When Member of the Legislative Assembly Derek Fildebrandt looks back on 2016, he sees it as a successful year.
Since taking office in 2015, Fildebrandt has always made a constructive effort to get his corner of the province recognized by the NDP in Edmonton.
“The biggest accomplishment that I saw last year was getting the necessary funding for the upgrades needed at the Strathmore Hospital,” said Fildebrandt. “It was promised for over a decade and went on without action for too long.”
Back in July, more than $2.8 million was awarded to the hospital for upgrades to expand the emergency department, increase the number of treatment spaces and improve other patient care areas. The hospital has the second busiest emergency room in rural Alberta.
“It was very badly needed,” added Fildebrandt.
Along with helping out the hospital, Fildebrandt is also proud of keeping pressure to repeal Bill 6, a bill that would impact farmers and ranchers in the province.
“We kept the pressure up on Bill 6, working with everyday farmers and ranchers in the conversation on the regulations of the Bill and the ones that still haven’t been proclaimed,” said Fildebrandt. “Bill 6 still hasn’t come into effect, which I think is a positive thing. We are committed to repeal Bill 6 even after the next election and replace it with something a little bit more reasonable”
Transitioning into the New Year, Fildebrandt claims to repeal legislation of carbon tax and the NDP heavy-handed attack on the province’s oil and gas industry.
Seeing the NDP planning to take on $14 billion in new debt this year came as a shock to the Shadow Finance Minister. He intends to keep an eye on the oil and gas industry; he also plans to undo the NDP agenda moving forward.
“Most of the finance issues tend to have a relatively equal application across the province,” said Fildebrandt. “Every single constituency benefits from a balanced budget, getting taxes back to a reasonable level and getting spending under control.”
Heading into his third year in office, the job hasn’t been quite as expected for the native of Ottawa.
He constantly tries to spend as much time with the constituents as he can, listening to their concerns, and making sure they don’t get too wrapped up with what the media and political advisors and Edmonton bubble are concerned about.
Spending several hours in his truck driving across the province speaking to people, Fildebrandt doesn’t get tired of the long days travelling.
“There are physical conservative priorities that I was elected to stand up for and it’s been an honour to do that as the cabinet minister of finance for the Wildrose Party at a province-wide level,” said Fildebrandt.