June 2017 Community Newsletter

02 Jun June 2017 Community Newsletter

BUDGET TOWN HALL UPDATE

On April 8th I held a budget town hall.  The event was attend by people from all parts of the political spectrum who provided their input on the current state of Alberta’s finances. The common theme I heard at the event was that the government is on an unsustainable path and that we cannot continue to go further into debt.  Our continued reliance on unpredictable resource revenues means that we will never be able to balance the budget.

Participants were presented with the question of how to increase provincial revenues in order to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resource revenue. When asked how they felt about revenue options, their preferences where ranked in the following order:

  1. Carbon Tax fully offset by Personal and Corporate Tax reductions and innovation tax credits
  2. PST with cuts to Personal and Corporate Tax
  3. New user fees: Toll roads, health care premiums, etc.
  4. PST on top of other taxes
  5. Carbon Tax on top of existing taxes
  6. Increase Corporate Tax
  7. Increase Personal Tax

 

I also asked those in attendance to identify where felt they sat on a continuum of budget options from our current deficit path to the sustainable path to cutback path. I overwhelmingly heard people want to find savings in government spending without hurting front-line services. This includes:

  • Cap on non-renewable resource revenue used for core programs
  • Constrain operational spending by 1%
  • Public sector pay freeze
  • Rethink tax system to reward individual effort and increase investment
  • Shift to new, sustainable revenue sources to fund core programs

 

I would like to thank the volunteers and everyone who attended. I appreciated receiving the feedback and would like to hear from all constituents on the issue of our provincial finances.  Please feel free to contact my office at calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca with your thoughts.

NEIGHBOUR DAY

This year marks Calgary’s fourth annual Neighbour Day. The event was created to recognize and remember how Calgary’s communities came together to help their neighbours after the 2013 flood. Held this year on June 17th, Neighbour Day is a time for Calgarians to celebrate our strong community spirit by organizing community events such as garden parties, picnics or neighbourhood clean-ups. Contact your local community association for information on events in your neighbourhood. Each year I try to attend as many events as possible in Calgary-Elbow.  If your community is having an event, please let me office know by calling 403-252-0346 or by email at calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca.