Summer has arrived.
Across our province, families are hitting the road to make the most of their vacations, rediscovering the great outdoors, joining local parades, and attending festivals. It’s that wonderful time of year when folks have a chance to reconnect with each other; for a few short months we are all Alberta bound.
Unfortunately, for far too many of us, it is not the Alberta we remember.
Over the past year, we have seen a sharp downturn in our energy sector spill over into every sector of our economy, causing steep recession. The province that once led Canada in growth now leads the country in employment insurance claims. The hardship this is placing on our friends and neighbours is real, and it is not slowing down. Alberta lost 40,000 jobs in May alone.
The NDP government has proven incapable of adapting to these changing circumstances, sticking with its high-tax, high-debt agenda come hell or high water.
In the past year the government has increased income taxes, business taxes, fuel taxes, beer taxes, and just about every fee imaginable. When they ran out of taxes to raise, they started inventing new taxes. These new taxes are hitting Albertans at exactly the wrong time, and stagnating the economy. As a result, the Province’s deficit is larger than projected, our debt rose to $19.5 billion, and taxpayers wasted $776 million on interest payments. Is it any wonder Alberta’s credit rating has been downgraded four times in a matter of months?
While the government continually finds ways to make the worst of a bad situation, our Wildrose Official Opposition is taking firm positions and providing real world alternatives. Here are just a few examples: We have launched an Equalization Fairness Panel so our province can finally get a fair deal from Ottawa. We’ve called for a referendum on the carbon tax. We compiled a 12-point Jobs Action Plan to reverse the damage of NDP policies and get Albertans back to work. We have begun the work necessary to bring Alberta’s books back to balance, demonstrating how to freeze spending while finding $2 billion in savings without hurting front line services.
The positions we take and the solutions we propose are motivated by our desire to bring this gut-wrenching recession to an end as quickly as possible.
Make no mistake; this downturn will come to an end, one way or another. Alberta’s greatest strength has always been Albertans. Even with the NDP’s anti-growth agenda, our faith in Albertans remains absolute. If Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau couldn’t keep us down, Premier Rachel Notley doesn’t have a chance.
The question is, when the recovery finally arrives, what kind of Alberta do you want?
Do you want a government that picks and chooses winners in the market, as well as in the labour force? Do you want a government that attacks Alberta’s strengths and exploits our divisions for political gain? Or, do you want a province where all Albertans have the chance to earn success on their own merits?
Over the past year, the NDP government has proven incapable of trusting and appreciating the abilities of Albertans. They’re white-knuckling the reins; failing to understand that our province was born to run.
To succeed in the 21st Century, our Wildrose Official Opposition believes Albertans must enjoy the kind of equality of opportunity that allows us to move forward together. We need a government that puts its full faith in Albertans. When that day comes, we will we be truly free to achieve our potential.
Our Wildrose Official Opposition’s vision for the future is as it has ever been: An Alberta, strong and free, where hard work and dedication bring new hope and new opportunity.
These values aren’t just rural values or conservative values, they’re Albertan values. Regardless of the NDP’s future intentions, Albertans recognize it’s time to get back to what works. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.
Please, enjoy your summer. Take some time to reconnect with family and friends, and if you have the chance, do something to help our friends and neighbours who need a helping hand.
We’ll get through this recession the same way we always have – together.
It sure feels good to be Alberta bound.
The proceeding was an authored message from Scott Cyr. The author’s original content has not been altered. Views & opinions expressed in this article are not those of this publication or its advertisers.