The Issues

Balancing the Budget

In the past The Alberta Advantage has included lower taxation for our citizens because we have traditionally carried very little debt and controlled spending within a balanced budget. (read more or expand toggle) Albertan’s province wide are concerned about;

  • ballooning provincial debt approaching $96 million dollars
  • billions we are spending each year on interest to service that debt
  • reckless deficit spending that far exceeds what we bring in provincially
  • how we will pay for the current government’s fiscal actions

This debt load and high taxation is not a legacy we want to pass on to our children. We must take a stand for controlled spending, balanced budgets, prudent saving and overall debt reduction to remain not just an economically viable province, but a prosperous place for all Albertans. It is imperative we reignite the Alberta economy to ensure government is not propping up the economy on the backs of tax payers. We must support economy, so Albertans are empowered to get back to meaningful sustained work and industry building. This is accomplished by creating a tax competitive environment and careful spending of our limited resources.

Albertan’s place a high value on healthcare, quality education and key social safety nets for the vulnerable in our society. Careful and prudent value-based spending within our means will ensure the essential programs and resources are available to Albertans for a long time to come.

Supporting Job Creators

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. Small businesses power our economy employing millions of Albertans every year and creating 97% of all new employment opportunities according to Statistics Canada (read more toggle).

In recent years these job creators suffered through the recession alongside the rest of us. Yet the NDP policies and taxation had a very punitive effect directed specifically towards our business owners during a severely depressed economy. Rather than support the market through the downturn, the NDP created policy and increased taxation that would choke business in any economy much less a recession.

In a short period of time job creators have shouldered a minimum wage increase from $10 to $15/hour, an increased requirement for employers to contribute to CPP and EI, substantial increases to the statutory holiday pay structure, increases to corporate tax, and the implementation of the Carbon Tax which increased every aspect of operating costs.

None of these increases were market driven or anticipated and could not be absorbed in the natural ebb and flows of business. For many the costs have outweighed income and jeopardized their ability to succeed and keep Albertans in their employ. Where some companies were forced to close their doors, others have taken drastic measures in restructuring resulting in layoffs and stagnant growth in the economy. Our high unemployment rates have been a direct reflection of this.

The answer is NOT to create more government jobs, rather provide a tax competitive environment to help our job creators find solid ground again. This would also attract and incentivize new business to take hold in Alberta. When the doors are open for business in our province, diversifying markets will organically emerge, unemployment trends will right themselves, and Albertans will be able to support the economy with the cash left in their own pockets.

Energy Sector and Pipelines

Alberta has the third largest proven oil reserve in the world, we enjoy the world’s highest and ethical production standards which are continually improving. Projections indicate that demand for oil will continue to increase globally until at least 2050. The market is ready for Canadian oil to take its place on the world stage, as the cleanest and most ethical oil. (read more toggle).

Our challenge is that we are landlocked, and politically unable to build pipelines to move our products away from a single discount buyer. Our energy sector needs to show its environmental face and dispel myths and misinformation with all that is being done for the environment in our energy sector. We need to compare our high standard to the realities present in the rest of the world standard. Alberta and Canada must embark in serious efforts to claim our market share while the opportunity exists, and the time is NOW.

Relentless pressure and advocacy with the federal government is critical to ensuring a pipeline is built. Educating the rest of the country on how this is a Canadian issue and exposing what we support when we buy foreign oil is all a part of changing the will of Canadians to ensure pipelines have a viable safe future in this country.

Choice in Education

The adage "It takes a village to raise a child" still rings true today. Parents are dependent on educators to fill a significant piece of their child’s educational instruction and by Canadian law, educators are to take direction from parents about the education their child receives.

A pervasive feeling in education today is that “the state” assumes it knows best and will make all decisions on behalf of families. There is a policy driven push to return all students into the public education stream, and remove alternative choices including home schooling, charter and independent schools. This move has been heavy handed, resulting in court challenges, while the minister of education persists in threatening schools with an immediate cessation of public funding, and loss of accreditation prior to any court proceedings.

Parents who wish to engage, are being marginalized without consultation or regard for their rights to choose the education provided their children. We are regressing to a “one size fits all” system we know does not meet the needs of all students.

The deep wedge amongst parents and educators in our “village” needs to be addressed and parents need to be consulted as primary stakeholders in education policy. As new curriculum is developed and implemented, an open transparent process that parents can be involved in is crucial to rebuilding trust and engagement with Alberta Families. I stand for choice in education and support the existing Canadian laws that recognize parents as responsible for the rearing of their children, not the state.

Building Trust
  • Build trust through meaningful consultation with all stakeholders, including those previously excluded.
  • Protect choice in education and protect parental rights by including them in all aspects of their child’s education and care.
Repeal the Carbon Tax
  • Demonstrated to be an ineffective cash grab that does not address climate change.
Climb Back to Prosperity
  • Acknowledge the diversity of our riding and come together as a community to support our climb back to prosperity.
  • Bring our strengths together to achieve best outcomes.
  • Significant needs exist for infrastructure and services in every part of our riding.

"I have been a part of, and seen, how organized groups of people come together to accomplish great things in our communities. I feel the strengths of our citizens is one of our greatest resources in making a true difference to our own community and Alberta as a whole."

- Mauri Stiff
UCP Nominee Airdrie-Cochrane