Thank you Strathmore-Brooks. I am humbled and honored by the trust that you have placed in me.
To those who voted for me, I will honour your trust, follow through on my commitments and endeavor to earn your trust again. To those who did not vote for me, I will serve your interests in the best way that I can, and even if we disagree on policy matters as they arise over the next four years, I will still be the same plain speaking MLA that I was as a candidate.
I also want to thank Molly Douglass, Lynn McWilliam, Einar Davidson, Mike Worthington and Glen Dundas for standing for election and strengthening the democratic process.
The May 5th Election was a victory for Albertans and for democracy. The PC one-party state with its stranglehold on power is dead. Alberta now has a competitive two-party system with a clear democratic-socialist option in the NDP on the left, and a clear conservative option in the Wildrose on the centre-right.
I committed to you that I would serve you above party interests, and I will stand by that. I will fight to implement recall legislation and to require the transparent disclosure of MLA expenses.
I will fight for proper healthcare for our seniors by shutting the tap on subsidies to the PC owners of the Kananaskis golf course.
While Albertans voted for change, many of them didn’t know ‘who’ and ‘what’ they were electing in many constituencies. In an understandable rush to throw the PCs out, many students and others who had never held a real job in their lives were elected as NDP MLAs. The NDP platform itself was also given a pass by the media as most believed that they would never win.
While I have a great deal of personal respect for Premier-elect Rachel Notley, the NDP platform contains in it many dangerous and extreme policies that could further undermine the Alberta Advantage beyond what the PC government has done over the last decade.
While it may sound easy, raising business taxes or raising oil royalties has the very real possibility of throwing the province – and especially our community – into a full-blown recession.
The NDP’s promise to raise business taxes is unlikely to collect as much revenue than they project, as that party’s ideology doesn’t believe that businesses will do less business if business conditions are less profitable.
The NDP’s platform was never intended to be implemented in government, and so contains promises to spend on everything under the sun without the consequences of reality.
While the now flopped PC budget would raise taxes, take on even more debt, and continue the province’s unsustainable spending spree, the NDP platform appears likely to do all of these things at an accelerated rate.
While Albertans elected a new government, they also elected a reinvigorated and larger Official Opposition in the Wildrose. Despite the betrayal faced by Wildrosers in December of 2014, the Wildrose caucus grew from 5 to 21 MLAs, or from 17 to 21 if we are counting pre-December.
The Wildrose and I will do our jobs to hold the new NDP government accountable. In particular, I will work to blunt the more extreme ideological excesses of the NDP that could harm our economy and government finances.
You elected me to do a job, and I can’t wait to get to work.