April 19, 2012
Reality Check: PCs Snub Alberta’s First Nations
Once again the Redford PCs seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth. They say they would support employment opportunities for Alberta’s First Nations (Page 30, PC Platform), yet weeks before the election they abruptly cancelled the Alberta First Nations Energy Centre (AFNEC) - an opportunity for upwards of 7,000 new jobs - after four years of work on the project. This decision prompted a request to the Ethics Commissioner to investigate whether PC insiders negotiated a backroom deal to axe the project (http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3507109).
The PCs also say they will ensure the “timely” completion of Calgary’s ring road (Page 3, PC Platform) - in fact it was supposedly Ms. Redford's top priority on her election night in 2008 - and yet they won’t even meet with Alberta’s First Nations when invited. All political parties received invitations from Alberta First Nations to meet during the election; the only Leader to decline a meeting was Alison Redford. Instead of attending posh PC fundraisers on the campaign trail, and making $3 billion announcements in corporate welfare programs, Redford should accept these meeting invites when they’re extended to her. The Redford PCs’ lack of direct engagement with Albertans is more than apparent. They have been out of touch with everyday Albertans for years, and obviously aren’t about to change their self-centred ways. Under a Wildrose government Alberta’s First Nations will be respected members at the table and treated with genuine respect - something the Redford PCs have failed to do. A Wildrose government would help put more money in all First Nations’ pockets through the Alberta Energy Dividend (http://www.wildrose.ca/pledge/energy-dividend/), and would give the AFNEC proposal a fair review. All Albertans deserve a share in the prosperity from our natural resources. Wildrose stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom, and democracy.