Chantelle de Jonge of the UCP is Chestermere-Strathmore's new MLA, and the unofficial provincial results show a UCP majority government of 49 seats to the minority NDP's 38 seats.

Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule hopes de Jonge serves as a voice for our community at the provincial level and highlighted three main priorities he'd like to see addressed by this newly formed government. For all three of these priorities, he highlighted the importance of de Jonge's role in making sure our community's concerns are heard.

1. Affordable Living

Fule said affordable living in Strathmore is of great importance and also a part of the Town's strategic plan and pointed specifically to the potential new seniors' lodge as the Town's current main focus. Saying "there's a lot of efforts that have gone on" at the local level with groups like the Wheatland Housing Management Board, Fule hopes the provincial government does their part in helping this senior's lodge come to fruition.

"That's something that's really important as far as our seniors in the county and town who may need to come to a lodge for their care and their living. We're hoping that we can have some really good positive information come to us as far as the approval of a potential new lodge."

2. Community Health and Wellness

Like most of the province, Strathmore is struggling with a doctor shortage, and Fule said we need more doctors and would also like to see more services offered at our hospital. Fule believes additional services at the Strathmore Hospital benefits more than just our community, as it would also take the stress off larger centres like some Calgary hospitals that may be taking in patients from rural communities like Strathmore because we don't have those services.

"I know the UCP government currently is using the town of Olds as a pilot program for surgeries in their rural hospital and we'd like to see something like that come to Strathmore, it might speed up certain surgeries and it may even attract young doctors who want surgical experience."

3. Financial Sustainability

Fule said Strathmore used to receive the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grants, but this program will end and be replaced by the Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) in 2024. With change comes uncertainty, and Fule said getting answers on what the LGFF will look like compared to the MSI is vi to the Town.

"We need consistency, and we need stability as far as knowing how much money will be coming annually to the Town of Strathmore to help us with certain capital projects."

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