By Rick Strankman, MLA
Drumheller – Stettler
More than 2,600 people met in Red Deer to participate in the largest political convention in the 113-year history of Alberta, but more importantly, to work towards bringing back the advantage Alberta once had. With the exodus of investment capital leaving Alberta in record amounts, it has never been more important to repeal and reverse the economically destructive policies that have been eliminating what we once called, the “Alberta advantage.”
During his speech to the party members, Jason Kenney asked how many people were attending their first political convention and to the astonishment of many, a third of the people in the room raised their hands. It’s apparent that average Albertans feel the urgency and the importance of repealing economy-crippling policies like the carbon tax. On May 6 the question was asked directly of those in attendance if they wanted the carbon tax repealed, a whopping 98 per cent voted in favor of the motion.
Jason Kenney set out on a mission to bring back the advantage that drew so many people to make Alberta their home. His vision for Alberta is what has drawn so many people that share that vision of an Alberta that allows us all the opportunity to make our own way.
Prior to the UCP leader’s speech, former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, addressed the record crowd declaring that “Help is on the way and hope is on the horizon,” referring to the enthusiasm and participation he witnessed in Red Deer. The Saskatchewan Party government that was led by Brad Wall gives us hope that our common sense conservative principles are the tools we need to put Alberta at the top of the list with investors again.
Jason Kenney added that, “Albertans have always been determined can-do people,” which is a vision we all know most Albertans share. The average Albertan is looking for a hand up not a hand out; we would rather do for ourselves, which is why our government is committed to fostering opportunity. Jason reminded us all what our focus should be; “This is about people not power,” he reminds us to dream big and to think beyond just becoming government. Our goal is to stay humble, be disciplined and earn every vote that Albertans feel we’ve earned.
In 2019, a new conservative government will need to hit the ground running to work towards getting the province out of the legislative mud the NDP have us stuck in. Alberta produces the most ethical energy produced anywhere in the world. Production in Alberta is done with stringent environmental regulations that protect and prevent the environment from being damaged. Alberta also respects and protects the human rights of our workers and the citizens of the entire province; yet we are demonized by people determined to eliminate our opportunities.
Jason’s vision is shared by a great many people as we saw in Red Deer and it is also shared by the entire UCP caucus. The experience we’ve gained through the last several years will be invaluable to understanding and legislating what needs to be done.