Over the past several weeks, provincial candidates have been sharing their thoughts and opinions on the future of Alberta as they campaign for the votes we will cast on Tuesday, May 5. As this article: Missing woman’s bleak fate should haunt us all, from the Edmonton Journal yesterday notes, there has been very little mentioned in those speeches of the social issues that plague our province.

To determine where best to cast our votes, each of us need to research. We must ask candidates what they will REALLY do to make a marked difference on wicked social problems which leave women exposed to poverty, homelessness, addictions, racism, exploitation and violence.

Such conditions are prevalent among the women the YWCA supports and meaningful long-term solutions are well understood. We encourage YWCA supporters; women with whom we work as well as our donors, to dig in to the party platforms and understand how each will address some of the following needs:
· More – much more – safe, affordable, supportive housing
· Universal childcare
· Decent, livable wage and benefit income levels
· Access to education including skills upgrading and employment training
· Greater access to addictions and mental health treatment

Use social media to reach out, send an email or speak to them directly, but ask the hard questions. If those of us who truly believe ending these systemic issues is possible don’t keep asking the questions, who will speak up for those who can not?