Letters: Alberta has bigger issues than pension plan

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I am trying to keep an open, logical mind regarding the Alberta government’s initiative to create a provincial pension plan.

I have done the survey, read many views in the Herald, listened to radio phone-ins and responded to feedback from friends in other provinces. The massive publicity campaign to promote the initiative is, in itself, worrisome.

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There are more crucial problems facing Alberta such as housing, the restructuring of AHS and the opioid crisis that demand focused attention.

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The federal government may very well change with a Conservative at the helm. So, I say leave well enough alone, an adage my mother taught me.

Mary Montomery, Calgary

A call for better addiction services

As Mount Royal University students, we express our deep concern arising from our examination of drug policies in Canada.

Our studies have illuminated the deficiencies in the current approach, particularly evident in Calgary where the absence of harm-reduction services and a hazardous drug supply have contributed to a staggering 21 per cent increase in deaths, totalling 1,104 in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period last year. This prompts us to urgently advocate for enhanced harm-reduction and drug treatment services as part of the ongoing health-care reform in Alberta.

A glaring issue in Calgary is the scarcity of supervised consumption services, crucial for offering addicts a secure space to use drugs without the risk of poisoning. The city grapples with a perilous drug supply, leading to increased overdoses.

Calgary must address this crisis by expanding supervised consumption sites beyond the lone facility at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre. While the current site provides a sterile environment and support services, the inherent risk lies in users bringing their own drugs from unreliable street sources. Without a safe supply and comprehensive harm-reduction services, addicts remain vulnerable to overdose and death.

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Calgary must lead with compassion, prioritizing harm reduction to build a safer, healthier and more compassionate city. Our collective commitment to evidence-based policies, increased resources and community education can pave the way for a more secure future for all residents.

Aiden Gow, Temka Batdelger, Zac Siudy, Brandon Ting

Mount Royal University

Keep health care out of politicians’ hands

Imagine going to the hospital for a medical emergency and having them say, “We cannot start treatment without the approval of politicians and those who believe in unscientific conspiracy theories.”

Ridiculous, but this is what Preston Manning suggests should happen when the next pandemic arrives.

It seems he and Premier Danielle Smith are pandering to the anti-vax/freedom convoy anarchists who threatened health-care workers, laid siege to Ottawa, closed border crossings and clearly have no understanding of history, the law and, especially, science. His recommendations, if followed, will guarantee that when the next pandemic arrives, our health-care system will be overwhelmed and all Albertans will suffer because of the irresponsibility of the misinformed.

Manning’s time and money would have been better spent trying to understand why so many people succumbed to internet trolls promoting nonsense.

Bruce A. McFaul, Calgary

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Originally posted 2023-11-23 13:00:33.