Friday, February 22, 2008

Alberta 2008 Leadership Debate


2008 Leadership Debate
Opponents cream Stelmach
Compiled by Heath McCoy, Renata D'Aliesio and Tony Seskus, Calgary Herald., Calgary Herald
Published: Friday, February 22, 2008
Kevin Taft
Liberal
On Health Care
Taft: "I can't stand on the sidelines . . . . People are dying, Mr. Stelmach. People are stuck in emergency rooms for days on end. This is a life-and-death issue. . . . This government has to be held to account."

On Energy and Environment
Taft: "It feels to so many people like Alberta's economy, particularly the oilsands development, is a runaway train . . . But you don't build a garage without a plan. You can't . . . develop the biggest industrial development on the planet without a plan."

On Social Issues
Taft: "Too many people are getting left behind. . . . Long term, so much of this comes down to great education. The best low-income policy in the long term is to give people great education."
- - -
Brian Mason
NDP
On Health Care

Mason: "Albertans really want to have health care that's there when they need it. They don't want to be waiting in the hallways. We have 10 years of neglect. . . . We are short 1,000 doctors and 1,500 nurses. How did we get into this situation?"

On Energy and Environment
Mason: "The decision of the government to not touch the brake, as Mr. Stelmach said when he first became the Conservative leader, is a terrible mistake. We need to pace development in the tar sands."

On Social Issues
Mason: "This government has done more to create homelessness than any other government since the Second World War in this province. The simple failure to bring in rent controls to protect people has meant many more people are living out on the street."
- - -
Paul Hinman
Wildrose Alliance
On Health Care

Hinman: "We've had 36 years of these guys (the Tories) saying more money, more money. It will never be enough. . . . There's nothing bold about (Stelmach's) plan. There's nothing innovative about it."

On Energy and Environment
Hinman: "He's hurt our reputation by tearing up those contracts and saying, 'You know what, we're not going to listen to industry. We are going to listen to my heart,' and he's failing on the economic decision that he's making for this province."

On Social Issues
Hinman: "We need to reduce the taxes on the people of Alberta -- then they'll be able to have affordable housing because they (will) have money in their pocket to actually pay the rent or buy the house."

On Health Care

Ed Stelmach
Progressive Conservative
Ed Stelmach, Progressive Conservative
Jenelle Schneider, Calgary Herald
Stelmach: "I'm fully committed to supporting the public health-care system. . . . While others are identifying issues in health care, we have acted. We have brought world-class physicians to the province. We've added more nurses."

On Energy and Environment
Stelmach: "The plan we have in place is already showing that we have dealt with a lot of the environmental issues in Fort McMurray and Fort Saskatchewan -- an overall cumulative environmental plan. We've got an excellent plan for water strategy."

On Social Issues
Stelmach: "Rent controls do not build one affordable unit (of housing) in the province of Alberta. It's proven. We've looked at the history of other provinces and we're not going to go (down) that path. We're going to increase the supply."

An Exercise: How a re ordering of the story can change the facts!
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