Rural Crime, Cannabis and Health Care - MP Martin Shields update
Bow River MP Martin Shields (centre) poses with members of Strathmore town council during the regular council meeting of Feb. 21 where Shields gave an update on social and community issues facing many communities in Western Canada, including Strathmore.
Bow River MP Martin Shields came to the regular meeting of Strathmore town council to introduce himself to new members of council and to speak with the town council about issues where the federal government and local municipal government can work together to improve the lives of constituents.
“Rural crime is an issue,” said Shields. He noted that there are a number of similar issues across Western Canada. Shields explained that he has been attending town halls since December 2017 until March 2018 about the subject. As recently as last week a memorandum of understanding was signed between rural crime watch groups and the RCMP in Alberta in an effort to curb rural crime.
Shields also addressed the issue of the legalization of cannabis, which is slated for the fall of 2018.
He spoke of the challenges doctors are facing in the emergency room in relation of Marihuana. “July 1st is not a day to declare this legal,” he said. He also explained that it will take several months before provinces will be able to implement the new legislation.
The local MP also spoke about the feud between Alberta and British Columbia in regards to the Trans Mountain Pipeline. “The government has said this is a national priority,” said Shields, speaking of how Alberta oil is shipped to markets.
A not widely reported issue Shields also reported on was the potential for changes to the Canada Food Guide. He noted that there could be plans to have warning labels on certain dairy products. “We all want to be healthy,” he said. But he cautioned between making preferential changes between plant and meat proteins. Shields also explained that council that he has had talks with the federal health minister about palliative care and hospices. “They've got money on the table,” he said. Shields, the former Mayor of Brooks, explained the 10-year trail it took for that community to receive dialysis services.
He noted that Strathmore should foster partnerships with communities like Siksika First Nation in terms of dialysis services, “because it may be the only option you've got,” he said.
He also praised the Strathmore Municipal Library for their renovations and grand opening. “You are a critical service,” he said. Shields was also recognized by Councillor Denise Peterson for his efforts speaking before and in putting forward names for local people to testify before the Committee for the Status of Women in 2017.