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Throne Speech: Fiscal reality off the agenda

EDMONTON, AB (May 24, 2012): Today's Speech From the Throne contains no measures to balance the budget, save for the future or plan for managing Alberta's volatile revenues during global economic uncertainty, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Instead, the Throne Speech charts a course towards bigger deficits, higher taxes, and declining public services by refusing to acknowledge Alberta's fiscal reality while pledging ongoing and unchecked spending increases.  “Ms. Redford clearly has no real fiscal plan. With billions of dollars worth of election promises coupled with weakening oil prices and instability in global markets, she is putting Alberta’s future at risk,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “The revenues Ms. Redford is relying on are already showing signs of decline and today’s speech completely ignores that fact. Instead of articulating a vision to end our reliance on energy revenues, this government continues to cross its fingers and hope the price of oil will bail them out.”  ON SAVINGS:  “The Sustainability Fund is almost completely gone after years of PC overspending and the Heritage Fund is worth less today than when it first started,” Smith said.  “This government needs to stop risking the future generations of our great province and start saving to position future generations for long-term prosperity.”  ON OTTAWA OFFICE: “It should be the Premier’s job to foster good relations with the federal government. The fact that Ms. Redford feels this type of posting is necessary means she doesn’t understand that,”  Smith said. “I suspect this position has more to do with rewarding a PC loyalist with a patronage post rather than actually improving Alberta’s relationship with Ottawa.”  ON CORPORATE WELFARE:  “The government’s commitment to spend $3 billion dollars on the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority is another example of corporate welfare,” Wildrose Energy Critic Jason Hale said. “Picking winners and losers in industry is not the responsibility of government to invest in unproven schemes.”  ON SENIORS:  “Every day in our province there are hundreds of seniors who are waiting for a spot in a long term care nursing home, yet this government continues to sit on its hands,” Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said. “For too long Albertans and their families have been asking for a plan and instead we continue to have vague promises and empty words.”