The newest candidate to enter the provincial political ring has identified crime, poverty and addictions as significant issues in her constituency that need to be addressed.
Longtime healthcare worker and educator Alana Ross officially announced her intention to seek the Saskatchewan Party nomination for Prince Albert Northcote on May 11. In her first interview with the Daily Herald, Ross said those three areas as the most common concerns she’s hearing from residents. She’s hoping to tackle those problems as new MLA.
“We see these cycles that are forming,” said Ross, who’s lived in the riding since 2010. “If we can develop a better understanding of that, it points us in the direction we need to go.”
Ross has 30 years experience in the healthcare field, primarily as a nurse, but also as a union representative and management team member. For the last eight years she’s taught Continuing Care Education to post-secondary students on weekends and evenings.
She said it was a privilege to work in both those sectors, and she’s planning to put the skills she learned there to good use in the political world.
“You have to have a plan and you have to act on that plan,” Ross said when asked how that experience as a teacher and nurse would aid her as an MLA. “You have to implement and then evaluate that plan. It’s a very good way to do problem analysis. I think that has helped me in being able to think my way through the healthcare system.”
Although Ross is a first-time candidate, she’s no stranger to politics. In 2011 she became the Saskatchewan Party’s riding president for their Prince Albert Northcote Constituency Association.
She’s also served on numerous boards and committees in the community, most recently on the Prince Albert Exhibition Association board of directors.
Those roles, and her job in healthcare, have required her to connect and engage with residents of all backgrounds, she explained. She said that will help her as an MLA.
“I’ve been a union rep in my earlier days in nursing, so I understand that side of working with the unions and then now in management I also understand the management of the union contract,” she said. “I think that’s very beneficial.”
When it comes to policy, Ross said the province’s healthcare system is strapped for resources. She applauded the move to a single Saskatchewan health region because it was increasing accessibility. However, she also said there is a need for more healthcare investment. She’s hopeful that a new hospital will be one of those investments.