It’s always the right time to invest in the priorities of Albertans. Priorities such as nurses working on the front lines, teachers educating our future leaders, or crown prosecutors convicting violent offenders. This is how Albertans want government to spend their hard-earned tax dollars and all sides of the political spectrum should see the importance of that.
Earlier this week, Calgary Herald columnist Naomi Lakritz wrote a column that suggested that the NDP government is justified in their huge budget deficits and massive overspending because the Progressive Conservatives left Alberta in a terrible position.
To imply that the NDP is justified in racking up another $10.3 billion deficit to “fix what’s wrong with Alberta” is to say that Alberta has previously been a failed province. Frankly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. For decades, Alberta has been the best place to live, work and raise your family in Canada because of our commitment to maintaining the Alberta Advantage. It was previous PC governments that invested in important social programs like the provincial plan to end homelessness. PC governments invested billions every year into critical infrastructure that also created well-paying jobs. And it was Peter Lougheed that created the Heritage Savings Trust Fund that has pumped nearly $40 billion into funding essential programs and building infrastructure for future generations.
We were able to fund all these vital projects and services without piling a generation of debt on our children. For those wanting to “fix” Alberta, I assure you, our province may not be perfect, but it certainly isn’t broken.
But the fact that the NDP government will hit $71 billion in debt by the start of 2019 because of their out-of-control spending should be a serious concern for everyone. Not because we are funding vital programs and services for Albertans, but because we are funding the NDP’s agenda. Over $10 million to continue to sell the NDP carbon tax with expensive advertisements. Another $1.3 billion to accelerate the phase-out of coal, crippling entire towns like Hanna. $21.5 million to change the lightbulbs in your home. And who knows how much was spent on a lawsuit against Alberta-based power companies. These are not the values or priorities of Alberta families and the NDP is failing our communities by spending so irresponsibly.
The ongoing rhetoric from the provincial government is that Albertans only have two options: gutting public services or the NDP’s plan of over-the-top spending. Albertans know this is a false choice. We can and must take a balanced approach to funding the priorities of this province while not incurring billions in debt.
Whether it’s around the kitchen table or the cabinet table, Albertans know the importance of budgeting. They don’t choose between maxing out the credit cards and turning off the heat. This NDP government should make an effort in striking the balance that Albertans are calling for, because they are failing our province with their current plan.