by Heather Forsyth
Albertans remain in a state of shock.
The betrayal they feel as they contemplate the scandalous abandonment of democratic principles held by once-trusted politicians will not heal quickly; nor should it.
They are stung and justifiably hurt by actions that mock notions of noble public service and trust.
But let us be clear: Albertans have not lost the opposition they elected. I am here, as new Wildrose interim leader and leader of Alberta’s official Opposition, to send a clear message: our party is rejuvenated and determined.
My colleagues and I will continue to hold this government to account. We will work tirelessly to maintain your trust and will hold true to the values and principles the Wildrose party and, we believe, Albertans stand for. As Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, we will speak not just for those people who voted for us. We speak for all Albertans who expect the very best from those they elect to serve on their behalf.
We believe the people of this province deserve not only an effective Opposition, they also need a party and individuals fiercely committed to putting forward positive ideas that will lead to an even better and stronger Alberta. This does not mean governing only in the pursuit of the maintenance of power, but in the pursuit of that which best serves the people.
We will continue to be the fiscal watchdog for this province. This means establishing needs before wants, and always remembering that it is our job to put the interests of Albertans, not politicians, or special interests, first. This means an efficient government dedicated to working toward genuine, honestly balanced budgets within a stable, long-term fiscal framework based on sound public policy. And it means keeping promises to put a stop to borrowing and mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren. In the months ahead, you will continue to see us lay out our ideas to better achieve this vision.
We will work relentlessly to ensure Alberta has the tools in place to keep our markets free and to grow our economy. We will speak up for health care professionals and patients to ensure they are treated fairly, and that all Albertans have timely access to the care they deserve. We will speak up for children, parents and teachers to ensure we maintain a world-class education system.
And of course, we remain fully committed to strengthening democracy. Recent behaviours have, if anything, fortified our resolve. This is a pivotal moment for Albertans. Their choices have never been more clear.
There is one party committed only to power, supported by politicians who long ago lost the ability to distinguish what is best for the party from what is best for the people of this province. Then there is the Wildrose: a party for the people with principles that bind Albertans from every background, from every corner of our great province. We stand committed to bringing government back into the hands of everyday Albertans.
I want to thank everyone who has rallied behind us. We will not forget, nor will we give up. Our mission continues.
Wildrose has already strengthened Alberta. We invite you to join us in our resolve to make it even better.
Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Heather Forsyth is the interim leader of the Wildrose and the leader of Alberta’s official Opposition