approx $6500 that it is now. Bill 6 for the Airdrie east is also a pressing issue. AIP will scrap Bill 6 and let the stakeholders that Bill 6 affects have a say”
Roxie Baez Zamora – NDP
“The three biggest issues for Airdrie-East are Jobs, Education and Child Care. On Jobs, Rachel Notley has put forward an ambitious made in Alberta plan to diversify our economy and we are seeing the results of it already, with four large new petrochemical projects already started worth 12.6 billion dollars in investment and overall the highest number of Albertans employed in history! As well Rachel has made major progress fighting for pipelines, building support across Canada to ensure we can get our oil products to new markets.
On education, this government has fully funded enrollment growth every year, ensuring our students have the teachers and resources they need to be successful. They’ve also built or modernized 244 schools, including 5 new schools and one modernization in Airdrie. Airdrie has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in Canada, with many young families just starting out. Childcare is one of the largest expenses they can face, and that’s why Rachel Notley has made investing in affordable childcare a priority. If re-elected, we will expand the $25/day childcare program to everyone in Alberta.”
Richard Herdman - Independent
"The local MLA must help the local Riding. Herdman will donate 127,000.00 dollar per year MLA salary to purchase a home in Airdrie for victims of violence Airdrie and balance towards Therapeutic Horses to Help mental disability."
Vern Raincock – Alberta Party
“Infrastructure Improvements are needed to reduce idling time and bottlenecks along the Highway 2 corridor. Since 2004, the City of Airdrie identified the need to build the 40th Avenue South interchange. And in Cochrane the Highway 1A / Highway 22 interchange will improve safety and mobility into Cochrane.
Alberta spends nearly half of the provincial budget on healthcare. Alberta Health has consistently exceeded its annual budget by hundreds of millions of dollars per year since 2013, showing a poor ability to plan. The Alberta Party Caucus has proposed a different way of doing things, charting a path to financial stability, encouraging innovation in the healthcare sector, and making sure the quality of our system rises to meet the needs of Albertans
Local leaders have suggested the need to offer more affordable housing options in Airdrie & Cochrane to address the needs of low income workers, seniors and residents with special needs. Airdrie has a population of just under 70,000 and it has only 44 affordable housing units; Cochrane has 38 affordable housing units.”
Peter Guthrie – United Conservative Party
“The number one issue is the stagnant economy. We need to turn this around immediately to ensure our residents have good jobs and continue to be able to live here. If the economy does not recover we will not see the strong growth we need to be sustainable as a community. The second biggest issue was the Bill 6 legislation passed by the NDP that put unnecessary pressure on the farming community within the riding. Agriculture is a huge economic driver for us and we need to have smart, well thought out safety legislation that remembers farmers are inherently safe in their operations and that is a starting point. Finally transportation infrastructure intersection and our transportation network is a huge issue in both Cochrane and Airdrie. In Cochrane, the highway 1A and highway 22 is a huge issue. While in Airdrie, the 40th Ave overpass is significant pressure point. Both of these are major issues for our residents. The UCP has a plan to fund transportation infrastructure by being responsible and judicious on infrastructure spending. I will make sure our needs are a priority.”
Matthew Morrisey – Freedom Conservative Party
“The three biggest issues in the riding are infrastructure, healthcare and getting Albertans back to work. The intersection of highway 22 and 1A has been neglected for greater than 15 years and the 40th avenue interchange project has been sitting idle for 15 years. Having these projects being glossed over for so many years has had detrimental effect on the ability for each municipality to generate tax revenue by having greater transportation capacity and business developing because of that added access.
Healthcare is also another issue that is huge in Cochrane. When the government had to have private citizens donate funds to get a diagnostic imaging device for its residents something is seriously wrong with the system. What needs to be examined too, and from what I am hearing from front line workers, is the need for longer lab hours in Cochrane to better serve this community, additional NAT vans (EMS), a privately owned, publicly funded diagnostic imaging clinic and for the province to start the discussion on a 24 hour Urgent Care.”
Danielle Cameron – Alberta Independence Party
“Infrastructure / Transportation Funding and shovels in the ground for Highway 22/1A Cochrane. Health Care: We need 24 hour emergency care facilities and including mental health and drug addiction counselling. Courthouses: Both Courthouses in Airdrie Cochrane are overworked, understaffed and insufficient for the riding needs.
Alberta Independence Party will budget 15 billion dollars over the next 5 years to the municipalities across Alberta. This means we will Fund 87 ridings in Alberta with 36 million dollars per year per riding, and Municipal Interest Free Loans to cover specific needs of each municipality. Alberta Independence Party = People’s Party”
Steve Durrell - NDP
“The three biggest issues in Airdrie-Cochrane are jobs, the pipeline, and education. On jobs, Rachel Notley has been working hard to diversify the economy both within oil and gas and outside of it. We already are seeing progress there! There are more people working in Alberta than ever before, and in the riding we are seeing new industry like Amazon moving into Balzac, and Garmin into Cochrane. This is really good news!
On the pipeline, No one has worked harder to get it built than Rachel Notley, and we are closer than ever to getting it built. She has changed the national conversation, and will not back down. In the meantime we will ship by rail to get a good price for our resources.
On Education. Airdrie has had 5 new schools(and one modernized!) and Cochrane has seen two schools built under the NDP, we need to ensure there are teachers in those schools and that students are funded. That's why we've committed to fund enrollment for the 15,000 kids entering school this September, in contrast to the UCP promise to freeze spending, which with enrollment grown equates to a cut of about $260 per child every year.”