Only a handful of people came out to listen to Alberta Party leader Greg Clark speak at the Beatty House last Wednesday, but those in attendance seemed keen to learn more about the Party and provided insightful comments and questions of their own.
Clark, who was elected leader of the Alberta Party on Sept. 21, 2013, got his first taste of politics when he worked in the Alberta Legislature for Leader of the Official Opposition Laurence Decore.
After years of working in the business world as an entrepreneur he became concerned about the direction he saw Alberta heading. He felt that both the style and substance of politics seemed disconnected from Alberta values.
With this in mind, his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in, and he put his energy and political savvy into turning the Alberta Party into a well-managed government that provided world class services in the present, while planning carefully for the long term.
Clark believes the Alberta Party’s with its fresh set of values and vision is what the province needs to realize its vast potential and create new opportunities.
During his presentation Clark listed the Party’s core values which include prosperity, fiscal responsibility, social responsibility, sustainability, democracy and quality of life.
Irene Lovell said she believes quality of life needed to be a top priority and not listed at the end, but Clark said everything on the list was of equal importance.
Ken Stemo questioned how the Alberta Party would raise revenue.
“We need to get Alberta off the resource roller coaster,” said Clark. “I don’t think there’s a magic money machine out there. We need to go back to a progressive income tax. If you make more money, you pay more in income tax.
He said he expects the PCs to announce a bright financial picture for Alberta.
“We are about to see them say ‘happy days are here again’, but what we’re missing in this province is a long-term vision.”
Clark believes the health care system now in place is hospital based.
“We need to have a different mindset and a different attitude,” he said. “How are we going to make sure Albertans are as healthy as they can be.”
Clark is opposed to Jim Prentice’s refusal to increase Alberta’s Carbon price.
“We need a government that is willing to lead and we need a higher carbon tax than we have. Interestingly enough, industry wants it, too,” he said.
Gayle Rondeel questioned Alberta’s control of the oil sands.
“Don’t you think Alberta has lost control of the oil sands already,” she said. “Is there even an Albertan up there?”
Repealing Bill 50 and providing consultations, not just information sessions is how The Alberta Party would help landowners retain their rights, he said in response to Lovell’s question about what the party would do to help landowners.
“We are a party for all Albertans. We want to give people an energetic, enthusiastic reason to vote. There is nothing we can’t do as Albertans. What I’ve seen from the Liberals is too much negativity. They have failed to capture the imagination of the Liberals.
“I like how you are shooting to be a government party, not the opposition,” said Scott Ellis.
Clark said the long-term plan of the Alberta Party is to be in power by 2020 and have six MLAs in the legislature by 2016.