Mr. Speaker, limited government, regulatory efficiency, open markets, a world-class financial centre, a highly educated and motivated workforce: no, this is not today’s Alberta. Perhaps it could, should, and will be in the decades ahead, but not on our current course. Many have said that this is Canada’s millennium of the Pacific, so perhaps we need to learn something from our friends and trading partners in Asia.
Hong Kong, my second home, has a population of just over 7 million, negligible natural resources, and a GDP per capita almost $10,000 U.S. higher than Canada. Foreign direct investment is $15 billion higher than Canada. It has been recognized as the world’s freest economy for 21 consecutive years. What drives this bastion of economic success? An entrepreneurial can-do attitude, an unparalleled work ethic, low taxes, robust foreign investment, low unemployment, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and leveraging of human capital against global opportunities.
Does this sound familiar? Yes, this is the Alberta I grew up in, that allowed Albertans and newcomers from across Canada and around the world to strive and thrive, to know and feel what the Alberta advantage meant to them and their families, and to have hope for the success of their children, grandchildren, and for generations to come. Yes, this is the dreaded 44 years that we often hear maligned in this House, and, yes, the Alberta advantage was real. I’m here to tell you that it and Albertans are worth fighting for, and I intend to do just that. Let’s do the right thing to protect our planet, but let’s do it with the innovative, problem-solving, can-do, entrepreneurial work ethic that we are famous for across this country and around the world.
Alberta, let’s take our rightful place as a responsible, resourcerich leader in the global economy, but let us not kill the Alberta advantage in getting there. Most certainly, that is not the Alberta way.
On December 2, 2015, Richard Gotfried proposed new ways to expand our markets through innovation:
PC Caucus in the Legislature
PC Caucus members have proposed and passed bills, amendments and motions. Read about them here.