I want to take a few minutes to outline why we have taken the strategy we have this year in hopes that you will understand the messages well and see your agency as well as ALIGN in them. We hope you can use these messages as a foundation for your discussions with politicians in your constituencies. Our Government Relations Committee (GRC) developed this approach after meeting with some political experts and Paul McLoughlin at our AGM confirmed some of their thinking. At this point the polls show that the UCP has a high likelihood of wining an election in the spring 2019. But polls are only good at the time that they are taken, there are still a number of months to go and any strategy should include both or all parties. Having said that, there have been a few hints about the UCP we should pay close attention to:
- If the UCP does become the leaders of the government we will be looking at a whole new legislature so we should not expect that they have a structure as they are very inexperienced in governing as the NDP were when they got in.
- Currently the government is in the red zone so little to no spending is happening
- There is little investor confidence in either party
- The UCP will focus on competition; getting markets reactivated; and the private or outsourcing of delivery of services
- The NDP like government services but so far have support the human services contracted sector.
- UCP will shrink government, therefore a message of we are the best people to do the work should resonate
- There is no new money for either party. We need to argue for incremental increases to support infrastructure and operation in order to sustain the sector.
- Our agencies have established business practiced and can prove our services are professionally delivered and cost effective. We work for competitive prices and have good outcomes- we are well established.
- We need to remind parties that there is no saving in diminishing the sector as we help Albertans to remain out of hospitals, in their homes, look after their families; and are effective and efficient.
- Campaigns matter and you can ensure the candidate has good information.
Our action request is that nominees talk to their colleagues and make sure they understand the value of the sector and support it. We must be sustained into future.
As nominees are announced, please invite them to visit your agencies or go out and see them, educate people on the work you do for the community. The toolkit helps you with templates for letters. ALIGN will be sending out a newsletter to all candidates soon to ensure they hear from us, we will also be going to some of the platform committees and meeting with high profile politicians. Use the key messages as a foundation for discussion, you should see yourselves as part of a larger sector in there and can outline some examples of the good work you do in your community that the candidate will back and support.
Also encourage your staff to get out and vote!