People in downtown Red Deer were asked what they think the major issues are in the upcoming federal election:
Glenda Howard, a”soon-to-be-senior,” says: “We need to get our house in order and stop giving money away to foreign interests. Instead of sending it away, we need to use it to fix things here. Our kids are falling through the cracks… We are focusing on giving things to newcomers when we should be making sure our young peoples’ needs are met,” so they don’t have to deal with job loss and homelessness.
Shayla Meyer, legal assistant, says: Advanced education should be more affordable and accessible. “I couldn’t get a student loan because my father made too much money, but he had five kids to support.” She eventually got an education and a job; “I was lucky, I got it before the economy went down, but I have a lot of friends and a brother who was laid off,” so the government should be helping people get back to work.
Jarrett Fullerton, teacher, says: Equalization payments between the provinces should be adjusted so there’s more money for education and hiring educational assistants. “Tons of kids in the system don’t have the help they need…. I’ve given up on finding a leader I can believe in or the party that will fight for the average Albertan,” but whoever gets in should be streamlining the pipeline approval process to make it more “realistic.”
Dave Flewwelling, oil and gas worker, says: “Our biggest issue is getting our oil to tidewater. There’s too much inter-provincial bickering. We need to get it done.” Whether Canada’s new leader is Liberal or Conservative, he needs to work for the good of the nation and improve consensus-building between the provinces — like in the days of the Meech Lake Accord, which was highly divisive but was settled in the end.
Charene Kirby, retired insurance worker, says: Improving the economy and getting Alberta pipelines to coastal waters are the most important things. “I know Alberta is hurting and that’s my main concern…. I’m voting for the Conservatives” because of their more business-friendly approach. “The other three parties are climate-change-hysterical. The Conservatives have more common sense.”