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Friday, September 23, 2011

Questions for the 3 PC Leadership Candidates

This morning I sent out a personal letter to each of the leadership candidates. This letter contains 3 questions that relate to very important issues to the residents of Strathcona County. A large number of residents have approached me with these concerns and I have a responsibility to residents to find out from these three candidates what their stand on these issues are. I had spoken to them prior to the first ballot and wanted  once more to state these concerns. I look forward to soon be reading their replies. 

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

Good job and congrats on arriving to this point on your bid to being the next leader of the PC party and the next Premier of Alberta.

I am personally asking all three remaining candidates three very important questions before I give my support to them. I would like to hear from you to get back to me with your position in a very timely matter. These are crucial issues that effect the Municipality and the residents of Strathcona County. Your opinion on these items may have been stated before but this a new opportunity to revisit or explain any changes that you may have.

1. Will you, if you become Premier, ask the AUC (Alberta Utility Commission) to await their final decision on the placement and the work needed on the Heartland Transmission lines until Bill 50 (especially the electrical transmission area) is revoked and a formal impact assessment study is done?  This assessment would include revisiting the real need for such a huge electrical line, true costs other than Altalink's and Epcor's stated costs for burying and above ground lines, and finally but most importantly commit to burying the lines where there is high density population and schools (This also means the 200 meter extra setback that is also proposed).

 2. Will you commit, as Premier, that the Strathcona Community Hospital be built and be operating in a timely matter as a full treatment active hospital including obstetrics and medical surgical suites? This hospital would be a solution for you and the residents of Alberta north and south by relieving pressure off emergency rooms, be a center of excellence for diagnostics for Medivacs to fly into our Strathcona County airports (Josephburg or South Cooking Lake), also a center for possible clinics that residents are using in BC or USA. We are number 1 for live births in the Capital Region and we are in the center of the Industrial Heartland where a sealed emergency room is needed to be in place in case of an industrial incident occurring. We need it commitment to this hospital and NOT a "shelled-in" commitment.

3. Will you commit to supporting the BRIK 2 program and value added for the industry we have in the Heartland? We need to keep our jobs and refined oil in our Province! This includes Alberta Transportation reassessing the roads where heavy loads and traffic volumes for industry are effected.

These topics are crucial to this Municipality and impact thousands of people here and in our wonderful Province.

God Bless. I look forward to your answers.

Linda Osinchuk

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hospital BBQ?

Council and I have been invited to a BBQ on September 27th by Ellis Don and the Minister of Infrastructure on the site of our future hospital. Council is in Chambers that day and will not be able to attend until after 6pm at the earliest. I am curious as to the reason behind this invitation. I am anxiously awaiting for any kind of official update from the Alberta Government.

The residents of Strathcona County deserve this. We deserve some show of respect!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hearthland Transmission Study Update

I am working, as chair of the Alberta Industrial Heartland Association board, to highlight the importance of transportation corridors, overpasses, road upgrades, and park and ride busing to the industrial facilities. Traffic flow, heavy loads and prevention of congestion are issues we are proactively working on to find solutions to.

Along with working with the Capital Region Board, these initiatives are important to communicate to Alberta Transportation and our new Premier.

Industry is an economic engine for the future of our province!


Strathcona Hospital in the News

I am cautiously optimistic regarding the Minister of Health's statement. My intent is to continue to impress the importance of having a "full" active treatment hospital. Not only "shelled-in" spaces but actual concrete plans to have a fully finished product.

I am publicly requesting communication from Health Minister Zwozdesky confirming his announcement regarding our "full service, acute care, community-based, 72 bed hospital."  As of today, my office has not yet received any communication about the hospital.

I once again re-state that I would look forward to working with the Minister and our two MLAs in achieving this common goal.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PC Provincial Leadership Race

Congratulations to the top 3 candidates who have proceeded to the second ballot.

To all candidates, it was a race well run and thank you for having put your names forward and had your voices heard.

To the three remaining candidates, I am very interested in hearing your stand on Bill 50, specifically burying the transmission lines as well as completing the promised "acute care" Strathcona hospital. Your support of our local industry and their role as key economic drivers for Alberta is also a very important issue.

These issues are critical to our community. I hope to be able to meet and further discuss these with all three candidates.

I encourage Strathcona County residents to take a keen interest in the final choice of our next Premier and leading into our next provincial election.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


Dear Residents,

After a lengthy and intense discussion surrounding traffic safety in Strathcona County, County Council passed a motion to cease photo radar operations within one year.  The vote of 5 to 4 directs Strathcona County Administration to phase out the photo radar vehicles and stand alone device by September 1, 2012.  This policy change does not affect “red light” intersection cameras as they will remain active and in place.  Photo radar will remain in place until that time.

Reasoning for this:

  • Five (5) new enforcement officers were approved to be hired and trained.  These enforcement officers will provide additional traffic safety services not currently allowed within the confines of the photo radar contract. This will provide the driver immediate feedback. These officers will also be able to enforces other infractions that a camera cannot do. This should be completed by September 1, 2012.Current photo radar contract needs to be dealt with.
  • The current photo radar contract needs to be dealt with.
Let me be clear; we are encouraging safe roads and safe driving, and we will continue to monitor speeding in our community.  Demerit points are a greater deterrent than a letter received three weeks later in the mail.

We are proud to have listened to our residents and make effective changes where needed.  It is not about revenue, it is about instilling reassurance to our community that this is the right thing to do!