Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s great to be back in the Legislature with my Progressive Conservative colleagues, working to find solutions to the issues that matter most to Albertans. One of those issues, no doubt, is the state of Alberta’s finances. The low oil prices have done a number on the provincial treasury, and the Finance minister has only hinted that the deficit would be over $10 billion. He wouldn’t say it out loud, but the Municipal Affairs minister did this morning, interestingly enough.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the NDP government is not to blame for the price of oil. They are, however, completely to blame for their own failed policies. These policies include an increase in personal and corporate taxes, royalty uncertainty, a $3 billion carbon tax, a $15 minimum wage, and absolutely no spending restraint. On top of that, they are racking up massive debt, with no plan to ever pay it back. These policies kill jobs, drive out investment, and lower our credit rating. NDP policies, Mr. Speaker, are making a bad situation much worse. Government needs to correct their course now to protect Alberta. Every day the NDP delays in reducing spending means bigger and more severe cuts later. We only need to remember Bob Rae’s NDP government in Ontario to know that lesson.
Our Progressive Conservative caucus will bring forth pragmatic, common-sense solutions, something sorely lacking from both the government and the Official Opposition. Unlike parties to our left and to our right, PCs are focused on Albertans rather than on political ideology. Our PC caucus will promote job and economic growth with smart, fiscally conservative policies while having the courage to compassionately tackle complex social issues. The PC Party is Alberta’s conservative party that believes all Albertans, no matter who they are, are equal. That, Mr. Speaker, is why this government would do well to take the PC caucus’s advice.
On March 9, 2016, Ric McIver considered alternatives to government policy:
PC Caucus in the Legislature
PC Caucus members have proposed and passed bills, amendments and motions. Read about them here.