Letter: Hats off to Lending Cupboard

Lending Cupboard

Community needs has been a relevant theme for the past three years of my service to the constituents of Red Deer–North. Busying myself with stakeholder dialogue provides a strong sense and pulse regarding what matters to Central Albertans.

Indeed, aspects of health care are a hot topic and have been for quite a while. I recently read articles regarding the Lending Cupboard and applaud its mission of increasing mobility, independence, and dignity. It is a remarkably unique organization that provides medical mobility aids to those in need.

My past life within the health-care forum has provided a solid understanding of what needs are priority. Our community of seniors, of which 65 per cent have developed a need for the Lending Cupboard, are very much a priority in my eyes.

Recently, I presented my second reading of my Private Member’s Bill 203: The Long-term Care Transparency Act, is part of recognizing the needs of my constituents.

Providing a one-stop shop resource that provides information regarding our long-term care facilities, will enable those seeking long-term care to be able to make more sound decisions regarding their new homes.

I would be remiss if I did not say the health care of Central Albertans is paramount to me, in all facets.

I have introduced the Deputy Premier/Health Minister Sarah Hoffmann to the greatness of the Lending Cupboard because it truly is an amazing organization.

It was also my pleasure to speak to its generosity through a member statement.

Today, I wish to thank the Lending Cupboard for the great service it provides Central Albertans in need. The staff, volunteers, and board members are a testament to the community essence, which truly is the cornerstone of our great province.

Kim Schreiner, MLA Red Deer North

city allegiances

In her column, defending the city’s lack of action on implementing a supervised consumption site in Red Deer, Mayor Tara Veer only clarified her and council’s allegiances, which were already eminently clear to any casual observer.

The proposal to locate the supervised consumption site in the existing Turning Point harm reduction facilities, a location accessible and familiar to those who need the service, was rejected, she writes, “out of concern that it would be an intensification of use not suited to the commercial core of the downtown district.”

This decision has led to delays while council seeks a less accessible, less familiar location, for the service, during which overdose deaths have continued apace. Veer and council have made it clear that they favour the comfort of business owners and shoppers over the lives of those suffering and dying from the public health crisis of opiate addiction. They wish to hide away the misery and social problems facilitated by the city’s subservience to business interests in parts of the city not designated the “commercial core.”

Anyone familiar with the environs of Turning Point on Little Gaetz must be aware it is generous at best to refer to it as part of the “commercial core.”

The city’s efforts to widen the sidewalks, presumably so it can call it part of the “commercial core,” have done nothing to change the fact the area has little ongoing commercial activity.

Council’s decision to reject Turning Point as a site for an SCS service, and its subsequent refusal to revisit this decision, amount to nothing more than a full-throated endorsement of gentrification, at the likely cost of human lives.

Timothy Arthur, Red Deer

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