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Thank you for the vote of Confidence

This weekend the Green Party of Alberta voted and I am very proud to be named the new leader. I take this honour very seriously and I consider it a priceless opportunity to affect positive change within our party, our province and our world. I thank all of you for your support and look forward to the exciting times ahead.

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Respect for Diversity

I chose this wonderful graphic to show the diversity of culture, gender and politics of the people here in Alberta. These diverse voices, all striving to live a good life in an amazingly blessed part of the world. As the leader of this party I will make sure to include this mosaic in all our policies and governance.

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Social Justice

This is a term that is often used but poorly defined and even more poorly implemented. It is, however, one of the core principals of the Green Party of Alberta. This is how we define it;

The key to social justice is the equitable distribution of resources to ensure that all have full opportunities for personal and social development.

How to we make this a reality? For starters, I look to the Doughnut Economicmodel for its overarching structure to guide us. To ensure that we are distributive by design and that we are regenerative by design as well.
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Healthcare for Albertans

The current state of healthcare in this province has its share of problems and the fact that it consumes $21.4 billion of our tax dollars (which is approximately 40% of our annual budget), makes it a significant issue for all politicians to address.

Premiums were eliminated by the Stelmach government back in January, 2009. Up to that point we were paying annual premiums of $528 ($44 per month) for singles and $1056 ($88 per month) for families. Our population was 3.29 million in 2006 and is 4.067 million as of 2016, an increase of 23.6%.

Based on our current healthcare budget and our current population it costs each and every Albertan $5261/year.
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Our Technological Future

One of the main goals of the Green message is to protect our environment and mitigate climate change. To do so we will need to involve technologies, current and yet to be developed. If you have been following my Facebook page (and I certainly encourage you to do so) you will have seen a series of posts focusing on AI and other technological advances that I feel will be the tools needed in this quest.

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Turning Politics into Policy

While setting up signs with Martin Blake in the Greenway by-election last year, Martin made a wise observation about our party; our politics are only as good as the policies they are able to affect in the governance of our province or country. In other words, talk is cheap.

Another point that was said to me many times while campaigning in the 2015 federal election was that the Green Parties in general don’t have the ability or readiness to govern. Challenge accepted!

This has led me to one of the key elements in my platform; the Doughnut Economics model by Kate Raworth.

Her model dovetails perfectly with the Green Party of Alberta’s core principles. It also provides a road map to how our politics can become policy.

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The Political Dilemma

I attended an information session regarding the Springbank Dry Reservoir project August 17th, one of many as I have followed this project since it’s announcement in the spring of 2015.

A brief backgrounder; this project was announced shortly before the 2015 election by the Prentice government, it smacked of political pandering to the voters living along the city portion of the Elbow River, a quick fix to any future flooding event, shovel ready was a term used quite often. The project would involve diverting the Elbow River just before it crosses highway 22, north of the traffic circle. A diversionary canal would be built for a kilometer or so and it would then be directed under the highway and into a large (by large, to put it into perspective, it is 27.5 sq. km) dry reservoir surrounded on two sides by permanent berms and a gate system that would be opened post-flood to allow for a controlled drainage back into the Elbow River further downstream. The original proposals and information events painted a very straightforward, well thought out option versus the Maclean Creek option which would involve federal approval processes that would hold back the project for many years. Again, there was a lot of emphasis on the speed at which this project could be accomplished. Anxious inner city residents, traumatized by the last flood, eager to see a solution in place. Groups organized to support and promote their views, Calgary River Communities Action Group, Don’t Damn Springbank Group, the Maclean Creek group, Room for the River, all attempting to bring their views into focus.

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Truth and Reconciliation

Yesterday, we Canadians, heard Justice Murray Sinclair’s report on the treatment faced by countless First Nations people during the era of residential schools and the systemic actions of the governments of the time against them.

The backdrop of this day, for me, was marked by an article about the insult to Sarah Hoffman, efforts to stop bill C51, Sepp Blatter and the FIFA scandal. Now at first glance, these would seem to be very separate issues, one having little to do with the other. But they are all related by the thread of our human nature. A nature that has many good qualities, but many negative ones as well.

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