With a strong passion for arts, culture, and the non-profit society, NDP candidate for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Robyn O'Brien says her focus is on helping families thrive.
Born and raised in Red Deer with a bachelors in Art History from the University of Calgary, O'Brien said she's especially proud of her parties work with the $25 a day daycare pilot program
Leader of the NDP Rachel Notley announced on Monday they plan to expand that child care program at a cost of 1$.5 billion over 5 years.
What policies are you looking to really stress during this election?
"From my years in the non-profit world in general for the past 7 years, I'm especially excited about the $25 a day daycare and childcare policy that's gone through recently. It's a really big game changer in terms of getting single parents and families who've had to make a choice between who goes back to work and who stays home, the option to do either...suddenly becomes an affordable option. I've been speaking to a lot of people are their doors who have had to choose between their careers, that they worked hard on, or staying with their kids, because they simply can't afford $300+ a day, or $2-4000 a month."
What is something you are most proud of about your party?
"Having cut child poverty in half over the last 4 years, that's another indicator of a healthy government. There's a lot of pieces that people may want to criticize, that's one thing they cannot. So I think if there is one thing that our Premier understands, it is what's important to families in this province, and how to get people the things that they need in order to make sure they are thriving in the home."
What is your area of expertise in your party/what are you most keen on?
"Non-profit work is definitely my primary focus and for a number of different reasons. With the childcare benefit for $25 a day, one of the requirements is that they are a nonprofit organization. So to individuals that are looking for these type of facilities in their community, I invite them to reach out to me, folks that are in my riding I invite them to reach out to me, because I would really love to help them see those nonprofits be created, that's something I have a lot of experience in and can help them do...Alberta has one of the largest growing tech industries in the country, if not the world, and it's growing really rapidly, and I know a lot of folks I've been talking to at the doors that were perhaps in the trades before and have an interest in tech. A lot of them have a tech background of some kind, and want to go back to school and train for that."
What do you think is most important to Lacombe area residents about your platform?
"Those epicentres around central Alberta are really growing fast and I know that there is a lot of families and resources available there for them, and I know that the $25 a day daycare would also enhance the lives of families in Lacombe, Blackfalds, Ponoka...these things are important to me, I grew up here. I'm from Red Deer originally but I've grown up all over central Alberta and I know the area well, and it's important to me that families thrive here. It's really important to me."
What is your attachment to this area?
"Born and raised in Red Deer, I did my undergrad in Art History at the University of Calgary, I've been in Edmonton where I founded and run my arts nonprofit, which is Alberta wide. Part of or our directive is to start to pull that resource, which is for low or no cost art support to individuals who struggle with mental health, to central Alberta. So that's part of my goal for being back and moving back to the area is trying to make a difference in the area that I want to raise my kids, and where my family still lives."