May 02, 2013

REALITY CHECK: The Redford school of fear and attacks

EDMONTON, AB (May 2, 2013): For the second day in a row, Premier Alison Redford used a taxpayer-funded backdrop of school children to launch a desperate, partisan and factually incorrect attack on the Wildrose Official Opposition. 

After hosting a campaign-style event in Calgary yesterday to blast Wildrose at taxpayers’ expense, Redford gave an encore performance today in Edmonton. Both events were intended to announce new school projects, but Redford seized the opportunity to blatantly misrepresent Wildrose infrastructure policy. Today, Redford again characterized the Wildrose approach to capital investment as “build nothing.” She also said Wildrose “don’t want to build hospitals and they don’t want to build roads and they don’t want to invest in bridges or water.” Here are the facts: The Wildrose 10-Year Debt-Free Capital Plan calls for:

  • Investment of $48 billion over the next 10 years in roads, schools, hospitals and growing communities;
  • Construction of 100 new schools and 60 major modernization projects, as well as $7.6 billion on new health facilities, $10.8 billion on roads and $21.7 billion to support municipalities; and
  • A clear and prioritized infrastructure project list so communities know when they will have their project built, thereby removing political consideration from infrastructure decision making.

In contrast to the PC government’s irresponsible and reckless plan to take on long-term debt to build necessary infrastructure without a clear plan, the Wildrose plan builds what Alberta needs in an objective and prioritized way using cash on hand. The PCs’ Reckless Infrastructure Bonanza:

  • Spends roughly 50% more per person on infrastructure at $1,780 per person compared to spending levels across western Canada and Ontario which only spend between $700 to $1,100 per person;
  • Drives up inflation with wild swings in total investment, resulting in higher construction costs and drastic overbuilds without enough staff to operate facilities; and
  • Leaves municipalities guessing as to when their projects will be funded, hampering their planning ability and frustrating their residents.

For too long the PC government has failed to spend within our means and is now in the position of having to burden future generations with debt simply to build what Alberta needs. Redford can no longer hide behind her government’s legacy of waste and mismanagement, which is why she has now resorted to shallow and intentionally misleading partisan attacks.


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