Smith unveiling party's policies
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 11:58 am
As Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party members prepare to select a new leader this fall, the Highwood MLA is busy preparing for another vote she expects could occur soon after.
While provincial election legislation sets the next election date in spring 2016, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith believes it will come sooner.
“The loop hole in their fixed election law is even though they can go no later than May 2016, they could pull the plug earlier at any time,” she said.
She said the PCs have gone to the polls within six months after three of the last four leadership races are completed.
“We have to be prepared for that, which is why we’ve started our candidate nominations, we in tend to have 50 candidate in place by October,” she said.
The party is also in the process of unveiling its platform and has so far revealed its plans in five of nine policy areas.
According to Smith, the party prioritize spending, would balance the budget and not take on additional debt. She said the provincial government needs to be able to pay for necessities of today while saving for the future.
“If we can’t balance our budget now, with nine to 10 billion dollars of windfall revenues then there’s something wrong with this government.”
The party proposes spending $48 billion on capital projects over the next 10 years. Wildrose also proposes giving 10 per cent of all tax revenues to municipalities and 10 per cent of surpluses to municipalities for infrastructure.
She said the party would focus on fundamentals in education and continuing to build new schools would be a priority.
Wildrose would complete all school construction and modernization projects on the books and invest in a four-year, $2 billion school building program to complete 100 new schools and modernization projects by 2020.
The party would protect parental choice as a cornerstone of the education system and recognize the importance of keeping schools open in smaller communities and rural areas. Wildrose would invest $50 million per year on homecare and make increases each year to keep up with growth in enrollment in the program.
She said the Province needs to be able to demonstrate it is making real progress on its climate targets and reducing impacts on land to get the social licence necessary to build important pipeline projects.
“We’ve reinforced our commitment to actually making real green house gas and toxic emissions reductions,” she said.
She said the policies the party has unveiled shows it’s not as bad as it has been portrayed by its political opponents.