A United Conservative Government Will Help Expand Civil Society Efforts By:
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• The “get ‘er done” spirit of Albertans means we don’t sit around waiting for the government to “solve” a social problem. We volunteer more hours and contribute more to charities than Canadians in any other province.
• One of the first principles of conservatism is that civil society should come before government, and that volunteer groups are generally more effective in preventing and reducing social problems, than a big, bureaucratic state.
• Sadly, all too often, the state gets in the way of simple efforts by community groups to help those in need. Some examples include:
• Pastor Elizabeth Karp of the Harvest Healing Centre Church decided to help the homeless in her community by creating a shelter. But the project was delayed by two years because regulations required her to install a $250,000 industrial sprinkler system. In the name of safety, people were forced to sleep outside in the winter.
• When thousands of Calgarians were displaced by the 2013 flood, women from a nearby Hutterite colony delivered hundreds of sandwiches to a temporary shelter, but city bureaucrats threw out the food because they didn’t comply with regulations.
Thousands of sad stories like these show why government should apply a softer hand to good-faith efforts by poorly-resourced community groups simply trying to help their neighbours.