According to the Fraser Institute, the average Canadian household spends over 40% of its income on government. I feel strongly that is too much and that money is better spent by the people who earn it. It is my express goal to reduce corporate tax in Alberta back down to the 10% flat tax rate Albertans enjoyed before the NDP took office, and to eliminate the carbon tax. By increasing taxes on businesses by 20-50% the NDP undermined small business's ability to hire and retain employees, contributing to the hard times felt by many. By introducing a carbon levy (so called) the NDP also dramatically increased the price of almost every good and service in Alberta, including vital items such as heating, food and fuel. Not only that, but by calling it a levy, the CRA is now able to tax that levy with GST.
This government's tax policy has been wrong, and I am advocating for a 180 degree departure. As a consequence, you can count on me to be sympathetic to any tax deduction and the support you, your family and your business.
Along with damaging tax increases, Albertans have had to endure years of mismanagement of the public purse. From running budget surpluses, Alberta now has an annual budget deficit of over 9 billion dollars. Under the government's own projections, the debt is scheduled to reach 96 billion by the time the deficit is corrected, all the while our credit is downgraded and costs for this province to borrow skyrocket. This is unacceptable. Recently, Jason Kenney pledged to balance the budget by the end of the his first term should UCP form government. It would be an honour to be a part of that process. I would also support a balanced budget amendment, forcing future governments to respect taxpayers by showing them the courtesy of not running their public services into debt.
I will be a fiscal hawk in legislature, and I will do my utmost to ensure this promise is kept to the people of Alberta. Because it is not just for us, but for the generations to follow.
The right to self-defense is paramount. But while our federal legislators work on that aspect of Canadian Law, let us work with the RCMP at the provincial level. I endorse the recent UCP report on Rural Crime which emphasizes increased police-citizen communication, victims services and harsher penalties for repeat offenders. This must be tackled as many of our rural households suffer a much higher crime rate. The recent plight of Edouard Maurice should be a reminder of the complications that can arise from a theft. I commit to working on this issue steadfastly and unreservedly until progress is made.
It would be easy to let this issue be ignored, however the safety of the people of Livingstone-Macleod must take precedence over here today-gone tomorrow headlines.
I stand with parents, administrators and educators who favour parental choice in education. One of the blessings of this land is the ability to care for and honour your family. Being in charge of your children's education is part of that. There is a lot of unknowns when it comes to this current government's plans towards education, but I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the subject and your concerns in regards to Bill 24.
I feel that the UCP is finely positioned to take on this issue and promote choice in education in this great province.
Livingstone-Macleod boasts some of the finest ranches, farms and other agricultural concerns in the country. Many landowners have roots in this riding that trace back several generations, bringing an fantastic legacy to today's Alberta. I do not believe the government should be telling our ranchers and farmers how to run their businesses, interfering in the methods honed over centuries.
I trust the people of rural Alberta, and from my experience speaking with farmers all over Livingstone-Macleod, Bill 6 needs to be revisited.
Public Land Use
The Government and people of Alberta have a responsibility to ensure the beauty and vitality of our forests and waterways remains unspoiled for generations to come. However, the underhanded way in which the current administration has approached Castle Park and Porcupine Hills land use is just plain wrong. Working With OHV and outdoor enthusiasts, it is my intention to reopen Castle Park to responsible OHV use and to stop wasting precious tax dollars on maintenance performed by dedicated Albertans. Let us stop punishing already hard hit communities with even more punitive restrictions. Instead, we need to focus on enforcement and promoting Livingstone-Macleod's great outdoors. This riding will always have an advocate in me.
In recent years, Alberta has been unable to export our products to market. This is a pivotal task for the next provincial government. We have had disruptions in our pipeline expansions west and east. I support the Trans-Mountain, Energy East and Keystone pipelines. These modern lines allow us to safely move one of Alberta's primary energy sources to demanding markets. Why should eastern Canada continue to import Saudi Arabian oil, making Canadians dependent upon dictators and foreign governments? I agree with Jason Kenney that the great unsung hero of the petroleum industry is Alberta, with our solid record on human and worker's rights. We have a product in Alberta that puts food on the tables of many residents of this riding, let's support it.
In regards to other sources of energy and minerals, such as coal, Alberta leads the world in some of the healthiest reclamation methods for carbon output. A lover of the great outdoors myself, I appreciate and understand concerns for environmental protection. I will not shut out any voice and belief we can both encourage industry, as well as preserve the forests, lakes and fields so dear to us all.
Currently, the NDP are spending 22 billion a year for healthcare in this province. The new lab in Edmonton is going to cost taxpayers 200 million more than budgeted. Government needs to find some restraint while still delivering excellent service. I want Albertans to get some bang for their many bucks. Let's cut the costs of middle management, and reinforce our front line workers, including EMS. I would also support greatly expanding access to radiologist and imaging equipment such as CT and MRI scans by loosening government control.