Canada is a fantastic country with wonderful people. However, our nation will not reach its full potential and our national unity will be constantly undermined if we practice and institutionalize an unbalanced, undemocratic, and irresponsible brand of centralized federalism. A decentralized federalism that respects the diverse strengths, needs, cultures, resources and values of Canada’s provinces, will both strengthen our economy while achieving a more unified nation.
Promoting strong provinces means respecting their constitutional rights and jurisdictions. Whether it is environmental regulation, the export of provincial resources, property rights, or securities regulation, the Government of Alberta must be ever vigilant with protecting our province’s rights of self-governance. We have learned by unfortunate experience (i.e. National Energy Program, Wheat Board, Gun Registry, Equalization, etc.), when the federal government seeks to centralize and regulate a responsibility of the provinces, it generally ends in failure.
Another critical area of concern is the massive transfer of wealth between Alberta and Canada’s so-called ‘have-not’ provinces. In 2009 alone, Alberta taxpayers sent $21 billion more to the federal government for direct use by other provinces than we received in return. This equates to roughly $5,700 for every man, woman and child in our province – by far the largest contribution per capita in Canada. A much larger portion of these dollars should be returned to Alberta for our infrastructure, health care, education and deficit reduction needs.
- Take an aggressive stance with the federal government in regards to the equalization program in order to ensure that billions more of Albertans’ hard-earned tax dollars remain in the province, working for the benefit of Albertans
- Exercise our provincial constitutional rights by demanding that the federal government not regulate our industry or property in the name of “environmental protection”
- Explore the option of taking more control over immigration from the federal government
- Protect the rights of law abiding hunters and farmers by aggressively lobbying the federal government to eliminate the failed long-gun registry
- Insist that only duly elected Senators be appointed to represent Alberta in the federal Senate
PROMOTING THE ECONOMY
- Ensure Alberta businesses and entrepreneurs continue to have the choice of a provincial securities regulator
- Work to improve and further streamline the securities ‘passport’ system in order to make it easier for Alberta companies to raise capital across Canada
- Expand the Trade, Investment, Labour and Mobility Agreement, and advocate for the removal of inter-provincial trade barriers
- Work with the federal government and neighbouring provinces to end the Wheat Board monopoly