The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer contacted all candidates running for the Maskwacis Wetaskiwin constituency, asking them the same questions. Their responses will be published as soon as they are received.
Rick Wilson, United Conservative Party
1. Please tell the readers a bit about your background, including family such as spouse and children and occupation.
First let me introduce myself as the UCP Candidate for Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin. I was born and live on a family farm west of Wetaskiwin. I was raised with strong family values (41 years of marriage to my wife Rose) with a history of being a contributor to Alberta. Our farm has been recognized as an Alberta Century Farm and Ranch for over 100 years of family farming since 1902.
I have served the community in various capacities: County councillor (County of Wetaskiwin No. 10), school board trustee (Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools), chairman regional health authority (Crossroads), Western Canadian Agricultural Debt Review Board, local farmer and local business owner. My vast and varied experience has uniquely equipped me to represent the constituents of the Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin Constituency.
2. What do I feel is the key issue in this provincial election?
Let’s get the economy back on track! When the economy is doing well everyone is doing well.
The number one issue most Albertans are concerned about is the economy and jobs. We have been stifled and suppressed by the lack of access to markets for our energy products. Make no mistake that Alberta is an energy producer and energy is the main driver of our economy. We are world class leaders in petroleum engineering and technology and a lot of that expertise and jobs have been chased out of Alberta. We want it back!
A strong economy is good for everyone!
A strong economy is good for health care because we need hospitals, clinics and skilled service providers.
A strong economy is good for Education because we need schools and dedicated teachers to deliver the best education for our children and young people.
A strong economy is good for families. Families that are sound financially are healthier, happier and safer. Strong families create stronger communities.
One of the most widely criticized pieces of Legislation to hit Alberta was the implementation of Bill C-6. Better known as the Farm Unionization Bill. Farm Safety is absolutely necessary and every farmer recognizes the challenges and risks in Agricultural Production. We need to be responsible, but exercise common sense in developing legislation to protect Farm Workers who often are family members and volunteer neighbours. To have effective safe Farm Labour Laws we must involve the stakeholders. The means, above all, the Farmer must be involved in meaningful consultation.
The Education of our children and youth is at risk because of the current and proposed changes that the Alberta Department of Education is implementing. Parents need to get involved and get educated about the new school curriculum that Minister of Education, David Eggen is introducing to our children. Only a few short years ago the Department of Education recognized that “parents are the primary educators of the children”. That has been changed to ‘the parents are the primary advocates of the children.” Do you want to have the Government decide how your children should be educated? Or do you, the parents, want to decide how schools should teach your children?
3. Why did you want to run in this election?
I am concerned about debt being passed on to our kids. People want hope. I want to get to work and be a part of creating that for everyone.
4. How well do you think Alberta’s Economy has been handled over the last four years?
We were promised a positive surplus money and are now looking at a $74 billion deficit.
5. If elected as an MLA, what is your first goal?
Repeal the Carbon Tax. The United Conservative Party has a detailed platform making us ready to hit the ground running. It represents the best of our proud Alberta heritage and our desire to build a prosperous and inclusive future.
Albertans have told us what they want and we have listened!
They want a strong voice in Confederation and place where people are free to pursue their aspirations and to live their values.
With your support, here is how we will turn the economy around: Revitalize the Alberta Advantage. Get pipelines built and restore investor confidence in Alberta; Repeal the disastrous Carbon Tax; Stop punishing people for being successful; Get control of the debt so we are not burdening future generations; Work with government departments to look for efficiencies which do not affect front line staff; Create a business-friendly environment and eliminate Government “Red-Tape”so investors will once again see Alberta as the best place in the world to invest their money and utilize technology and engage our educated and intelligent youth to help diversify our economy.