Current MLA and Clive area resident Ron Orr is hoping to return as the UCP candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka, but must face a nomination race first.
What prompted you to run for the nomination?
A fair number of people have asked me and encouraged me and expressed hopefulness that I would run. When people feel you have something to offer, I listen to that and I feel like people have invested a lot in me. I’d sooner be involved doing something and trying to make the world a little bit of a better place as long as I still can.
What are the issues you will target to win the nomination?
I think Albertans want no surprises this time around. The current NDP government was elected and then launched a massive agenda of change that they really didn’t campaign on and a good part of it people didn’t really want. I think Albertans want some experienced and capable leadership.
What do you believe are the issues affecting voters in this constituency?
I think that means we listen to what they have to say rather than tell them what they think they want to hear and have some integrity in the whole process. I think Albertans also want economic stablility and prosperity. It means good stable jobs, it means family security for people and that comes from a positive business environment..
How would you work to address those issues during the next election or as MLA, should you win the nomination?
Have sound fiscal management rather than plunging us endlessly into all kinds of debt. I also truly believe that Albertans want a smaller government and I think people truly want equality and fairness before the law and from the government — everywhere from social issues to education to parental rights. I also believe when politics gets extremely confrontational, extremely polarized, that doesn’t benefit anybody.
What are your thoughts on the latest decision regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline?
Hurrah to a pipeline because we needed it, but obviously there are questions and doubts yet. We’ve taken a step, but not the one I would have preferred. We had a private company sitting there ready and the problem was purely political. The challenges of many of those issues have not gone away and they’re still going to have to be resolved.
Do you feel repealing the carbon tax will help and why?
Absolutely we need to repeal this, but the reason is Albertans were never given the opportunity to have a say. The way it was presented was inappropriate, so therefore it needs to go. It’s also not economically what it was originally supposed to be. It was to be tax-neutral and it isn’t, it’s just added a massive burden to Albertans and driven inflation and impacting lower income people in significant ways.
If the carbon tax is repealed, what would you propose to replace that revenue?
What we need to do is return to an economic environment where we are not against business, but we want to encourage a climate of business investment and that generates wealth — both for people and the government. That would have to be a balance of our current taxes and quit spending money on things that aren’t getting us anywhere.
What is your proposed solution to the present rural crime issues?
It’s a combination of things, and I credit the new head of RCMP K Division for some of the changes and policies made, but I also think there is a part for people to play. We need to be careful. We need to lock our stuff up, we need to record serial numbers, we need to put in security systems because times have changed and there are more people in Alberta. The government also needs to be more proactive in filling all the judge positions, having enough court time and space to speed up the processing plus we need a cultural change that protects the rights of citizens as well as that of the criminals.
What makes you stand out from the other candidate?
I have a fair bit of experience working with community groups and people. I have a fair bit of business experience, so I know those realities.
Why do you think you are the candidate for the job?
I’ve had a term of experience already. I know how this government’s working, I understand how the legislature works and I’ve worked really hard for these constituents and I’ll continue to do that.