Wildrose blasts Throne Speech

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Edmonton – The Wildrose Party called Tuesday’s Throne Speech confessions of a failed government. In a release issued within an hour of the conclusion of the speech, the party said the speech offered no new solutions for the issues facing the province.

“We were hoping for a vision, what we got was a confession,” said Danielle Smith in the release. “Competitiveness, government spending, long-term care beds, health care, property rights – these are problems of their own making. It stretches credibility that the same guys who made these problems are going to fix them.”

The party took issue with what it felt was a PC lecture on competition, a situation it feels is ironic in light of its argument the PCs cost Albertans thousands of jobs and cost the treasury potential billions with its handling of oil revenues.

Part of the province’s competition strategy is the increase of carbon capture and storage (CCS), something that will be used to get new life out of the province’s older oil wells before being stored in the ground. Long a critic of CCS, the Wildrose said the technology is unproven and a holy grail the government is using as a plan to increase royalty revenues. “It goes against our plan for a natural gas strategy which would diversify our energy sector and make use of market-developed solutions and technologies,” said Wildrose Deputy Leader Paul Hinman in the same release.

Hinman was also critical of the province’s plan to continue to dip into the Sustainability Fund to fund infrastructure spending. “Had they made infrastructure upgrades on an ongoing basis, we wouldn’t be trying to make up a decade’s worth of neglect in only three years, pushing our economy into staggering deficit while spending away our rainy day funds,” he said. “Now they’ve developed an infrastructure addiction with 67 MLAs all wanting to cut ribbons before the next election.”

Hinman went on to say the province needs a stable, long-term and prioritized infrastructure plan that removes the politics from the province’s capital planning.

On the matter of health care, the throne speech called for the addition of another 1,000 continuing care spaces in 2011, and an additional 5,300 by 2015 as well as increased funding for addiction and mental health.

Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said the province still refuses to acknowledge the mistake of creating the Alberta Health Superboard. “It’s obvious to everybody that centralizing the delivery of health care in Alberta is a failed experiment, but this government refuses to let go,” she said. “We must return decision-making power to local health care authorities and stop pouring billions into a top-down system that gobbles up billions and spits out pennies for patients.”

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