United Conservative Party
Alberta’s UCP Caucus was hard at work holding government to task for its spending this week by scrutinizing the NDP government’s $54 billion spending spree and its $11 billion deficit.
The UCP team used the two-day meeting of the Legislature’s Public Accounts Committee to expose the NDP’s gross mismanagement of Alberta’s finances, including the mess they made out of our energy system.
We were unsurprised to discover that the government has failed to learn from the Power Purchasing Arrangement (PPA) debacle of their own creation, which will cost Albertans at least $4.5 billion.
That’s simply not going to make life better for Albertans. That isn’t the only way they’ve dropped the ball on the energy file. Their accelerated shut down of coal with no plan for Alberta’s coal communities will hurt everyday Albertans in communities from Hanna to Forestburg and beyond.
When Alberta’s Auditor General asked MLAs at the meeting for suggestions for improvements, all of our UCP MLAs asked for ways for the government to provide better value for tax dollars. Not a single NDP MLA said efficient use of tax dollars was important to them, even though Alberta’s $1.4 billion annual interest payment is larger than the budgets for Agriculture and Forestry, Children’s Services, Economic Development and Trade, and almost a dozen other departments. It’s a huge problem that when debt servicing costs make up this large of a portion of the budget, the NDP backbenchers don’t even blink an eye.
UCP Caucus MLAs Prasad Panda and Ric McIver demanded a debt repayment plan from this government to prevent our credit rating from slipping further, and our interest rates from rising.
On Thursday (Sept. 7), our questioning revealed that officials with Alberta Health, our province’s biggest expense at $21 billion per year, could not clearly explain why our health spending keeps increasing without corresponding improvements in results. The Auditor General pointed out that “other countries are improving much faster and with less money.” Alberta’s UCP Caucus will continue to press the Health department to develop benchmarks for quality and cost effectiveness.
True accountability means getting real answers not just for us, but for Albertans who depend on us to expose the NDP’s wasteful agenda. The good news is that UCP MLAs are here working hard for all Albertans to help bring these issues to light.