Wildrose remains committed to protecting Alberta families

Is anyone else experiencing déjà vu?

Heather Forsyth

Interim Leader of Wildrose Party of Alberta

Guest Columnist

Is anyone else experiencing déjà vu?

It wasn’t long ago Alison Redford was warning us about a “Bitumen Bubble,” talking up new taxes, and complaining her government wasn’t making enough revenue to balance the books or avoid new debt.

Now, Premier Jim Prentice is talking about a “Price Trough” in oil, and he’s using it as an excuse to openly muse about increasing the price of everything for Alberta families.

Indeed, Premier Prentice is considering destroying what’s left of the Alberta Advantage by bringing in a sales tax, increasing income tax rates, returning health premiums and even implementing pop and gasoline taxes.

Despite the fact he swore new taxes were off the table when he ran for the leadership of the PC Party, Premier Prentice has opened the door to some dangerous precedents that are patently un-Albertan.

This government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and in these tough economic times, its important Premier Prentice understand this before he makes any brash decisions that will cause harm to Alberta.

The PCs couldn’t balance the books with $120 oil, and they won’t be able to with $50 oil. The problem here isn’t the price of oil. Oil prices are cyclical. They go up and down. The waste around here, however, goes on forever.

Just last month my Wildrose colleagues and I took the government to task after we learned they spent $1 million on a Zamboni garage for a public skating rink that never got built. They built the garage, but not the rink. The garage, they say, will be used as a toolshed now.

This is sheer incompetence.

Before that, we sounded the alarm when we discovered Premier Prentice decided not to expand the government’s salary disclosure policy to all government Agencies, Boards and Commissions. Shortly thereafter, we discovered more than 10,000 employees at Alberta Health |Services are earning more than $100,000 per year.

We also recently called on the government to sell the Federal Building, the palace built for PC MLAs complete with the Premier’s penthouse suite, rooftop garden and movie theatre. This would save taxpayers almost half a billion dollars.

We’ve also called for an MLA wage rollback. The PCs, if you remember, voted themselves a raise, right after the last election.

But is Premier Prentice willing to look himself in the mirror to find savings, or will he pass it all on to the taxpayer? The first choice is more likely. Remember, Premier Prentice himself spends more than $4.3 million annually on salaries for his inner circle in Edmonton.

Now, Premier Prentice is considering breaking his own government’s fixed election law, and calling an illegal, expensive election, one year early, just to ensure the PCs remain in power.

This is not the kind of thing the government should be focusing on right now.

Premier Prentice needs to get serious about the economy, and stop musing about the idea of new taxes while he continues to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on things such as MLA offices, corporate welfare and political salaries.

Until then, Wildrose remains the only party in Alberta committed to not raising your taxes.

Alberta deserves a government willing to spend wisely, cut waste and save for the future, but Premier Prentice will go the other direction and ask families to pay for the mistakes of his party, before he asks anything of himself or his friends in government.

Wildrose has had a challenging few months, but I’m proud to say our mission continues. Our team has continued to do great work protecting Alberta families from this PC government.

That will never change.


Just Posted

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read