Marie Grabowski, NDP
Current occupation: Licensed Medical Laboratory Technologist
What are the three most pressing issues facing central Alberta residents, and how will you address them?
My main concern is the decreasing access to rural healthcare and resulting overwhelming of our urban healthcare centres. There is an incorrect line of thinking that we need to choose either the economy OR healthcare. This is untrue. The health and well being of our community will directly affect the success of our economy. They are connected and if one suffers so too shall the other.
The federal government needs to acknowledge and correct the past choice to decrease provincial health care transfers. The last Conservative Prime Minister cut $36 billion in transfers. Provincial and federal government used to fund healthcare 50/50. Today provinces receive 22 per cent and the remainder is covered at the provincial level. We need to implement a Canada Wide National Drug Plan. We are the only country with our level of healthcare that lacks the structure to save on pharmaceuticals by buying in bulk. Multiple contracts are negotiated at various rates of purchase and the extra expense is offloaded to individuals as well as employer health benefit plans. When the NDP brought this National Drug Plan motion forward to parliament both the Liberal and Conservative parties voted against to defeat it.
I will support proportional representation to ensure each province is being fairly represented geographically. Proportional representation has been implemented in other countries to ensure fair participation across differently populated areas. Tax avoidance (loopholes) at a corporate level need to be addressed. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has calculated we may be losing as much as $25 billion annually. If we start individual measures of closing these identified loopholes, as much as $10 billion will be brought in over four years. Everyone needs to be aware of why housing prices are at the current level and rising. Housing speculation is the business of buying affordable housing including detached, attached and apartment style by a wealthy investor to quickly turn a profit. This is another identified loophole that was created by past Liberal government. This can be corrected by raising the capital gains back to the same rate it was in 2000. This will not affect primary residence and only housing speculation businesses. Returning to the original rate has estimated to bring in over $8 billion in revenue per year.
A few more things …
Where were you born/raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in the Hinton-Edson Area. Residing in Red Deer County since 2010.
You have served in office before, what have you learned? Why are you running now?
First time running for federal MP but I have gained a great deal of experience assisting with previous campaigns for municipal, provincial and federal. I chose to run this year due to my availability and with support from previous candidates and contacts as we all continue to support each other through our various community involvement. I decided to carry the orange torch for this leg of the marathon to ensure continuity and improvement of opposing candidacy in a long-standing riding.
Why do you make a good representative for your constituents in the legislature?
If elected I will continue to do what I’m already doing when not working in the lab.
– Continue to engage with different local organizations to address local issues
– Participate in town halls as organized by communities or myself and my team
– Collaborate with different levels of local government
– Engage with members of the community by scheduling neighborhood door knocking and phone conversations.
– Attending community association board meetings as a guest.
My focus will be to organize ideas into attainable goals to problem solve and see what needs to be changed or assisted via federal government. I have excellent social skills after 15 years working directly in customer service. I’m a highly organized person. Currently I work 0.8 at the hospital, I’m attending technical college to attain my degree, as well as my various roles and involvement in local organizations.
Tell us a surprising or interesting fact or story about yourself.
I’m a long-time curler. Learned in high school and have curled for 20 years now. I played the college team at NAIT. Our ladies team won two silver medals two years in a row and I was voted All-Star Lead both years as well. Now I always play skip because apparently no one else likes that role hahaha.
Notable past achievements/titles/jobs.
Previous professions include Radio Promotional DJ, Photography Laboratory Technician, Veterinarian Hospital Receptionist, Various roles in the food service industry and waitressing.
Current leadership roles include being the co-chair for my union local at Red Deer Hospital, The vice-president of RDDLC. Other notable education includes the Indigenous Canada Certificate from the University of Alberta and a Parliamentary Procedures & Public Speaking Certificate from the AFL Jasper School of Labour.