As the level of government closest to the people, the Wildrose supports the vital role municipalities play in delivering core services and building critical infrastructure to meet local needs.
As Alberta’s economy grows, so does our population. As thousands of new Albertans arrive each year, additional roads, schools, medical facilities and public transit infrastructure are needed. And despite unprecedented overspending by the current PC Government, many of our most basic infrastructure requirements have been left unaddressed.
The reason for this is simple. The PC Government has utterly mismanaged the manner in which infrastructure dollars are allocated. Hundreds of millions in infrastructure dollars have been doled out based on political calculation and favouritism rather than on the needs of Albertans. Billions have been spent on facilities the government can’t afford to staff. Billions more have been wasted on corporate welfare projects such as carbon capture and storage.
The PC Government’s handling of municipalities has been equally poor. The present patchwork of municipal grants and funding programs has resulted in hundreds of millions wasted on middle-management.
Municipalities are unable to implement adequate long-term infrastructure planning as funding is promised, then cut, then promised again. Due to this type of chronic underfunding, many municipalities have increased local property taxes to the point where it has become a major financial burden on individuals and businesses.
- Do away with the current patchwork of wasteful and bureaucratic infrastructure funding programs and replace them with a single, legislated long-term funding formula tied to provincial revenues plus royalties.
- Conduct a province-wide infrastructure assessment to determine Alberta’s true infrastructure deficit and release a public list of priority projects based on need.
- Restrain per capita infrastructure spending to a level consistent with the national average.