Two weeks ago our Progressive Conservative caucus toured the Li Ka Shing centre for health research, a world-class facility, where renowned cancer researchers are refining life-saving cell transplant surgery. We were proud to learn about the state-of-the art centre and the globe-leading professionals it has attracted to our province. When one of the scientists told us that the heritage fund is the reason for the centre’s existence, I felt a surge of pride for a government that had the vision to create this kind of fund. Then I grew concerned because I’m all too aware that many people have misrepresented the heritage fund. So let me offer some facts to clear up the record.
Alberta’s Heritage Fund was always used to invest in Alberta for Albertans. Revenues earned by the fund were invested in many ways, including to develop projects like the Li Ka Shing centre for health research innovation, the University hospital, the Tom Baker cancer centre, and Kananaskis Country, and the list goes on and on and on. Today these quality-of-life investments that exist all around us continue to provide value and have helped keep Alberta’s taxes low. And there’s more, including millions of dollars in endowment funds to support medical research, educational scholarships, addiction programs, energy research, and much, much, much more.
It is provincial lore that Premier Lougheed had the vision to establish our fund and set Alberta on a course that has earned envy around the world. This is not a myth; this is the truth. As a member of the heritage trust fund committee I will guard against misrepresentations that can be used to change the fund’s course. Mr. Speaker, the $18 billion in this fund today belongs to Albertans. They need to know that its true worth over the decades has been much, much more, and they need to value it accordingly. I hope to help them do that.
Thank you, sir.
On May 31, 2016, Mike Ellis spoke to the legacy of Alberta's Heritage Fund.
PC Caucus in the Legislature
PC Caucus members have proposed and passed bills, amendments and motions. Read about them here.