Today, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean released the following statement in response to Premier Rachel Notley’s television address:
“What we saw tonight with the Premier’s speech is more of the same troubling vision for the economy and our province’s finances.
“Last summer, Wildrose warned about the devastating impacts several of the NDP government’s tax increases and new regulations would have on the economy.
“Instead of changing direction when thousands of jobs were being lost, Premier Notley went full steam ahead with her ideological agenda.
“I was hoping that tonight the Premier would bring a new approach. One that doesn’t weaken our economy, but instead strengthens it.
“I was hoping the Premier would be honest with Albertans about the full cost of her new $3 billion carbon tax on families.
“I was hoping she would be honest about the fact that because of new tax increases, Alberta now has the highest business taxes in western Canada.
“While the Premier says that she is hoping for ‘yes’ to a pipeline, she has failed to speak out against a ban on tanker traffic and has time and time again let other provinces and governments demonize our industry.
“The Premier fails to understand the full cost that new carbon taxes, new red tape and dramatic increases to the minimum wage have on business confidence.
“Albertans need more than just standing up to Ottawa when we are obviously being treated blatantly unfairly on EI changes.
“On issues of uncertainty surrounding approval on pipelines, on equalization and on other issues impacting Alberta, the premier needs to find her voice.
“On the budget, we are seeing more of the same broken ideas that got our province into this mess in the first place.
“We can’t spend our way out of deficit. We can’t borrow our way out of debt.
“The NDP plan is to continue increases to spending, and continue wage increases for government workers.
“The NDP has refused to hold the line on spending.
“The fact is, Alberta will have over $50 billion in debt in a few short years.
“Interest payments on that debt will mean less money for schools, hospitals, teachers and nurses.
“And we know, the NDP will look to raise even more taxes as soon as they get the opportunity.
“All of this sends a message that Alberta is no longer a smart place to invest or to start a business.
“And that’s a message that will further hurt our economy.
“I can’t help but think that the Albertans sitting at their kitchen tables, wondering what do, expected so much more.
An audio version of the file can be found here.