Representing the New Democratic Party for the Lacombe and Ponoka riding, Doug Hart is running for MLA for the fifth time. Hart has worked in the healthcare industry as a nurse as well as a health care instructor. Throughout his career and lifetime he has always been able to call Ponoka home.
What is something you are most proud of about your party?
I am most proud of the fact that the new democrats are trying to get Alberta off the royalty rollercoaster. We have talked about it for a generation. We’re too reliant on the revenue that we generate from oil royalties. We need to diversify the economy and I am proud of the job that Rachel Notley and the NDP are trying to do by supporting our oil industry and simultaneously generate new business opportunities.
What policies or initiatives do you hope to continue in Alberta?
I think we will continue to invest in Alberta in services that Albertans require, the infrastructure that we need to move the province ahead, in support of our oil sector and in support of other industries like agriculture and forestry. I think that there is more we can do to provide value-added opportunities in agriculture and forestry for people to have other job opportunities in Alberta, move away from the stripping ship, and finish our projects at home.
What would you say is an area of expertise within your party?
I think we work the hardest to provide services that Albertans need. Daycare, home care, elder care, I think those are the kind of thing that the NDP excel at. I think that we care about people across the lifespan, from the cradle to the grave if you wish. Other parties would rather pay less taxes and have money in their jeans and be able to pay for those things as they need them but we know that there are things that individuals cannot purchase for themselves like a new hip or even laser surgery. That’s when society has to share in the expenses of those essential services.
What is your attachment to this area?
I started grade one in Ponoka, I graduated from the Ponoka Composite Highschool, I took the psych nursing program in Ponoka, and I took my RN in Red Deer and worked in Ponoka. I taught the Red Deer College nursing bachelors degree program and lived in Ponoka. I was the academic vice president at Grand Prairie college and lived in Ponoka. I raised my four kids here. They all completed university education and none of them had a student loan when they graduated. My wife and I continue to live in the county of Ponoka and look after our pets and our garden.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I am passionate about sustaining small-town Alberta. Small towns are the economic engine of the province. We produce all of the oil, all of the agricultural products, all of the forestry that’s exported and generates a huge amount of dollars for our economy. Then, we struggle to keep our libraries open and provide services for our elders when our kids move away to Edmonton or Calgary because of educational opportunities not being available and job opportunities not being available.