Seniors Week, TransMountain Pipeline, and Mental Health Services for Children

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Calgary Lougheed Jason Kenny

Seniors Week in Alberta June 3-9

This month begins with Seniors’ Week, where Albertans of all ages acknowledge the contributions of this province’s seniors’ community. Alberta’s high quality of life owes itself to our seniors, who continue to enrich our communities with their contributions. We can all take a moment to show our appreciation by participating one of the many seniors’ events being hosted throughout our community.

Pipeline in Peril

Throughout April, we saw the Alberta government’s strategy to get the critical Trans Mountain pipeline built come apart. On Sunday, April 6 the pipeline’s proponent, Kinder Morgan, announced that unless they were provided total clarity from the NDP government in British Columbia, they would be cancelling the project on May 31 of this year. For over 9 months the official opposition has advocated for a fight-back strategy on Trans Mountain. Why? Because we absolutely want this project, which is in Alberta’s vital economic interest, to succeed.

$4.1 Billion to BC for Obstructing Pipelines?

On Monday, April 2, 2018, federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced $4.1 billion in infrastructure for British Columbia. This, after the BC NDP launched it’s opening salvo in the Constitutional crisis on January 30.

I find it shocking that the federal government would cut a $4.1 billion cheque to the BC given the current circumstances. If Justin Trudeau was serious about the success of the Trans Mountain pipeline, he’d withhold transfers such as infrastructure funding.

We will continue to fight to make sure this critical pipeline is built.

Mental Health Services for Children

In the Legislature I asked why children’s access to mental health services is declining. According Alberta Health Services own reports, the number of children who get access to mental health treatment within 30 days has declined 82 per cent in 2014 to 67 per cent now. In Edmonton in 2014, 77 per cent of children got access to mental health services within 30 days or less. That number is now down to 32 per cent. This trend is province-wide; in Calgary that number has gone from 91 per cent in 2014 to 74 per cent. If mental health is a priority ministry, data should show improvements for children mental health services, not a steady decline.