Your Alberta Party Throne Speech — The Right Choice for Albertans

Barry Morishita

February 22, 2022

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Albertans have faced significant adversity over the last five to six years, and many challenges remain to be dealt with. 

A Speech from the Throne is meant to set the priorities of the government for the upcoming session in the Legislature. These priorities should reflect the collective goals of Albertans, not the narrow focus of a government hoping to gain political favour. 

The past two years have tested Albertans, and Canadians, in a number of ways — from health and safety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to economic from increased costs of food, heating, gasoline, and providing for their families, and societal — the deep divisions and aggressiveness that were brought to light in the recent protests and blockades, and the cries of those marginalized by isolation and diminishing supports for mental health, addictions, and domestic violence. 

Your Alberta Party is listening to these very serious concerns about health care and education, the rising costs of living, and the need for leadership that brings people together to solve our challenges; not fanning the flames of division and politics. 

That is why we present what our Speech from the Throne would be, to show Albertans where your Alberta Party priorities are and how we would do things differently.

Governments around the globe are grappling with how to transition out of this pandemic. Alberta has inherent opportunities to show a different kind of leadership that can be the envy of other provinces and countries — by focusing on the pillars of people, productivity, planet, and the prosperity of Albertans. This is your Alberta Party’s purpose.

The time is now to thoughtfully consider these needs to bring a practical and transparent plan to securing the future for Alberta. This plan will be based on the best professional information. We will support business and people in ways that reflect data and expert advice, with measures that will be practical, efficient, and effective.

Your Alberta Party will propose measures that mitigate the high costs of electricity and home heating. We will determine a better solution to the high costs of insurance.  

Albertans want affordability and fairness when it comes to their basic costs and your Alberta Party will be making proper financial plans to ensure we can accomplish this.

Your Alberta Party recognizes that if those in need succeed, we all succeed. Services to the most vulnerable of our society must be realigned with the goal to achieve success, not prove their need. This would include a full review and accounting of current social programs in an integrated way — housing, homelessness, addictions counselling and treatment, employment strategies, living wages for all — including those on AISH and other social supports. We will support partnerships with all stakeholders and collaborate to enact policy and actions that create positive waves of success to lift all up. Indexing AISH and simplifying the associated application and registration processes are a starting point to greater action.  

The good fortune of rising energy prices is a benefit to government finances. Your Alberta Party believes we must wisely consider how to use our non-renewable resource revenue to benefit us for years to come. We must follow through and make prudent investments in the future — resisting the siren call of using these one-time, non-renewable resource windfalls to make the current account look better. 

This includes new yearly investments in the Alberta Heritage Fund, something that has not been done since the late 1980s. We must resist the temptation to draw down the interest earned to fund general government expenditures. This poor fiscal policy has removed nearly $30 billion from Albertan’s rainy-day fund. We will review and redefine our required revenue and its sources. We must look at both sides of the ledger.

Your Alberta Party will use innovative fiscal planning logic to consider government services, with a focus on best value for money and thoughtful investments in both debt reduction and future needs in healthcare and education. The important issue of fiscal management includes an evaluation of changes to revenue and shall consider a modernization of our tax system to provide both business and personal advantages to Alberta for generations to come. The Alberta Party commits to removing barriers to business and entrepreneurship including the gradual elimination of the business tax and returning to a progressive income tax system that will allow Alberta to grow and prosper. 

The government must encourage our economy to take advantage of the future. For example, big and small solutions to combat climate change are enabled by innovation and new ideas that take advantage of our wealth of natural resources. But sometimes creating opportunities requires the government to step aside and deregulate or simplify. Only using one of these approaches will not make us more prosperous. We need both, while being thoughtful and smart within our approach. 

Your Alberta Party is committed to investments in our colleges, universities, technical and trade schools to enhance our position as a world leader in post-secondary education, and equipping our students to lead the world to a better future. We will rebuild Alberta’s post-secondary system into one that provides a future of opportunity, starting with investments in affordability, innovation, and quality education now. 

Considering the needs of teachers and students in our K-12 schools is of utmost importance.  Building a curriculum of critical thinking and global awareness is an exercise we must do collaboratively with educators, parents, thought leaders, and other stakeholders. We must strive to have a world class education system once again.   

Your Alberta Party has heard the need to work with local communities to fix the issues which are creating much chaos in emergency situations. These include dispatch and ambulance services, funding for infrastructure and human services, and enhancing quality of service along with quality of community. Many municipalities are willing to work with us to provide better services. The best solutions will be found in local communities to address these particular needs. 

Your Alberta Party recognizes the need to do more in reconciliation and advancing the prosperity of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples. We will listen first, understand, and then act cooperatively. Solutions exist and we are committed to moving forward together. 

Health care workers, teachers, small business people, parents, and many other Albertans have been burdened by poor policy and political expediency. As we chart our transition, they not only need but deserve our support and appreciation. Your Alberta Party will demonstrate this through collective agreements, effective policy decisions, and actions that will help all to reclaim these leadership positions.

While the history of our recent governments leads us to believe otherwise, your Alberta Party will continue to advocate for collaboration and cooperation, for setting aside political gain to make decisions that benefit Albertans. We will use the best of our government to move Albertans and Alberta forward. 

We love Alberta!

Together, everything is possible.

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