December 2023 Newsletter

President’s Message
Greetings everyone!
Edmonton-Whitemud Constituency Association (“CA”) has several new board members, and I am your new President – a result of our recent Annual General meeting (many thanks to those of you who attended). We are all excited about getting to know you and learning about your concerns; you can expect a call from us in the new year. We plan to work hard to get the Conservative message out there, and look forward to seeing you at community events!
We are in the process of planning for the upcoming year, and have set goals for: communications, youth engagement, fundraising, election readiness, policy work and business outreach. We invite you to make your voices heard, and to provide suggestions at any time (e.g. feedback on strategies to strengthen and grow our base).
If you are concerned about Alberta politics, would like to get involved in any way, or even if you just want to learn more about us and what we do, please give me a call!
Sheila Phimester
President
Edmonton-Whitemud Constituency Association
(780) 916-5992

Last Election
Last election we saw a 6% drop in voter turnout for the Edmonton-Whitemud riding (64.7% in 2023 compared to 70.7% in 2019). We heard some individuals at the door say they were somewhat dismayed by the political atmosphere, and would likely abstain from voting. While we can appreciate the polarization and division that has occurred over the past few years, time is a great healer, and we encouraged people to focus on the policies of each party, rather than the personalities. It is easy to get caught up in the politics and personalities, but we firmly believe Albertans are ultimately focused on matters that directly affect their families. For this reason, we aim to provide the straight up facts to highlight the actions and results the UCP has taken and achieved in securing a stronger, more prosperous Alberta that will benefit Albertans for generations to come.
“A well informed citizenry is the best guard against tyranny.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Facts over Fear: Food for Thought
Education
Given the increased enrolment, and complexity challenges teachers and school boards face, the Minister of Education recently announced new funding.
  • $126 million investment which will directly benefit students – not throw away good money after bad (ever expanding bureaucratic projects).
  • Almost 1,800 new education staff have joined our metro school divisions for the new school year.
  • Budget 2023 increased funding by 5.2%, in part, to hire 3,000 additional teachers and educational staff.
  • For the 2023/2024 school year this means, an additional 1,236 teachers458 educational assistants, and 94 other certified staff.
  • The 2023 capital plan invests $2.3 billion over three years to increase the number of schools in growing communities.
  • For schools in the most urgent of need, this includes $93 million over the next three years to support the Modular Classroom Program.
  • Financial literacy will now be a mandatory part of the new K-6 curriculum!
  • However, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Read here.
Health Care
Right now, too many Albertans (upwards of 650,000 Albertans) can’t find a family doctor or have trouble getting in to see the one they have. Basic access to primary care is lacking. The UCP has committed to modernizing and improving the system to provide better access to care for Albertans. Read here. And here.
These commendable and prudent measures are centered on team-based care, and entails creating a task force with the Alberta Medical Association, to recommend:
  • A new payment model for family physicians that encourages comprehensive primary care – where a patient has a regular family doctor who they develop a long-term relationship with and who works with them to ensure all their health care needs are met.
  • Supports for family physicians to provide comprehensive primary care.
  • Ways to reduce the administrative workload for providers so they can spend more time with their patients.
  • Nurse practitioners can play an important role in strengthening Alberta’s primary health care system. Read here.
  • Refocusing health care in Alberta. Complete the survey here.
Housing
Housing hell: how we got here and how we get out. Watch here.
Supporting affordable housing renovationsWatch here.
Soaring Canadian housing costs power a population boom in Alberta. Read here.
As more people arrive during Alberta’s population boom, housing lags behind. Read here.
Good housing analysisRead here.
Economy
Alberta’s economic picture rosy against gloomy national outlook. Read here.
Alberta a bright spot in slowing Canadian economy. Read here.
Power Play with Vassy Kapelos. Watch here.
Dow to begin construction of $11.5-billion carbon neutral project at Fort Saskatchewan. Read here.
Pension Plan (CPP or APP)
Alberta’s case for taking half CPP’s assets. Read here.
Alberta should think twice before breaking from the CPP. Read here.
CPP Fund Facts. Read here.
We encourage you to email the Minister of Finance (the Honourable Nate Horner) to voice your opinion: tbf.minister@gov.ab.ca
Fundraising
Of course, while this is primarily a letter of introduction and information for you, we would be remiss if we failed to mention that time is running out for you to qualify for or maximize the significant tax benefits available to you by making a year-end contribution to our LOCAL UCP Constituency Association here in Edmonton-Whitemud. Unlike donations to United Conservative HQ, 100 per cent of the year-end gift you donate via the link below will stay right here in Edmonton- Whitemud, and will help ensure our Constituency Association remains strong, healthy and ready for the years ahead.
As you are likely aware, there are considerable tax savings available with the political contribution tax credit. For example, an immediate donation of $250 will automatically qualify you for tax savings of $175, making the true cost of your contribution just $75! Or $500 would work out to just $200 with a $300 tax credit! And a $1,000 contribution becomes just $450 after the tax credit!
Please know that your donation – in any amount – will help ensure our local Constituency Association continues to attract new members, grow our support base, and spread the United Conservative message across Edmonton-Whitemud to reclaim the riding next election! The individual contribution limit per year is $4,300 (i.e. to any number of political parties, constituency associations etc.), and we encourage everyone to double-check their donations from this last calendar year to ensure you do not run afoul of the contribution limits. See Elections Alberta.
If you are looking to spread goodwill to local charities, Santa’s Anonymous has seen a large drop in donations this year, no doubt given ever rising costs. Edmontonians, however, did not disappoint at the recent Oil Kings Teddy Bear toss which saw nearly 15,000 teddy bears donated to Santa’s Anonymous – a most welcome addition to Christmas parcels which will be delivered to kids in the coming weeks. Should you choose to make a monetary donation, you will receive a tax receipt. Here is the link for convenience. Santa’s Anonymous website.
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy and joyful Christmas season, and all the best in 2024!
Sincerely,
Your Edmonton-Whitemud Constituency Association Board
We appreciate people are inundated with information these days, and therefore plan to only send out a newsletter once every two months.
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