The Wildrose Party’s recent message has been that Albertans are looking for a better vision than what the PC Party is looking to offer. And they feel they can provide what the province wants with their five-priority plan
Titled “Standing Up for Albertans,” these five points include standing up for patient-centred health care, world-class education, democracy and accountability, rural Alberta and low taxes and balanced budgets.
“A Wildrose government would focus on these five priorities only because Albertans made it clear that these are the five priorities that they would want their government to focus on. And the government we have right now is not focusing on those things,” said Wildrose Leader Brian Jean.
He said Albertans have been paying increasingly more for health care, but haven’t been getting better results and that the province’s health-care system ranks near the bottom of the country in terms of wait times for critical treatments and procedures.
Jean described the entire system as broken, bureaucratic, inefficient and wasteful.
“It must be fixed. And I say that because the other provinces are doing it better. They’re doing it more cost effectively and they’re getting better results,” he said.
When it comes to education, he said that not that many years ago Alberta had the top education system in the world. Now the facilities are inadequate and the teachers aren’t getting the support they need to keep that top spot.
“Wildrose will build the schools Alberta needs,” he said. “And not just make announcements, but build the schools and fix the problems in our curriculum. We want to be Number 1 in the world because education is the one thing that if we get it right, everything else becomes easier.”
The third priority Wildrose has is standing up for democracy and accountability. Jean says the province has a democratic deficit and after 44 years of a one-party government, Alberta’s faith in the democratic system has “simply been lost.”
He insists that Wildrose MLAs will fight for honest, accountable government and present new, positive options while working every day to earn the province’s trust.
“We know that we have to build up Albertans’ trust in their government in order to have all of those advantages that Albertans have,” he said. “The Alberta advantage, which starts with the people.”
Another area that the party says is important is standing up for rural Alberta. Jean said that without a healthy rural Alberta there can’t be a healthy urban counterpart. The majority of resources that the province relies on are outside of the cities, so they want to make sure the rural parts of the province have reliable assets and infrastructure.
“It has been ignored for so long. Ignored on property rights, it’s been ignored on ambulance services, health care, seniors care and so many other things,” Jean said.
“Rural Alberta actually provides a lifeline and the lifeblood of our economy and character, but also all of the jobs in every other area, Edmonton and Calgary, are connected directly to rural Alberta. So a healthy rural Alberta means a healthy urban Alberta.”
The fifth priority, and the one Wildrose thinks is the most important, is standing up for low taxes and balanced budgets. The reason they said this is the highest priority is because if they can fix this problem the rest will fall into place. Jean said only his party can cut the waste and favouritism while ensuring protection of frontline workers.
They say they have a plan that can balance the province’s budget in just two years and only Wildrose can reverse Prentice’s tax hikes.
“We have a plan to do that. It’s a black and white fiscal plan and it’s a prudent plan. By 2017 we will be in the balance. The only way to stop our taxes - Albertans’ taxes - from going up is to vote Wildrose. A vote for any party, any candidate other than Wildrose, is a vote for higher taxes.”