Member of Legislative Assembly Report
By Brian Jean, MLA of Fort McMurray-Conklin
There’s no doubt, the challenges Alberta is facing are among the greatest in a generation. And right now, there are two very distinct visions for the future of our province.
The first is the one Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP government are offering. It includes a plan for our province that ignores fiscal reality, raises taxes and burdens Albertans with $58 billion of debt and $2 billion of annual interest payments to pay the banks on the loans Alberta takes. It’s a plan that includes credit rating downgrades and a new carbon tax that will cost $1,000 for the typical family.
Not only will this carbon tax make everything more expensive for families and hurt our economy, but it will also have a direct impact on charitable and non-profit organizations across the province.
Of the few exemptions under the carbon tax available, charities do not qualify.
These are the organizations that do the work on the front lines most impacted by the economic crisis our province is facing. They provide transportation to those who can’t afford to drive. Shelter to those without a home. Meals to those who aren’t able to put food on the tables.
All of these services require fuel, electricity and heat and the NDP carbon tax will make all of this much more expensive. Demand for services has never been higher but the NDP refuses to provide carbon tax exemptions for Alberta charities and non-profits.
The second vision for our province, the vision Wildrose is sharing with Albertans, believes so much more in the potential for our province.
We believe in Wildrose there is no work more important to protect than the work done by those in our charitable sector. The work done by men and women, who cook warm meals, offer up their homes and give freely of their time and money. It’s these Alberta values of neighborliness and compassion that should be reflected in our government.
It’s why we would put a stop to the NDP carbon tax that is just making things worse for Alberta families.
We fight for lower taxes because we believe families make better decisions with their own money than governments do. We also believe it’s important for Alberta to stay competitive globally so we remain a friendly place to invest in, move to and to start a business.
It’s why in our Jobs Action Plan we released last month we are fighting for a 20 per cent reduction in red tape, opposing new tax increases and providing incentives to get Albertans back to work.
We also believe Alberta’s government can do more with less. Right now, Alberta spends $2,000 more per capita than British Columbia for the same services, often with worse outcomes. In this budget year alone, we found $2 billion in savings that would not hurt front line services, such as reducing layers of bureaucracy through attrition.
Albertans can be assured Wildrose will keep fighting for these ideas, pressuring the NDP government to back down from many of their more risky experiments and giving a viable alternative that can aspire our province by the time of the next election.
Brian Jean is the Leader for the Official Opposition Party and Member of Legislative for Fort McMurray-Conklin. Jean can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 780-588-7979.