Following PC Leader Jim Prentice’s announcement Tuesday that Albertans will be heading to the polls in early May, Wildrose candidate Danny Hozack said he’s excited and ready to start campaigning.
Acclaimed as Wildrose nominee for Vermilion-Lloydminster on April 2, Hozack said their campaign office should be open by the end of the week.
“I think Albertans deserve better government and someone has to put their name forward to represent the party. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do it on behalf of Wildrose,” Hozack said. “We have a good party and we certainly have a great local team and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The party’s message will be that the province deserves a better health-care system and an accountable government that’s fiscally responsible and transparent. He said Albertans don’t deserve to be $30 billion in debt, which the Hozack said the PC government says they fully intend to be by 2019.
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“The interest on that debt will between $1-2 billion dollars a year, which if you do the math, that’s between 30 and 40 Dr. Cooke nursing homes a year that they won’t be able to build because they will be paying interest.”
Hozack, who’s been with Wildrose since its inception, feels the party is a good alternative for Albertan’s and said he’ll be campaigning on putting people first. This is something he feels the PCs have lost touch with in many cases and he thinks his party presents a good option for people in the Vermilion-Lloydminster area.
The answer to Alberta’s budget deficit in Hozack’s opinion is not to raise taxes but to spend smarter. He said costs have to be kept in line or the province will continue to run deficits year after year.
“We need to get our costs in line with Canadian averages and that will take care of a huge percentage of this revenue shortfall that we’re talking about,” he said.
“We’ve had several years with record revenues and still ran deficits and when you’re running deficits with record revenues, basically you’re just spending too much money. So we have to get spending under control.”
Alberta spends close to $1500 to $2000 per person more than the Canadian average on providing services, and when you multiply that by the 4 million people that call the province home, it’s adds up to about $6 billion.
Hozak said if the provincial government would spend the average amount that the rest of Canada does, the budget could almost be balanced with that one move.
“I think they (the people) should realize that this choice will be Albertans’. If they want an Alberta that’s $31 billion in debt, if they want to leave that kind of debt to their grandchildren, so be it, but I think the Wildrose party is the only party that’s standing for less taxes, getting the spending under control and actually leaving our children and grandchildren with a province that is debt free.”