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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

The year 2010 is fast coming to a close. The New Year is just around the corner and promises to be an exciting one!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those who mean the most to you. 

It is at this time of the year that one sits down to reflect on past events, new friendships and the people we love. We make personal resolutions for the new year ahead and look forward to great things to come. It is with these thoughts in mind that...

I Wish All of You a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year
 Look Forward to Seeing All of You in 2011! 

Remember, my door is always open, the coffee is always on.

God Bless you in 2011 and always,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 18th, 2010 VOTE!

My Vision...

To Be Trustworthy,  Self-Aware,  Humble,  Caring, Visionary, Empowering, Relational, Competent,       A Good Steward,  Community Builder...   SERVANT LEADERSHIP

For you I will ...
  • Work to ensure that the promised hospital becomes a reality
  • Continue to rally, lobby & fight tirelessly for buried transmission lines
  • Lead with a common vision & shared values on behalf of the community
  • Support & promote Business through the review and change of excessive regulations, procedures & bylaws
  • Ensure your tax dollars are used efficiently to provide all vital services, urban & rural
  • Assure the autonomy, identity & rights of our residents are achieved
  • Inspire a sense of freedom, respect and trust for each other, within council, staff and community as a whole
  • Continue to show a true commitment to our community as an active volunteer

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Opening Comments - Sherwood Park Candidates' Forum

Good Evening Everyone!

I am truly honoured and humbled to be standing here tonight as a mayoral candidate for our community of Strathcona County.
My background as a registered nurse, business owner, a community volunteer, wife and mother of 4 has provided me with values I believe are essential to true leadership:
Honesty, Trust, Integrity, caring.

I am here with you tonight to state the facts:

Enough is enough!  It is time for change!

Over the last six years under the present mayor's reign we were to get:

1.   Lakeland College;
2.   An active treatment tx-surgical hospital;
3.   An overpass off Hwy 16 either on Broadmoor or Sherwood Drive.

Instead what did we get?

1.   A proposed 20 and a half story 500kv transmission lines;
2.   A Capital Region Board where Edmonton has the ONLY veto;
3.   A sign by-law that handcuffs businesses and to top it off ...
4.   An external/legal investigation of our chief commissioner, mayor and council  to the tune of $30,000 plus of your hard earned tax payers dollars!

I am tired of Strathcona County being the Charlie Brown of Alberta!

We are given the football to kick just like Lucy did with Charlie Brown. We run to kick it and each and every time it gets taken away. We land flat on our back time and time again.

No More!! It is time we get NOT only to kick the football through the goal posts but we want to run it for a touchdown too!

We deserve the originally promised 72 bed active tx-surgical hospital, buried Transmission lines and safe overpasses.

I will be your voice to the province NOT the provinces voice to you!! I am there for you.

This is a people county you deserve a people government

Together let’s Ignite the Spirit of our community

For leadership who will stand up for you -

I ask for your vote on October 18 - Osinchuk for Mayor!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Heartfelt "Thank You!"

I would like to express a heartfelt “Thank You!” to all the residents of Ward 3 for having given me the honour of representing you, your concerns and your visions during these last 6 years.    
Tuesday, September 15th, 2010 the present Strathcona County Council will sit together for the last time as a council. No other council will sit again in these historic council chambers, the next council will hold its sessions in the new County Hall. The public session will start at 3 pm.
It will also be the last day of my term as your councillor.
Strathcona County is a people county.  It is time for a people government!
I have had the opportunity to represent you on many wonderful committees. I am very proud of the difference I was able to make by participating actively on those committees and not just attaching my name to them. Below are a few of the committees I have worked on:
• Agricultural Services Board
• Pride of Strathcona Awards Selection Committee
•Information & Volunteer Centre Board of Directors
•Resolutions Committee
•NR CAER Committee 

•Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association
•Assessment Review Board
•By law Enforcement Order Review Committee
•Capital Region Services to Children Linkages Committee
•Inter-City Forum on Social Policy

•Alternate on Subdivision & Development Board
•Pioneer Housing Foundation 
•Chair - Seniors Management Services  
•Capital Health Authority/ Municipal Government Advisory Council
•Youth Advisory Committee
•River Valley Alliance 
•Served as Chair on the Alberta School Board Association for Bilingual Education and Vice-chair for one year. 

I would like the opportunity and honour to continue representing the residents of Strathcona County with Pride and Vision...

On October 18, 2010, please come out to vote for me. 

Together, we will ignite the spirit!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

VISION FOR STRATHCONA COUNTY - Ignite the Spirit by Linda Osinchuk as published in Womanition Magazine

Strathcona County has energy. Energy drawn from the ground and above; from the wind and sun – but the true energy comes from the people, rural and urban, that sparks our community spirit. My goal for this October election is to become Mayor of Strathcona County. Why? How is it important to our future? I will outline who Strathcona County is and how a direction setting vision will encourage us to align our priorities to make our County the community we want it to become by 2040. Strathcona County is a specialized municipality approximately 455 sq. miles between Edmonton and Elk Island Park. The population (2009) is 87,998. More than half of the population lives in Sherwood Park, which has hamlet status. The other eight hamlets are Antler Lake, Ardrossan, Collingwood Cove, Half Moon Lake, Hastings Lake, Josephburg, North and South Cooking Lake. We were designated as a specialized municipality on January 1, 1996 in order to accommodate the specific needs of an area that is urban and rural. Our history goes back to 1893 through various legislative changes and along with the namesake of Lord Strathcona, we are a proud and ever changing community.

Why Linda for Mayor? Why take a risk when a councillor position is more of a guarantee? Are there any burning issues? What difference will Linda add to the future of our community – business or residential? These may be questions you are asking.

First, it is healthy for a municipality to have change in leadership after a period of time. Moving forward with new ideas and a renewed passion provides a sense of renewed hope and reigniting of a community spirit.
I believe it is time for this change. My decision to run for Mayor rather than a third term councillor can be best explained by the following belief: By avoiding risk, we really risk what is important in life – reaching toward growth, our potential, and a true contribution to a common good. Servant leadership – a spirit lifting leadership, leadership that enables, enriches, one that holds organizations accountable – is required to make us vital and give us hope.

Some say there are no issues to warrant a change in leadership. I could emphasis that over the last six years we were to get but didn’t: Lakeland College, a full treatment hospital, at least one overpass on Highway 16 into Sherwood Park, and a much needed court house. Instead, we are getting a large transmission line above ground through our TUC (not underground) near densely populated areas and a forced partnership with our neighbouring municipalities creating a Capital Region Board, which cost us at least 3 million dollars without any concrete results to show for it. Other than increased utility costs, a non-cohesive council and a lack of vision, I would argue there are issues. Status quo is not the answer.

What difference will I bring to this honourable position? There are tangibles such as a competency of professionalism through my nursing training and experiences. While operating my own home business, I developed an understanding and realization that business and accountability is the economic driver for a healthy and vibrant community. I will also bring to the position a true understanding of family and spiritual values. Married to Jim for 32 years and raising four adult children has provided a sense of moral purpose and active virtue. People reach outward to serve others and inward toward their own potential.

This is where the intangible assets are important in true leadership. A wholehearted acceptance of human authenticity is important. Authenticity needs to dominate our relationships and our understanding of justice. Having a large volunteer background in various sectors, I understand the Importance of empowerment, consultation, trust, caring and most important, hope. It results in civility, love and devotion to a common good.

This all contributes to a vision, a legacy for our great community. Together we must search and contribute to this vision. Through a process of consultation, communication and collaboration, we can accomplish this goal. We need to distinguish between strategic planning and leaving a legacy. A strategic plan is a long-term commitment to something we intend to do. A legacy results from the facts of our behaviour that remain in the minds of others. I believe what we plan differs enormously from what we leave behind.
A true legacy establishes direction. People write down strategy and follow it. We see a vision and pursue it. At the heart of most organizations, it is vital to learn and trust each other. It results from observation, conscious and unconscious. There is a need to show responsibility for our own actions. A legacy sets standards. They are standards not just of performance but also of dignity and servant hood, of good manners, good taste and decorum. Our society cries out for the civility that results from high standards. A legacy lifts spirits! We all have a right to a spirit-lifting presence in our leaders, and such a presence can become a legacy. If we can be a spirit-lifting presence among those with whom we work, we have begun to understand inspiration.

I will provide leadership full of heart, integrity and spirit. Together we will ensure Strathcona County is our home where we work and play. Through all this, we will be the Energy Capital of Canada.

I can be reached at 780-497-0687,

Monday, September 13, 2010

I am Bringing Forward a Motion in Council Tomorrow - I Will Speak up for the Residents of Strathcona County!

The residents of Strathcona County are very upset and frustrated about the events that have unfolded over the past several days. Many have asked me directly or via Twitter for someone to speak up for them in regards to the Chief Commissioner’s actions. I will, therefore, bring forward a motion in council tomorrow regarding this. I will reveal the details at tomorrow’s council meeting and will post them on my blog immediately following.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hospital Truth and/or Consequences: This is Not a Game!!!

Residents have made it clear to me that they are confused, concerned, angered and unsure about what is going on regarding the Strathcona Hospital "phasing" situation.

 I am open to questions of  verification on the hospital.  I am willing to continue to stand up for residents and fight for a hospital sooner than later.


 Are you, residents of Strathcona County, willing to fight with me to get a date set in stone for phase II?
Below are true tesitmonials from your family, friends and neighbours in Strathcona County. I have listened to their stories over the last 20 years as a resident, nurse, school board trustee and County Councillor.  Following these are the facts, figures & history requested by County residents. There are many more such stories:

A 78 year old Sherwood Park man has been feeling dizzy, nauseated and has pain in the left side of his abdomen. He does not have a doctor and cannot drive anymore.

 A mother saw her 6 year old son fall off his bike on their gravel road 30 km outside of Sherwood Park. Her son hit head and is bleeding profusely.

A young father arrived home from working at one of the plants outside Sherwood Park and found his wife who is 8 months pregnant with their first child lying on the bathroom floor having major contractions.

A 69 year old widowed resident living in a lodge in Sherwood Park has had one kidney removed due to cancer with the other showing signs of failing. She needs to go for dialysis 3 times a week.

A 15 year old high school student has been bullied for over 6 year of his life. He is depressed and cannot take it any longer. He attempts to take his own life.

Over the last week there has been much press about the so called Phase One portion of the “hospital” for Strathcona County. I and many others were in Council Chambers to hear the news of an urgent-emergency only facility which the government conveniently and politically chose to call a hospital.

It was stated, in various publications and Social sites, that the 62,000 population in the "small hamlet of Sherwood Park" and the 26,000 people in the rest of Strathcona County do not need an "insignificant" 72 bed hospital "anyway".
Well people like I described above disagree.

Here are some facts according to the 2007 Dr. Predy Report entitled “How Healthy are We? “ (It compares three similar cities near Edmonton with hospitals and Strathcona County which has none)

1. Number of live births

Fort Sask. 162   Leduc 516   St. Albert 591   Strathcona County 887

2. Number of  children 0-19

Fort Sask. 4,197   Leduc 12,105   St. Albert 15,554   Strathcona County 23,186

3. Number of  seniors age 65-84

Fort Sask. 1359   Leduc 3919   St.Albert 5,226   Strathcona County 6,942

Other Facts that are still existant today:

1-Strathcona County, 5th largest municipality in Alberta with a population close to 88,000 people, has NO 24 hour health care;

2-The heath authorities' comprehensive Growing in Place plan (2004) features a capital investment of more than $900 million for Capital Health;
3-Strathcona County’s feasibility study (2004) is included in that funding as is a new hospital for Fort Saskatchewan;

4-Rural Strathcona County posted the fastest growth rate in the Capital Region in 2001-2003 by 8%;

5-The Industrial Heartland - At its' borders and within Strathcona County - employs approximately 2500 people;

6-Three major Highways separate and divide Strathcona County from Edmonton.

7-1987 Black Friday Tornado travelled down Sherwood Park Freeway, up through Highway 16 and into to a Trailer Park in North Edmonton. We were cut off from Edmonton for a period of time. No way of getting to a hospital.

8-A 500kv, 20 story high, above ground Transmission lines are proposed and recommended by Epcor and AltaLink to go down the TUC (utility corridor) along side schools and densely populated residential areas along the Anthony Henday (Hwy. 14) from Ellerslie to Baseline Road; right through Sherwood Parks' boundaries. (potential health risks);

9-A Strathcona County resident group called Public Supporting Hospital Committee started in 2005 to advocate for a consultative stakeholder process seeking information for a clear business case for a hospital (which I was part of);

10-In 2006 The Sherwood Park News posted the following: Health Minister Iris Evans announces an $85million, 72 bed hospital for Sherwood Park. Quote: "Sherwood Park Strathcona County have not had the benefit of anything beyond the Health First centre, she said, You go to every other community- the Fort, Leduc, St.Albert- they have all had that kind of publicly funded care. Frankly, I was disappointed that anyone would criticize Strathcona for getting what it has been asking for since the 1970s. As MLA it is over the top for me. I know we have needed it; I know it is justified
The detailed plan will be one and construction 18-24 months with opening in 2009. Per functional plan the hospital will offer general surgery, low risk obstetrics and diagnostic services."

11-A day clinic housing all public health services, such as community health and home care, will be linked to the hospital as well as a 20 space residential facility for Child and Adolescent Services Association (CASA) .(now up and running on the site);

12-Quote Health Care Rep: "the exact footprint of the hospital is important because part of the campus land overlaps into the heavy industrial transition zone, which contains extra regulations for development."

13- In 2008 The Sherwood Park News posted "Hospital Construction Begins. It will be two more years until the doors of the $88million Strathcona Community Hospital finally open as construction officially kicked off. The hospital will open with 72 beds as originally planned but the 36 bed expansion will also be shelled in according to rep from Capital Health. It will be now a 108 bed facility! The official ground breaking ceremony will be end of October 2007."
14- In April 2010 The Sherwood Park News posted:  "The Strathcona Community Hospital construction date would not be announced until Capital Plan is finished. The Capital Plan is still in development according to Minister Zwozdesky."  Yet, in Dec. 2009 MLA Evans told The Sherwood Park News that construction would start in April.

15- Following the April 2010 announcement I wrote letters to the editor expressing my concern. Contacted MLA Evans and Minister Zwosdeskys office requesting a conversation and a clarification of the hospital situation. Residents still believing a 72 or 108 bed full tx hospital is going to be built. They did not return calls;

16-In June 2010 Minister Zwozdesky addressed AGM of MLA Dave Quest on health. A question of the hospital status was asked and he replied that he would be able to tell us more in three to four weeks;

17-At that time, he also said the province would not announce anything it isn’t ready to support, but encouraged those in the room to keep the faith.

Please note: This is the first time the word "phased in approach" was used. There was no definition of what that meant, but the word hospital was still being used.

18- Council meeting July 2010: Mayor Cathy Olesen reported she had a dinner meeting with MLA Quest and Minister Zwosdesky and read a letter from the minister that indicated Strathcona County will still get its hospital in a phased in approach and a second ground breaking would be announced soon.

19 - Sept. 2010 Alberta Health rep. Marianne Stewart presented the phase 1 of the Strathcona County Hospital which was described as an urgent – emergency 24 hour hospital to be opened 2013;

I asked the question, as a fellow nurse, that why is this facility called a hospital when it does not have the components required for one. She stated that their group would have preferred to call it a Community Health Facility but was politically directed to call it a hospital.

I then asked when is phase 2 happening and how many beds were being planned for? She stated she has had no direction from the province on either of those questions.

20- This was unacceptable for Councillors Gariepy, Bidzinski and myself. We expressed our concerns and the concerns of many, many residents.

21-Sept.6 2010. A closed door meeting with Mayor Olesen, Councillor Carr, CEO Robyn Singleton, MLAs Evans and Quest, ministers Zwosdesky and Danyluk occurred. This meeting was not announced, shared, nor discussed to or with all of council.

22-A full press release by Mayor Olesen was written and released immediatly after the meeting which stated that the electrical and mechanicals were going to be in place and they would be working together on a forward plan.

23- Minister Zwosdesky appears on the Rutherford call-in radio show stating how reactional some councillors are and that this situation of a hospital is an non issue. The minister, mayor and Councillor Roxanne Carr still claim that the emergency facility is a hospital. Iris Evans did state in the Edmonton Journal on Sept. 6 that the real question is when will phase two start. Only two callers go on the air.  One supporting the minister, the other not sure what is happening but ends up thanking the minister and is happy and satisfied with the answer...

These are the facts!! Like it or not we are not getting what was promised. A clear business case and a public and stakeholder consultation supported the initial plan for the active treatment facility.
The stories I am still hearing will continue. People want accountability, truth, integrity and trust from their elected officials.
As your mayor I will deliver these and show heart and caring along with it!!

Once and for all: Until we have a date, we do not have a hospital.  We can keep being promised and told that the government is committed to a hospital, but until they give us a date...We Do Not Have A Hospital.

If you would like more information or if you would like to speak to me directly do not hesitate to contact me at

CBC News - Edmonton - Alta. councillor sanctioned over critical email

Another article...

CBC News - Edmonton - Alta. councillor sanctioned over critical email

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Official Strathcona County News Release leads to more questions from residents

Today a news release came out about a meeting held by the Mayor and Councillor Carr, Chief Commissioner Singleton, MLA Evans and Quest and Ministers from Health and Infrastructure. All of council was not informed of this meeting nor asked to be included. This was definitely an attempt to cover up any political fallout which occurred from last Tuesday's council meeting. A meeting that revealed that the Province directed Alberta Health to call the emergency urgent care facility a hospital not a Community Health Facility. A facility that would be a nightmare and extra work for our already over taxed EMS (Emergency Medical Services). The response from the public has been huge. There are more questions than answers. I have to ask.
Why is it that suddenly the Mayor takes action when she and Councillor Carr were well aware two and a half months ago that the facility Strathcona was to get was only an emergency center not a hospital?
Why is it that our MLA's and the Health minister suddenly covering the fact that they broke their promises and now are willing to make public press releases stating otherwise?
Hospital or not, we were misled, lied to and now they are trying to cover their tracks!
Makes you wonder who is in who's back pocket.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Strathcona "Hospital"?

The residents of Strathcona County are fed up.  They are being vocal now, loudly expressing their disappointment and frustrations to the Provincial Government of Alberta. They might be hearing us, but they are not listening.

At the last Strathcona County Council meeting I asked Marianne Stewart, vice-president for Alberta Health Services' Edmonton zone, why the government is insisting on calling an emergency and walk-in Care Centre a Hospital? She replied that Alberta Health Services "preferred" using the name "Community Health Centre" but they were  politically directed to use the term "Hospital".  She was even quoted by The News' Catherine Griwkowsky,  and re-quoted by Jodie Sinnema in the Edmonton Journal saying:
"I think there was some discussion at the political level to make sure it was called a hospital. That came from our government...Quite frankly, this was a political decision."

I later asked her when Phase two would be announced and how many beds would we be getting for the hospital, when we actually get a hospital. Shockingly, she replied that they had  no set date and no written plans in regards to the number of beds.
The government committed to a hospital when Ralph Klein was Premier. We still do not have a hospital.  In 3 years - 2013, is when we are getting Phase I.  Let me reword this, 2013 is the date Phase I is planned to open. When will we be getting our "real" hospital with beds?  Health Minister Zwozdesky  did not know but he had this to say to the Edmonton Journal:

"It's not a delay. It's a phased-in approach to meet the community's needs. There's lots of things happening in the health system in different parts of the capital region and this is one of the most important ones, that's for sure, and that's why we kept moving on it as quick as we could."

What is wrong with his comment?

1- Not a delay? Is that why the government said that due to the economy construction would be delayed?

2- A phased-in approach to meet the community's needs? Well, not according to the studies released about Strathcona County's needs.  They said that residents and the surrounding Capital Region needed a hospital immediatly.  And those studies were done four years ago!

3- They "kept moving on it as quick as" they could? When did Ralph Klein commit to a hospital?

With all due respect Minister Zwozdesky, Strathcona County residents have a good memory. They are not naive and can clearly read through your rhetoric. 

As for publicly stating that Strathcona County public officials and election canditates are only speaking out because it is an election year, well you are mistaken. 

I have been working diligently for 23 years to get this hospital.  I celebrated with all residents when the Premier committed to building a hospital in Strathcona County. 

The residents have expressed their frustrations, they feel let down.  I not only hear them, I am listening to them. I am encouraging our three MLAs: Iris Evans, Dave Quest and Ed Stelmach, to be a voice for their constituants. And I shall support them in this challenge. They have championed this cause in the past.

Elections or no elections, I WILL continue to fight and lobby in the name of all Strathcona County residents for a REAL Hospital until we get one!

Sherwood Park gets non-hospital by Jodie Sinnema - The Edmonton Journal
Politics at fault for ‘hospital’ moniker: AHS by Catherine Griwkowsky Sherwood Park News

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hope! Trust! Integrity! Please Support my Run for Mayor of Strathcona County

There is a common thread of ideals within our community, whether you are urban or rural. We strive for a safe community to live, work and raise our families in, as well as a place to invest and grow with industry and business. We need to trust that our locally elected government has integrity while being fiscally responsible and transparent. We expect clear, honest and frequent communication. These are but a few of the reasons that I have decided to stand up for you and run for mayor of Strathcona County. We need to ensure that our collective voices will be heard.
As mayor, I will offer the kind of thoughtful leadership that can be counted on to address challenges. I will continue to work for community improvements while maintaining the culture and character that make Strathcona County unique. It is time for the torch to be passed on.
Together we will ignite our community spirit! We need vision for a caring community that stands tall and proud, preserving a strong identity for itself! With your support and that of my family’s, I will be there for you!

Please do not hesitate to contact me at with any issue concerns or visions you may have for the County!