I'm in awe of first responders. Professionals, willing to devote their lives in service to others. EMS personnel, urban police and fire services, RCMP and rural fire fighters; all heroes in my books.
One thing I do know, predictable funding is critical to these people safely, dependably doing their jobs. Training costs money. Technology is expensive. Recruitment needs incentives. Capital assets come at a premium. First responders should expect requisite support from the government.
The Alberta Party supports increased funding for EMS and community policing
programs, particularly in the area of relationship building with marginalized communities such as Indigenous, ethnic and 2SLGBTQIA+. They need enhanced training that enables them to effectively manage mental health-related calls with a trauma-informed approach.
Specifically where policing is concerned, the Alberta Party's goal is increasing service levels while decreasing crime and the need for enforcement alone. This is achieved by effectively addressing and managing root causes such as addition, domestic violence and homelessness. We also suggest the formation of a Citizen's Assembly to examine opportunities and recommend solutions.
While I'm on the subject of policing, the RCMP have our party's support; 100%! The RCMP will remain as the primary rural and small urban police agency in Alberta. There is no need for a "made in Alberta" solution to a non-existent problem. Quite simply, we don't want or need an Alberta Police Force!
What we do need is an adequately funded Wildland Fire Service. The last few weeks have been incredibly hard on many Albertans, some of whom remain under evacuation orders.
The Alberta Party is committed to seeing the Alberta Rapattack Program reinstated. On a personal note, I will advocate for increased funding for training for rural, volunteer fire services, as well as changes to WCB so volunteer firefighters are eligible for coverage.
Our first responders do jobs that many of us could never imagine doing. They run toward while most run away. Helpers, defenders, heroes; all deserving of our support and gratitude!
What's on the Ballot? Part 3 coming soon!