With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to put great and troubling pressures on families and businesses across the region, calls for more to be done to provide much-needed relief are growing ever louder.
As everyone can attest, prices across the board have been on a steady incline for months, with the cost of groceries, gasoline and diesel, and a myriad of other items going up and up – and without any sign of things slowing down.
Not surprisingly, the UCP government and the official Opposition NDP are at loggerheads over the cost-of-living issue. Whether the political battle now being fought will lead to positive action remains an open question.
What is known is that with the next provincial election only months away, residents here and across the province are watching and hoping for concrete and meaningful solutions and assistance.
Jason Nixon, Sundre-area UPC MLA and provincial minister of Finance, says the UPC government is already doing a great deal to help Alberta families and businesses cope with skyrocketing cost increases.
“While inflation continues to rise across Canada and around the world, Alberta’s government is helping Albertans keep more money in their pockets,” said Nixon. “The government is providing $2.3 billion in additional measures to bring down costs on daily necessities like fuel and utilities and supporting those who need it most.”
On the other hand, NDP leader Rachel Notley says the Kenney government can and should be doing much more to help.
“This is a cost-of-living crisis,” said Notley. “Albertans are struggling to make ends meet as they pay more for everything from gas to groceries and prices are still rising quickly.
“Meanwhile, the UCP has made a bad situation worse by increasing income taxes, education property taxes, tuition, debt on student loans, park and camping fees, utilities, and auto insurance.”
With the cost-of-living storm continuing to rage across Alberta, perhaps the time has come for the government to reconvene the legislature to deal with the crisis?
Dan Singleton is an editor with the Albertan.