Private Sector Experience. Committed to Action. Ready to Fight for Alberta Families.
I am prepared to effectively fight to unwind the destructive NDP policies and re-create an environment for economic growth where families and businesses can thrive again.
Alberta should be the model whereby low taxes and efficient regulation result in a provincial economic powerhouse in which we can afford world class public services without having to burden our children with crippling debt.
With your support, I have the experience, determination and dedication to return our shared conservative values and policies to our riding of Calgary Shaw and the province of Alberta.
Jobs and the Economy
Despite increasing oil prices, the unemployment rate in Calgary remains stubbornly high.
Without good jobs that provide for families, nothing else matters.
Cumulative actions of the NDP have driven investment from the province. We used to be a province of builders, we need to restore business confidence to be able to get there again. Alberta must restore its reputation as a low tax, business friendly jurisdiction that attracts investment. We need to prioritize economic growth & job creation.
Step one is to elect a government that demonstrates a positive relationship with the business community. Foreign investment was fleeing on the mere threat of an NDP government immediately prior to the last election, before they even implemented any of their radical ideological agenda.
Step two is what Jason Kenney has smartly called the summer of repeal. The NDP killed jobs and drove Alberta deeper into recession by implementing a carbon tax, raising corporate taxes by 20%, capping oil sands development, increasing the minimum wage, raising taxes on oil by rail by over 300%, shutting down coal-generated power plants, subsidizing solar and wind power, giving away light bulbs and shower heads and increasing the size of government and red tape. By reversing course we will foster an environment that encourages economic growth where families and businesses can grow and prosper.
As a small business owner, by listening to my friends and neighbours who are doing whatever it takes to maintain and grow their businesses, and in talking with new business owners who have used difficult economic conditions as a springboard to try a new idea, I am confident that the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans has not been broken. We can bring back prosperity to Alberta. We just need a government that is committed to making smart decisions based on sound, sensible economic principles.
Oil & Gas
Our government needs to aggressively defend our oil & gas industry; to actually have the political will to take the necessary action to get pipelines constructed, multiple pipelines to multiple markets. Our current challenge in getting product to market is not a failure of industry. There are private businesses with private money that are eager to get these pipelines built. This is a political failure, pure and simple. Our government has neglected to take action when other governments and foreign interest groups have attacked our industry, our workers, and our economy.
I will fight to ensure that the shackles are taken off our industry; that the poor policies and devastating actions such as the carbon tax, the cap on oilsands emissions, and the excessive red tape for project approvals are reversed so we can once gain attract the investment necessary to get big projects built and get Albertans back to work. I will never apologize for our industry. While we must never be satisfied and always continue to improve. We also need to recognize how great our industry is relative to many other oil producing countries in the world.
Like many families, my family has thrived for generations thanks to Alberta's oil and gas industry and having had sensible governments leading us to prosperity. My Grandfather immigrated to Canada after the World War II, and started a small trucking company hauling crude oil for Gibson's Petroleum. Through hard work, long nights, lean years, and 2 generations, Mantei's Transport grew to be one of the largest bulk fuel transportation companies in Alberta, employing hundreds of Albertans. I understand how critical oil and gas is to the success of the province.
Budget and Taxes
The Alberta NDP government has a spending addiction. We are getting the worst value for our tax dollars relative to any of the large provinces in Canada, without receiving better services.
Even with additional revenue as oil prices continue to rise, from a low of $30 to now nearing $70 (WTI). Our government continues to pile on debt at an alarming rate. The NDP is forecasting a deficit of 9 billion for the current fiscal year. Debt is forecast to be 71 billion by the 2019/2020 fiscal year, and to hit nearly 100 billion by its peak in 2023/2024 according to NDP forecasts.
Spending per person in Alberta is one of the highest in the nation, with program spending over 28% higher than BC, and over 34% higher than Ontario, with neither province being described as a model of fiscal prudence. If we were spending the same amount per person as BC or Ontario we would not have a budget deficit today.
As we continue to pile on the debt, our debt servicing costs continue to increase, forecast to hit 2.3 billion by 2019/2020. This is money that cannot go towards funding world class education and healthcare systems. It is simply money paid to wealthy bankers, a wealth transfer from the poor to the rich used to finance foolish NDP experiments and pet projects at the expense of our children's future. I will fight to ensure that the budget is balanced as quickly as responsibly possible within the first term of a UCP government.
I grew up in an Alberta where the government believed that by keeping our taxes low we encouraged investment, encouraged economic activity that created wealth and good paying jobs, and oddly enough tax revenue. Under the NDP we have lost some of the most essential elements of what created Ralph Klein's Alberta Advantage.
When the NDP jacked up personal income taxes, the rich didn't pay more tax, they moved to lower tax jurisdictions. The middle class got stuck with the bill, and the province continued to pile on more debt.
As business has faced a pincer attack between ever increasing taxes and declining revenues due to the poor economy, of course employment has suffered, as businesses have had to choose between letting go long serving and valued employees or bankruptcy. We need to restore the low tax advantage Alberta used to enjoy, both personal and corporate, along with ending the PST in disguise tax on everything known as the Carbon Tax, and fight any national carbon tax imposed by Ottawa.
Like every other parent in Alberta, as a father of two children, ensuring the best possible education for our children is of paramount importance. Our children deserve a world-class education. The unfortunate reality is that this government has attacked the best of our education system in a race to the bottom, the lowest common denominator.
Our curriculum should be re-focused on the most critical aspects of our children's education rather than NDP social experimentation. Any work done on the NDP's curriculum re-write must be carefully examined with an aim to restoring Alberta's place at the top of educational rankings.
To achieve that I believe part of the answer relies on expand school choice, most notably removing the existing caps on the public charter school system and allowing for more equitable funding models regardless of the service delivery model. Schools need more flexibility in delivering unique programs to serve more children, not more standardization.
Where standardization does make sense is when testing. By expanding standardized testing, reinstatement of clear letter and number grades, and accessible school rankings and comparisons we can arm parents with the information they need to make sound decisions regarding their children's education.
The rights of parents must be protected within the education system. While the NDP plays politics with parental rights, we need a clear acceptance of parents constitutional rights under section 2(a) of the charter to determine all aspects of their children's education. Parents can and should be encouraged to understand and participate in their children's education. I will stand up for parents rights. My rights, and your rights to raise our children consistent with our own values.