April 2017 Community Newsletter

01 Apr April 2017 Community Newsletter

The spring sitting of the Legislature began March 2nd with the Speech from the Throne. In it, the government outlined their agenda, including cuts to school fees, capping electricity rates and formalizing the phase-out of coal-fired power by 2030.

While I agree with some of their ideas, in particular relief for families paying some of the highest school fees in the country, there doesn’t seem to be a plan to pay for these promises; or at least no plan beyond unsustainable levels of debt.

I acknowledge there are no easy answers to the economic challenges facing our province. As the economic downturn moves into its third year, many people are wondering what the future holds for our province. Will the government ever balance the budget, let alone start to pay back our debts? Will a new government slash public spending, lay off hundreds if not thousands of public servants and decimate front-line public services? Or is there another path?

Earlier this spring I released a white paper called Pathway to Prosperity, which you can find on the Alberta Party Caucus website at www.abpartycaucus.ca. I believe it’s time to consider all options, and to ensure we ask Albertans what they think along the way, which is why I’m asking for your feedback. Please contact my office at the information below to share your thoughts on this document or anything else you’d like to tell me.

In terms of specifics, I believe the solution should include finding savings in government spending without hurting front-line services. It means ending our reliance on unpredictable resource revenues once and for all, while ensuring our energy industry remains strong. It means making our tax system as efficient as it can be and creating an attractive investment climate. I believe Albertans should keep more of their hard-earned money and we should examine new, stable sources of revenue to provide sustainable funding for core public services.

Alberta can once again become a vibrant province that attracts people from all over the country and around the world. We can have a robust economy, efficient government, clean environment, innovative education and healthcare systems, a great quality of life, and a community that values diversity. We can continue to have a world-leading energy industry while also taking a step into the next economy.

All of this is possible if we’re willing to think differently. It’s time for Albertans to do what we’ve always done; ask difficult questions and not be afraid of the answers.

BUDGET TOWN HALL

I need to hear from you, my constituents. What is important to you as our province moves forward? I’m hosting a Budget Town Hall on Saturday, April 8th from 10:00 to 12:00 noon at the Marda Loop Communities Association (3130 16 St SW).  Join me there to share your thoughts on the government budget that was tabled mid-March, and to let me know what your priorities are. For more information on the town hall visit www.calgaryelbow.ca.

As always, you can contact my constituency office any time at (403) 252-0346 or calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca.