Time to speak up for urgent care: MacIntyre

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre says now is the time for Sylvan Lakers to make their voices heard.

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre says now is the time for Sylvan Lakers to make their voices heard about what they want to see in the upcoming provincial budget — namely, their need for an urgent care facility.

“This government is very desperate to look good in the first year in power, and they need to be seen as being people-centred, so it is an opportunity for the citizens of Sylvan Lake to join together and just stuff the mailbox,” he said, addressing Sylvan Lake Town Council during its regular meeting Monday night. “Email really doesn’t work very well, but letters in an envelope sent to the Minister of Health, that would speak volumes if there was 1,000 letters in their mailbox.”

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said he’s written letters to the provincial health minister on the town’s urgent care situation, and agreed with MLA MacIntyre’s assertion that the more sent, the better.

“It might be time to strike up our citizens and have them again write letters, because we do have a fresh government looking at this with fresh eyes,” he said. “It certainly is our number-one lobbying priority.”

MLA MacIntyre said he’s been meeting with Mayor McIntyre to discuss urgent care among other local issues and needs, such as the town’s ongoing water and wastewater situation.

While he encouraged councillors to approach him with further needs they’d like to see addressed, Coun. Matt Prete asserted that urgent care was undoubtedly the town’s most pressing need for the upcoming budget.

“The only one we really need to push for this budget is urgent care,” he said. “Water and wastewater, we’ve got a couple of years in the budget cycle … but out number-one issue by a long shot is urgent care.”

MacIntyre assured council that, as a citizen of Sylvan Lake, he too shared the same concerns as the rest of the community with regards to the matter, noting it would be “the big push” for him in the legislature this fall.

“We simply cannot wait anymore,” he said. “Enough is enough.”