Securing our own mask first

Becoming an additional victim in an emergency will instantly take a person from being an asset to a liability in the outcome.

Prior to taking off, airlines are required to do a pre-flight protocol that includes a demonstration of the safety and emergency features. When the flight crew instruct the passengers on the procedure that follow the deployment of the oxygen mask it always begins with “ensure your own mask is firmly in place before attempting to help other passengers.” Becoming an additional victim in an emergency will instantly take a person from being an asset to a liability in the outcome.

Alberta is incurring new record debt levels that have been outlined in the recent provincial budget without a solid repayment plan that is sustainable or affordable for Alberta taxpayers; present and future. Adding further to the record debt, the Alberta government plans to borrow an additional $2.2 billion over four years to cover losses from power purchase agreements. The Alberta government claims the deals are no longer attractive after they themselves raised the carbon levy.

In an attempt to offer fiscal guidance to the government, Wildrose MLA for Calgary Foothills, Prasad Panda, is preparing Motion 505. The Motion’s purpose would be to encourage the Federal government to create infrastructure and policies that would favour Canadian and more specifically, Alberta oil. The proposal would seek advocacy towards much needed pipelines that would make Canadian oil more affordable to Canadians. Ensuring competitive stability to our own oil within our own country would also serve as security to our own supply chain.

With new record deficits being expected both federally and provincially, at some point looking after our own interests becomes the prudent option. The downturn in world oil and gas prices has most definitely been a factor in the increased debt numbers but refusing to help ourselves only exacerbates an already difficult situation

As we’ve seen in recent years, Albertans step up to help one another as well as fellow Canadians. Alberta and Canada are heading towards a debt emergency and the prudent move would be to make sure we’re fiscally secure before we attempt to help others. With a high enough cumulative debt, it will all but eliminate our options to help anyone.

Motion 505 is a tool that could be used to change the culture of how Albertans are governed. It would serve Alberta’s government to acknowledge that they should always show preference to what is good for Albertans now and in the future. Working toward a more fiscally self-sufficient Canada is a goal worthy of pursuit by all provincial governments.

With a projected debt of over $71 billion by the time a provincial election is expected, it’s fair to say we’re heading towards a fiscal emergency if we have no means for repayment. The financial oxygen masks have dropped and the Alberta government needs to make sure our masks are secure. It’s never too early to work towards preventing an emergency and Motion 505 could be a step towards achieving that goal.

In the coming weeks we will be debating this motion in the house in an attempt to keep Alberta from becoming a fiscal casualty of poor policy.

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