Hello Chestermere! As I am writing this it’s 8:16 PM Sunday night December 11, I am in my Edmonton office looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights at the legislature and I can tell you I am proud to be here. We in the Wildrose have kept the NDP Government in the House voting down Wildrose amendments to the many bills they are ramming through the Legislature. Can we stop them: no. But we can make each one of them stand up and go on record as voting for Bills that will make you poorer and damage our democracy. Let’s start with Bill 35, the Fair Elections Financing Act. The Wildrose has demanded to get big money out of politics for a long time. In the first session we passed a bill to end union and corporate donations. We agreed on a donation limit of $4,000. This was previously $15 000 or double that if there was an election. The Wildrose suggested that donations to individual candidates should be limited to $1000 each to halt the ability for one person to use their entire $4000 on one candidate to help remove potential influence a donor could have on that candidate. This was left out of the bill. There is a $50,000 spending limit on campaigns for candidates, and a $2 million cap for the parties. However, the NDP refuses to limit government advertising during an election campaign. Try “binge watching” or “binge listening” to the TV or radio these days. Count the number of NDP Government propaganda ads for the Carbon Tax. These are your tax dollars they are spending. As Jason Nixon, Wildrose MLA and shadow minister for Ethics and Accountability said “We are disappointed that the government has not recognized that the public purse is big money in the political process.” The biggest piece of news that came from debating this bill was the fact that the Government wants Albertans to pay for election campaigns. Yes you read that correctly, Alberta taxpayers could be partially funding campaigns. This was a proposed motion by a government MLA. This is ridiculous. We could be seeing our tax dollars rebate 50% of campaign expenses to political parties, and or candidates that get 10% of the votes. Wow! We are in an economic downturn and people are struggling to find jobs and feed their families. Instead of help from the NDP Government we get Bills that will: create a capacity market for electricity that will hide the cost of new electricity infrastructure on your utility bill and add it into your taxes, cap oil sands production and upgrading thus exporting our jobs instead of our oil, put you on the hook for 1.4 billion dollars to pay back electricity companies for the government suing itself over the PPAs, and we now will have a carbon tax that will cost us at least $1000 per family provincially and as high as $2500 federally depending on who gets to us first. Oh yes and my favourite, Bill 34, which hands the NDP Government a blank cheque to make loans to the balancing pool because the balancing pool has to pay power producers the same amount the retailers would have done. You have to pay these loans back, hidden in your taxes instead of on the power bill where you could see it. This “solves” a problem the NDP Government created by imposing carbon taxes on utility companies. They handed back their contracts and you get to pay for it. This is outrageous. When my friend and shadow minister for electricity and renewables Don MacIntyre pointed out to the NDP Government that the rate payer and the tax payer are the same person, and that the government was “sticking it to the tax payer, and the rate payer” the NDP Minister of Advanced Education yelled at the top of his lungs as he departed the legislature “I’ll tell you where to stick it!” Classy. Perhaps he should return to school and learn who pays his salary.
I hope that you have a beautiful week, enjoy our beautiful frozen lake, and take a moment for gratitude. I know it is hard as we watch this government seek and destroy, but as always I am inspired to keep going because I am inspired by you. I am sad to be missing all of the Christmas parties and concerts, so enjoy those moments, and let the Christmas spirit into your hearts. I will keep fighting, and know that we have your back. As always we love to hear from you.