Good afternoon, everyone.
It’s wonderful to be here today.
As many of you know, I’m from the north, born and raised in Fort McMurray.
I’ve seen the prosperity our natural resources have brought to our entire province.
The people of Fort McMurray understand the hard work, ingenuity and creativity that defines the Alberta spirit.
And folks, it is these values that link the north and this great city of Calgary. This city and my hometown have a partnership that has helped establish Alberta as the best place to live in the entire world.
Calgary has a proud history.
Built on the backs of pioneers and ranchers and spurred on by an oil boom over a century ago, today Calgary now stands as one of the world’s most prosperous cities - a bold and flourishing example of what great heights we are capable of achieving.
It is home to the greatest outdoor show on earth that draws millions every year.
It is home to a rich arts and cultural scene, and right next door lies the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
And friends, Calgary is home to one of the strongest, most creative, and thriving business communities in all of Canada.
There was a time when bad government policy in Ottawa forced both Fort McMurray and Calgary to fight for jobs, fight for growth, and fight for prosperity.
High taxes and overregulation strangled everything we had built. Investors fled for greener pastures and took their jobs with them.
As we look back on our history, we must remember that even in Alberta, we are never more than a bad idea away from a crash.
Today we are facing new obstacles.
We have had a PC party that has been in power for 44 years, and has lost touch with everyday Albertans.
A once proud party that Albertans could trust, they’ve collapsed under the weight of crushing debt, dozens of tax hikes and what will be a decade of deficits. Their slow decline appears almost complete.
Their time is coming to an end and Albertans are moving on.
I’ve been to every corner of this province, and there’s one thing I’ve learned from this campaign: Albertans are looking for change.
But not just any kind of change. They want responsible, measured, and balanced change that will keep our economy growing - the kind of approach the PCs used to provide, but are no longer capable of providing or interested in providing.
The choice facing Albertans has never been so clear.
The NDP wants higher taxes on families and higher on taxes on job-creators.
They insist Alberta’s long-term prosperity can be secured through overburdening business and taking more money out of your pocket.
The NDP believes in taxing its way to prosperity. This misguided NDP ideology has failed in practice every single time. Alberta can’t afford its own NDP experiment.
Then there’s the Wildrose.
A party that’s roared back to life after being left for dead, fighting for the very values and principles that made this city and this province what it is today: Hard work. Free enterprise. Low taxes. And the entrepreneurial spirit.
Folks, I know people are hurting in Calgary. Many have lost their jobs. Many more are wondering if they’ll be next.
And I know that for a long time, Calgary has looked to the PC party to give them good government. And there have been years where PC policy, and PC leaders have helped our province prosper.
But those years are over. Only Wildrose stands between the NDP and their risky designs on the Alberta economy.
People have said we don’t have a clear plan for cuts, and friends, you and I know that’s not true. It’s nothing but fear mongering from a PC dynasty running from extinction.
Our plan brings in gradual operating savings of $1.1 billion, $1.6 billion and $2.2 billion over the next three years.
It begins with cutting cabinet & premier’s office, capping executive pay, reducing 1600 government managers, and freezing manager salaries. Total savings between all of that? $308 million.
Ending sole-source cronyism and corporate welfare, bringing in zero based budgeting reviews, and establishing a wastebuster program saves $1.35 billion in 2017.
We will take a whack to the bloated PC bureaucracy in Edmonton.
Our plan means there will be 1600 fewer AHS managers, fewer consultants, fewer pencil pushers. There will be less government travel and advertising, less conference budgets, and less communications staff. Did you know this government has more communications staffer than there are journalists in Alberta? The savings? $297 million.
And finally, by not going on a borrowing binge like the PCs and NDP plan to do, Wildrose will lower interest payments on the debt and stretch the capital plan from five to six years.
Our total savings there? $1.6 billion.
And friends, none of these cuts target front-line services.
Wildrose’s plan is the only plan that will attract jobs and investment.
It’s the only plan that won’t raise your taxes.
And it’s the only plan that will keep us on the path of prosperity for our province.
Calgary voters will likely decide the outcome of this election.
All I ask is that you consider this:
The PCs have broken your trust too many times. Wildrose will work hard to earn and keep it.
The NDP can’t be trusted to protect your job. Wildrose will fight for every single one.
A Wildrose vote in Calgary is a vote for what matters to you.