CHESTERMERE – Councillor Heather Davies announced her intention to run for the Wildrose Alliance nomination on March 7, saying it is her intention to advance the grass roots concerns for healthcare and the educational needs of Chestermere Rocky View residents at the provincial level.
With colleagues and many residents of Chestermere backing her, Davies said she is looking forward to the experience because it is an interesting time to be living here.
“It’s an exciting time for the area; We have a new riding, so it will be very interesting representing residents from the complete riding,” she said.
Davies has sat on the MLA’s boards for many years, and said although she was a longtime supporter of the PC government, she can’t support them any longer.
“The Wildrose Alliance is a grassroots party that believes policy should be developed from the ground up, not the top down,” Davies says. “I strongly support this statement.”
Although she has many reasons for deciding to get on board with the Wildrose, Davies said that her main focus is improving healthcare.
“It would be very rewarding to see and be a part of helping the province to move forward, especially with healthcare and patient care,” she said. “Even working at this level of council, I’ve heard from residents from our community, ‘Can you help us?’
“At this level you really can’t, however there’s a dire need out there, and I’d really like to fill some of those gaps.”
Davies said that she’d like to see 24 hour a day, seven day a week community-based healthcare.
“This would establish rural and remote health initiatives to ensure Albertans get the care they need,” she says.
“It is imperative to increase funding for home care, supported housing, assisted living, long term care facilities, mental health and palliative care to provide less expensive and more patient friendly alternatives to hospital care.
“We desperately need more health professionals in this province and to attract these professionals, a recruitment and retention plan in consultation with health care service providers and municipalities is essential.”
As far as how this decision will affect her position in Chestermere, Davies said that she can currently continue working as a town councillor.
“I can continue with my position on council, even when the nomination is called,” she says. “ Should I win the nomination – which I sure hope to – I can still continue with the council position.”
Davies explained that the only time her position would be affected is if there was an earlier election called, and if she did win, she would need to resign from her position in Chestermere and move on to work provincially.
“I look forward to continuing a working relationship with this council – we have an excellent council here – and I look forward also to connecting with other communities in the new riding.”