07 March 2014
Government still on resource roller-coaster
The PC government has dressed up its 2014 budget as a good-news document but Albertans should not be fooled.
“Once again the Tories are trying to pull the wool over our eyes – with talk of a surplus and increased spending on the things that matter to Albertans,” said Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark. “But in reality, the government’s spending is not even keeping up with population growth plus inflation.”
05 March 2014
Education minister Jeff Johnson’s expenses reveal double-billing, lost receipts, taxpayers billed for optional extras like seat selection and hotel movies, and include a backdated claim for an expensive hotel room during the Calgary Stampede.
"Either the Minister is trying to get away with something or the system didn’t catch obvious mistakes," said Alberta Party leader Greg Clark. "One way or the other it shows a total disregard for taxpayers and is a sign of poor management in government."
Clark also questioned the judgement of some of the expenditures.
"The minister can have 'various government meetings' in Calgary any time," said Clark. "He doesn’t need to book a $569 hotel room at the busiest time of the year. The fact the expense is back-dated is also a huge concern."
27 February 2014
Next week’s provincial budget is an opportunity to set a course to long-term prosperity while also stabilizing program funding, says Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark. The Alberta Party’s priorities are to tackle carbon emissions, diversify the provincial economy, stabilize revenues and invest a portion of resource revenues into the Heritage Fund.
“Despite the mismanagement of our provincial finances, Alberta is still in a fortunate and unique position – at least for now,” said Clark. “Our resource revenues are up, we’re receiving a $1B windfall health transfer and we have a dynamic, entrepreneurial population,” said Clark. “All that’s missing is vision and leadership from the provincial government.”
The government must make incremental but meaningful changes to our economy, if we want future generations to enjoy the prosperity that continues to attract people to Alberta, Clark says.
The economy remains too reliant on unstable non-renewable resource revenues, he says. We need to return to progressive taxation to fund our programs, save more of our non-renewable resource revenues and look to the private sector to drive diversification.
26 February 2014
The third quarter fiscal update shows the drastic cutbacks to post-secondary education, per-student funding, programs for people with developmental disabilities and other areas were unnecessary, says Alberta Party leader Greg Clark.
“The province continues to rely on unstable non-renewable resource revenues to fund core programs,” said Clark. “The result is wild swings in program funding tied to the boom and bust cycle we see from all resource-based economies.
“You’d think we would know better by now.”
Clark is also worried that despite growing revenues the province is still adding to our debt load.
17 February 2014
Family Day has become one of my favourite holidays because it gives us an opportunity to spend some time with our families and focus on the great quality of life we have here in Alberta. And where does that quality of life come from? Simple, it’s the people.
Albertans are not just hard-working. We care about our communities. A recent study showed 85% of Albertans made either a financial or an in-kind donation to a charity or not-for-profit and more than half of us volunteer our time. This is what it means to have a strong community and Family Day gives us a chance to reflect on what community and family means to you.
15 February 2014
There's been a lot of talk about whether Alberta's big cities should be allowed to add new sources of revenue. Before we dive into that question, it's important to understand the history of municipalities. Unlike the relationship between the federal and provincial governments, municipalities are handcuffed by what's allowed in the Municipal Government Act, which is written by the province. This means that if Edmonton or Calgary determine they need more money for snow clearing, swimming pools or public transit their only choice is to raise property taxes, which account for less than half of the annual revenues of our cities. The rest comes from federal and provincial grants.