A sixth candidate has come forward to represent the UCP in the Livingstone-Macleod riding in the next provincial election.

Education and health care are major reasons Shauna Oseen of High River decided to step up.

"What happened with COVID, the decline in our economy in our town and trying to get that back, trying to get out of this, there's so many issues with business, with our schools, with health care that COVID laid bare that were issues already and with COVID coming in it just made us that much more aware of the problems that we have in our society right now," she says.

Oseen wants to see parents to have more say in their children's education.

"We need to get back to our basics of what is important in the classroom like reading, writing and arithmetic, that we invest in our children's education to provide them with the resources they need to succeed,"

They need to be able to deal with cash and be able to balance a chequebook and learn how to work in a timely manner having accountability in the workforce and I think they need to learn some of those things in school and I think parents need to get more involved in that process."

When it comes to health care, she says COVID laid bare the continuing issues in health care like accessibility to physicians and wait times for procedures.

"We need to make sure we have access to quality care in a timely manner, dealing with the orthopedic backlogs, we're starting to see that now and by enacting or privately-owned but publicly funded clinics we can really get through these backlogs and get back on track, Oseen says.

Our ambulance services, we have some private ambulance services in our province that we could utilize to take care of patient transfers and other non-life-threatening issues, so people aren't waiting for an ambulance to show up in the timely manner."

Oseen also wants to see more doctors set up their practices in rural areas and says things seem to be going in the right direction, but it didn't happen overnight and won't be fixed right away but feels it's going in the right direction.

She says freedom is a fundamental right of all citizens, the cornerstone of our democracy and the foundation of society.

"We have to defend that freedom at all costs, and we have to assure that our government upholds and respects our rights and our liberties as well and we need to work together to create a more just and equitable society for everyone to be able to pursue their dreams and reach their potential."

"That goes into small business too, that small business has the freedom to start a business without all of the red tape and hoops that you have to jump through to get that business going again especially in High River, we went through the flood, and it was horrible to our town and then COVID hit, so we're struggling to get our businesses really hopping in the downtown."

She says the federal carbon tax is hurting everyone's bottom line especially agricultural producers.

Nominations close in the constituency Thursday Feb. 9 at 5:00 p.m.