EDMONTON, AB (February 25, 2013): Today’s announced cancellation of the Swan Hills carbon capture and storage project should be the first of a series of cuts to the PC government’s wasteful corporate welfare spending, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said today.
Anderson said the PC government should swing the axe at its entire envelope of corporate welfare grants. Aside from the government’s $2 billion carbon capture and storage program, the PCs also hand out hundreds of millions to for-profit companies. “Corporate handouts aren’t priority spending items for Albertans,” Anderson said. “Taxpayer dollars should be directed to the front lines of core public services like health care and education, not wasted on subsidizing private interests. Government should get out of the business of being in business.” The Swan Hills cancellation comes on the heels of Premier Alison Redford signaling that Budget 2013 may actually contain increases to corporate grants. “With a growing deficit and more and more debt, it’s extremely troubling to hear Premier Redford toying with the idea of taking Alberta back to the Getty-era of failed government investments,” Anderson said. “Now more than ever, we need focused spending on priority areas, not more waste.” Wildrose has long opposed the CCS program, saying it is not financially viable for the government to be spending taxpayer dollars on uneconomical technology. “This entire project is built on questionable technology that we are starting to realize just doesn’t make sense,” Wildrose Environment Critic Joe Anglin said. “We need to reprioritize and direct funding to initiatives that actually reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”