Red Deer has told me 150 different stories from 150 different people from 150 different backgrounds. Each of those stories gave me a better picture of what this city is and what this city needs. Today, I would like to share four stories with you that outline some of the major issues I hear in this city.
I had coffee with a mechanic who moved to BC with a goal of starting up his own business and being near his wife’s family. He was constantly chastised for trying to create his own business and being an entrepreneur. For almost three years he was criticized and avoided by the people there because they did not want to do business with a non-unionized company. He ended up moving back to Alberta and reviving his company here in Red Deer. Now he’s afraid that the NDP are going to start pushing that same mentality of anti-small business. He wants to elect a business friendly government.
I met with a mother and her three children at their house. She couldn’t take time away from homeschooling her kids but she wanted to meet. Her concerns over the constant attacks on school choice were worrying her daily. The reasons she chose to homeschool her children was because one of her children needed special attention which couldn’t be provided in the public system. She saw him suffer because of his ability to learn at a different speed. Now, he is doing amazing and she doesn’t want to see him lose this progress. She wants a government that will protect school choice.
I had a long conversation with a firefighter and learned they respond to overdose calls because of this opioid crisis. He told me a story of administering Naloxone to an overdosing patient while three people were being arrested nearby. He told me about picking up a duffel bag worth of used needles in a local park. The fears of letting his child play in the neighborhood because of this opioid crisis. His wish that he could force the politicians to come with him downtown and see the gut wrenching sites he witnesses on a regular basis. We are currently setting up a time for me to attend a ride-along with his crew. He wants a politician who is actually willing to do what is necessary to ensure his family is safe.
I had a quick meeting with a Doctor at the hospital cafe. Due to the overcrowding of the hospital he didn’t have time for an extended talk but felt this meeting was important. He told me of the waste he sees in middle management, the bloat of bureaucracy slowing things down, and untold amount of tax dollars he sees being wasted. He told me how he could provide a better service for cheaper and faster if this government would allow him to do so. During our conversation a voice over the speakers announced overcrowding protocols. He assured me that was normal but wished it wasn’t. He wants fair and equal funding for our region and a government that values the lives of Central Alberta.
These are just some of the stories I have heard. Each of these stories is unique, but they also represent the issues the rest of the city is feeling. Each of these people decided to do something about the issues facing them. One way they are helping is by reaching out and making their voice heard. They bought a membership and said they would vote for me because they trust me to stand up for their values and the issues impacting our city. I would like to thank them for taking the time to meet with me, to tell me their stories, and to trust me to be their voice.
If you would like to meet, I would like to hear your story.