BY RON ORR
MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka
Alberta’s first quarter update is in and the numbers are shocking.
The NDP government officially revealed that it has plunged our province into a net-debt position for the first time since 1999.
Since 2008, the NDP and former PC governments have squandered a whopping $40 billion. Our savings are gone, and the government will slap a $3 billion carbon tax on all Albertans, which will come into effect on Jan. 1st.
The first quarter update is just the latest indicator that the NDP’s economic policies are making the worst of a bad situation, as the steepest recession since the 1980s continues to rage.
Even higher than projected oil prices are not minimizing the damage, as the government continues to play around with policies based on ideology rather than reality. It’s the kind of naïve political agenda that can only work if nobody notices the real world consequences.
The 100,000 Albertans who lost full time jobs over the past year noticed. The credit rating agencies noticed, downgrading Alberta’s credit four times in the past year.
The business world has noticed, withdrawing urgently required investment from our province at an unprecedented rate. Energy companies have noticed, shifting their resources to neighbouring Saskatchewan, and Main Street has noticed, laying off workers and closing the doors to multi-generational family businesses at an alarming rate.
The fact is that this government’s economic incompetence is being felt from Alberta’s deepest coalmine to its highest office tower. Sadly, it seems the only office that hasn’t noticed belongs to the minister’s offices in the Legislature.
Over the past year, Wildrose has fulfilled its duty to Albertans by both raising concerns with this government’s economic mismanagement and providing alternatives. We will continue to do so, because these policies have real world consequences.
This year, the NDP government will borrow more than $12 billion.
As a direct result, taxpayers will be paying more than $1 billion in interest payments. To put a billion dollars into perspective, the Terry Fox Foundation in all its 36 years of fundraising since 1980, has raised a total of over $650 million. To get to $1 billion will take another 20 years for a total of almost 56 years with all of Canada contributing.
This means that $1 billion will no longer be available for healthcare, education and other services.
It is a $1 billion drag on our economy at a time when every available resource is required to fight this recession.
It’s also an additional $1billion in the hole that the next generation must fill in order to achieve its potential. Continued deficit financing to prop up a short-sighted tax-and-spend agenda will only lead to more job losses and lost opportunities in every region of our province.
Albertans deserve better.
We deserve a competent government that understands the lessons of the past, a government capable of rising to face today’s challenges.
The NDP government may be oblivious to the consequences of their failed economic policies, but Wildrose is not.
Politics matter. Economic policies have real world consequences.
If you have issues or concerns you would like to discuss with me, please feel free to contact me at the constituency office- 403-782-7725 or by mail #101 4892 46 St., Lacombe. The postal code is T4L 2B4, or email at Lacombe.firstname.lastname@example.org.