By Emily Jaycox For the Independent
United Conservative Party (UCP) candidate for the Stettler-Drumheller constituency, Nate Horner, had an audience with Stettler County Council during its regular meeting March 13.
“Keeping Alberta competitive is the theme of this new government,” said Horner.
Horner says, if elected, the UCP would repeal the carbon tax, followed by an “Open for Business Act.”
The act would reduce the “regulatory burden” in Alberta by a third in a four-year term.
“The goal is to make us more efficient, more streamlined and less bureaucracy.”
The UCP plans to repeal Bill 6 and make a new, better bill through consultation that still has mandatory insurance for farm workers and allows the ag industry to be competitive.
Small farms with three or less employees would be exempt, he says.
The UCP’s “Job Creation Tax Cut” is a four per cent decrease to the corporate tax over four years, bringing it to eight percent by 2023.
Economists on staff believe there is no incentive to cut the personal tax at this point and cutting the corporate tax and regulations should create 55,000 private sector jobs, says Horner.
UCP leader Jason Kenney plans on a spending freeze, not a cut, on health care this year, and plans to give AHS a performance review.
“The goal is to push any inefficiencies or resources they find down to the front line … to service rural Alberta better.”
Coun. Dave Grover asked about the proposed mega-lab in Edmonton.
Horner answered that the UCP will scrap the $640 million project as $50 million of the cost was a provincial buyout for DynaLIFE to move, which is the same price tag as the Red Deer hospital.
Coun. Wayne Nixon mentioned the issue of MSI funding, saying “ I know votes are in the cities but … we need to be funded fairly.”
Horner answered that nothing has yet been “rolled out in writing” but it is a discussion the UCP is having.
Coun. Nibourg asked about transitioning from fossil fuel to renewable energy, and how renewable energy tends to be unreliable.
“It’s a pretty big conversation but we’re committed to having it,” said Horner, adding the UCP recognizes that for every megawatt of renewable energy in the system, a megawatt of fossil fuel is needed.
Horner says he plans to deal with the challenges of a large riding by consulting with councils on issues and to identify priorities.