Is Wildrose the Future for Alberta?

Pipestone Flyer

    Wildrose party leader, Danielle Smith, is hosting a Meet and Greet on Tuesday, April 15th from 7-9 p.m., at the Super 8 Hotel at 3820-56 Street in Wetaskiwin. The Meet and Greet gives Albertans a chance to bring up concerns and ask any questions that they may have. During a phone conversation, Smith talked about some of the ideas that the Wildrose have to make Alberta run more efficiently and be an even better place to live.

    One of the areas that the Wildrose would like to change is municipal funding. With its 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer Plan to give municipalities more funding with no strings attached. The 10/10 plan proposes to replace the 5 main infrastructure grants: MSI, Basic Municipal Transportation Grant, Green Trip, the Water/Wastewater grants, and the Strategic Transportation and Infrastructure Program. Danielle Smith says, “Right now we have a beginning model for how to get funds to our municipalities. If they happen to have a particularly influential MLA or Cabinet Minister, a municipality might have some luck getting grants but we think that’s a terrible way to fund our municipalities in the long term. We want to create a long term stable funding model based on a formula for a dedicated amount of money that’s predictable each year.”

    The premise of the 10/10 plan is that it would see the equivalent of 10% of provincial tax revenue flow directly to municipalities. Once a Wildrose government got the province back into a cash surplus (no longer draining savings or taking out debt), 10% of those surpluses would go back to municipalities as well. To ensure a fairly stable funding amount, instead of a formula connected to royalties, tax revenue would be used as a base. Combining this approach with a share of budget surpluses, the transfer increases with population and economic growth pressures. Wildrose is committed to ensuring that no community would be worse off under this plan. Any municipality expecting to receive extra funds from other special grant programs, would be helped by the creation of a transition fund that would guarantee no municipality receives less than they were planning on receiving.

    This style of funding quite simply lets municipalities to the job that they were elected to do. “The local government closest to the people is the one that is most responsive, but it is also the one that receives the least amount of tax dollars. If we’re going to ask for local communities to do more then we have to make sure that they get the proper level of funding.” 

    The areas that the Wildrose Budget 2014 makes recommendations are, leadership at the top, ending corporate welfare, eliminate ineffective bureaucracy and empower our front lines, zero based budgeting, strengthening the Auditor General’s office, investing and saving. “They are such obvious ways to reduce spending without impacting front line services and yet year after year instead of seeing the waste, entitlement and perks go down, we see it continue and even get worse,” Smith says.

    When asked about the recent scandals involving government spending Danielle Smith points out, “It wasn’t just the former leader that was abusing the government aircraft, or taking lavish international travel, it wasn’t just the former premier signing extravagant contracts for staff, these things all went through cabinet approval. The Sky Palace is another example of things that have a process for approval and nobody said anything. There is an attitude among the PC’s that the rules don’t apply to them and I think that what you see as a result of that is a lot of unnecessary waste of tax dollars that’s really alienating voters. We keep raising these issues to show that these issues are not going to be solved by just changing leaders.”

    “People are seeing that things have been good in Alberta despite some of the incompetence of our government and we can do better. Why should we settle for having a mediocre government? People are saying what more can we do, what are the opportunities?  What we are hoping to provide, is that alternative.”

 

Just Posted

Samson Cree Nation cuts ribbon on waste transfer station

$5.36 million facility almost operational

Pigeon Lake hosts fourth annual art show

Artists from all over Alberta met at Village at Pigeon Lake Aug. 10 and 11

G3 Canada grain terminal at Wetaskiwin

Plenty of work going on at grain terminal site near Wetaskiwin

Get familiar with tomatillos and jicama this week

Unusual vegetables offer tartness and starchiness

Media made gaffe with wrong photo: Pigeon Lake stakeholders

Photo of algae bloom with bacteria story created confusion, say community leaders

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Body of 19-year-old drowning victim recovered from Sylvan Lake

RCMP say the body was recovered the evening of Aug. 22.

Black bear ruins Alberta barber’s day

It’s not always a good idea to leave the door open

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Red Deer Rebels Training Camp begins Aug. 24

Rebels home opener will be on Sept. 21 against the Edmonton Oil Kings

Most Read