Alberta’s first quarter update is in and the numbers are shocking.
Scott Cyr’s Message is a paid article, written by Scott Cyr. The article has not been altered from the author’s original content and does not reflect the views & opinions of Lakeland Connect Media Inc or its affiliates
The NDP government officially revealed that it has plunged our province in to a net-debt position for the first time since 1999. What does this mean? Simply, it means Alberta owes more in debt for the house that we all live in than it’s worth.
Since 2008, the NDP and former PC governments have squandered a whopping $40 billion. Our savings are gone, and the government will slap a $3 billion carbon tax on all Albertans, which will come into effect on January 1. That is quite the New Year’s gift for all of us.
The first quarter update is just the latest indicator that the NDP’s economic policies are making the worst of a bad situation, as the steepest recession since the 1980s continues to rage.
Even higher than projected oil prices are not minimizing the damage, as the government continues to play around with policies based on ideology rather than reality. It’s the kind of naïve political agenda that can only work if nobody notices the real world consequences.
Guess what? The 100,000 Albertans who lost full time jobs over the past year noticed. Our constituency noticed, local residents are seeing a record 10% unemployment rate. The credit rating agencies noticed, downgrading Alberta’s credit four times in the past year. The business world has noticed, withdrawing urgently required investment from our province at an unprecedented rate. Energy companies have noticed, shifting their resources to neighbouring Saskatchewan and out of country. And Main Street has noticed, laying off workers and closing the doors to multi-generational family businesses at an alarming rate.
The fact is that this government’s economic incompetence is being felt from our deepest oil wells to Calgary’s highest office tower. Sadly, it seems the only office that hasn’t noticed belongs to the minister’s offices in the Legislature.
Over the past year, Wildrose has fulfilled its duty to Albertans by both raising concerns with this government’s economic mismanagement and providing alternatives (see the Wildrose Party – 2016 Budget Sustainability Recommendations on www.wildrose.ca). We will continue to do so, because these government policies have real life consequences.
This year, the NDP government will borrow more than $12 billion. As a direct result, taxpayers will be paying more than $1 billion in interest payments. It is important to know that much of the money borrowed was just so that Alberta can keep the lights on.
What does a billion dollars buy today? To put it in perspective, it’s like the government demanding that every single Albertan to buy 1.5 million – round hay bales or 40,000 – F150 trucks or 10.5 million – one dozen orange roses every single year henceforth.
It is $1 billion no longer available for healthcare, education, justice and other services.
It is a $1 billion drag on our economy at a time when every available resource is required to fight this recession.
It’s also an additional $1 billion hole the next generation must fill in order to achieve its potential.
Continued deficit financing to prop up a short-sighted tax-and-spend agenda will only lead to more job losses and lost opportunities in every region of our province.
Albertans deserve better.
We deserve a competent government that understands the lessons of the past, a government capable of rising to face today’s challenges.
The NDP government may be oblivious to the consequences of their failed economic policies, but Wildrose is not.
Politics matter. Economies matter. Jobs matter. Albertans matter.
We need a government who remembers that putting ideologies over the best interests of Alberta will never work, not today, not ever.