During the first two weeks of this election campaign, there has been an underlying debate between the PCs and the Wildrose parties about the role of government in our society (you may have missed it given the billions of dollars of spending promises made by them). Those parties are debating about whether there should be “less government” rather than talking about how government can work. This debate is particularly important if you and your family live in rural Alberta and if you want your children to have the ability to continue to live in places like Peace River, Hanna and Lacombe.
Government has a role.
The honest truth is that many parts of rural Alberta are in trouble because businesses and jobs are disappearing. As the former Mayor of a rural community, I understand the positive role that government can play in fostering an environment where businesses and entrepreneurs can succeed.
One example of an innovative way that government can help keep our rural communities vibrant is the Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF). I was a founding board member and past chair of the RADF, which is an organization that manages a $100 million dollar fund created by the Government of Alberta. This fund helps kick start projects that strengthen our rural communities. They produced the great video below that tells their amazing story.
Smarter government, stronger communities.
Our rural communities policy is focused on helping our rural communities to thrive and prosper. We will:
- Extend the RADF program beyond its 2014 expiry date so that it can continue its works in rural Alberta.
- Work with rural leaders to design and implement programs that assist young entrepreneurs based in rural communities.
- Develop and implement a strategy to ensure that residents and businesses in rural communities have access to broadband Internet services.
- Work with rural communities to develop and implement economic development strategies that are specifically tailored for those communities.
The Alberta Party is committed to making Alberta the best place to live, and that includes rural Alberta. The debate is not about whether government should be bigger or smaller - it’s about making the government work smarter.
Leader, Alberta Party