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Candidates Q&A: Taber – Warner

Posted on May 25, 2023 by admin

Southern Alberta Newspapers reached out to each candidate in Taber-Warner and asked 

a series of questions about issues of interest in the provincial election. Editor’s Note: We 

did not receive responses from Paul Hinman (Wildrose Loyalty Coalition), Jazminn Hintz (NDP), Joel Hunt (Green Party) and Frank Kast (Independence Party of Alberta).

Grant Hunter, UCP

1) What are the top issues in the local riding, and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues?

The top issue for most families is the high cost of living. The best way to help Albertans pay for their groceries and make their mortgage payments is by ensuring they keep more money in their pockets. The United Conservative Party is committed to making life more affordable by cutting taxes for all Albertans starting with personal income taxes.

A re-elected UCP government will create a new 8% bracket on income under $60,000. This means every Alberta earning $60,000 or more will save $760 – that’s over $1,500 per family! Albertans earning less than $60,000 will see a full 20% reduction to their provincial tax bill under this tax cut.

These tax cuts will provide meaningful, timely tax relief to Albertans at a time when they need it most.

We will also continue to work to get rid of the Carbon Tax which is a cost increase on everything.  The federal government has indicated that tax will increase to $170/tonne by 2030.  The NDP introduced the Carbon Tax in Alberta even though they never campaigned on it in 2015.

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force, or retain the RCMP? What about the CPP versus a provincial pension plan?

To date, no decision has been made on an Alberta Police Service; we continue to consult and consider all options. It’s important to remember that this discussion isn’t a reflection of the fantastic men and women of the RCMP who are currently keeping our communities safe,

With the federal government signaling that they are looking to get out of contract policing, we must do our due diligence to explore all options to keep Albertans safe. We will continue to work with municipalities and indigenous communities to find local solutions for their unique needs.

As for a Provincial Pension Plan we have indicated that the only way that would be implemented in Alberta is if Albertans voted for it in a referendum.  The final study on a provincial pension plan will be finished in June and released to the public.  If Albertans want a provincial pension plan they have the mechanism to vote on it through a citizen’s initiated referendum.

3) With a global and national push for more green energy, how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?

Alberta’s new Emissions Reduction and Energy Development (ERED) Plan charts Alberta’s course for cutting emissions, attracting investment and growing the economy.

The ERED Plan is Alberta’s path forward to net-zero aspirations by 2050 while maintaining affordable, reliable and secure energy for Albertans. The plan affirms that responsibly produced oil and gas will continue to be a fundamental part of the global energy mix in the coming decades while sending a clear signal to the world that Alberta is the place to invest.

We are committed to continuing to set our own made-in-Alberta policies to effectively and responsibly manage our environment and natural resources while focusing on the unique needs of Albertans and our industries.

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?

In 2019 the UCP government inherited a broken, bloated, and bureaucratic health system that was failing Albertans. We immediately began streamlining resources to the front lines and while progress was stalled by the pandemic, the results are now being seen.

We have increased Health spending by over $2 billion since 2019. We’ve added 700 physicians and nearly 6,000 staff in AHS including 1,800 RNs and 300 paramedics. In 2022 alone, we added 254 physicians and 800 nursing staff.

Surgical wait times are coming down and EMS code reds have all but been eliminated.

This election is about families, hardworking women and men who deserve world-class health care, where and when they need it.

5) Do you have a vision of what this province could be in 10 years, and what does that look like?

Alberta’s advantage has been renewed. Our economy is firing on all cylinders.  People from all across Canada and the world are moving to Alberta for good paying jobs again.  If we continue doing what we have been doing over the past 4 years (lowering taxes, eliminating red tape, paying down debt, and living within our means) the next 10 years will see explosive GDP growth  where Albertans can get good paying jobs, start or grow their businesses, and enjoy a high quality of life.  Alberta’s UCP government understands that good quality health care, education, and roads can only be achieved with a successful private sector that pays taxes.

Southern Alberta will also see explosive growth in the Agri-food processing sector over the next 10 years.  Due to the work our UCP government has done, expanding irrigation by 230,000 acres, twinning Hwy 3 from the Saskatchewan border to the BC border, and creating the Agri-processing Investment Tax Credit (APITC), Southern Alberta is poised to become the most coveted real estate in Alberta.

Brent Ginther

Solidarity Movement of Alberta

1) What are the top issues in the local riding, and what would you and your party do to try to address those issues?

The top issues in my riding are the fact that it is becoming unaffordable to raise a family in the richest province in the country and that no mainstream political party is responsive to the will of the voters they claim to represent. Our governments both federal and provincial continue to sign our country and province into agreements that nobody has ever consulted us about. As a candidate for The Solidarity Movement of Alberta, I am free to represent the interests of my constituents because I am not beholden to a party, nor do I have my eye on a long political career. The candidates for the mainstream political parties are in it for themselves and I am in it for my constituents. I am a veteran who has fought hard for this country before, and given the situation we are in, I am willing to do it again.

2) Should Alberta implement a provincial police force, or retain the RCMP? What about the CPP versus a provincial pension plan?

Alberta needs its own police force as the RCMP has shown itself to be an organization unworthy of the trust of Albertans. Whether it’s blowing up oil installations as they did in the 90’s as part of their attempt to entrap Wiebo Ludwig and Richard Boonstra, the excavators that they sabotaged last year outside Coutts, or the fact that they visited the home of Nova Scotia mass shooter, Gabriel Wortman, no less than 16 times prior to his massacre, they have demonstrated that the RCMP is not up to the standard that Albertans deserve.

Alberta should also implement its own pension plan and stop allowing Ottawa to collect our taxes. Alberta workers account for 16.5 %of total CPP contributions while Alberta retirees consumed only 10.8 % of CPP expenditures. This is just one more example of why we would be better off with a provincial plan.

3) With a global and national push for more green energy, how does Alberta integrate and promote the virtues of its oil and gas industry?

Alberta needs to educate people on the facts surrounding the green energy initiatives. It is unrealistic to rely on “green energy” and, even if all of Canada never produced another ton of C02 ever again it would make no difference if countries like India and China continue to emit. Our leaders are using climate change as a scare tactic and an excuse to increase the control over our lives and tax us into oblivion. Until the right technology becomes available to meet our energy needs, people will need to rely on oil and our province is capable of supplying a reliable source of energy to meet global demands which is something we should exploit to our benefit. The oil and gas sector built Alberta’s economy and allowing those who hate our success to stifle our economic development while benefitting from our equalization payments is absurd. 

4) The state of the province’s healthcare system remains a top issue for voters. What has to be done to make our system more responsive to the needs of Albertans?

The first thing that needs to be done is to dismantle the system of bureaucratic waste that pervades our healthcare system. Way too much money and resources are devoted to a managerial class that does very little to help Albertans in need of healthcare, while sucking money from the system.

The second step is to hire more frontline healthcare workers and hire back all those who were fired or put on leave due to the UCP governments COVID policies and to never allow the AHS board to do anything so short-sighted ever again. The next priority is to start a campaign for Alberta that promotes individual action to maintain and improve an individual’s own health and prevent problems brought on by poor lifestyle choices from taking up healthcare resources. Anti-smoking campaigns have historically proven effective, and similar efforts could be made to promote healthy diet and exercise. 

5) Do you have a vision of what this province could be in 10 years, and what does that look like?

What this province looks like in 10 years hinges on whether Albertans have the courage to make a stand and say no to the false dichotomy provided to us by the mainstream political parties. If we continue to fall prey to the paradigm of choosing between the UCP and NDP which are both leading us down the road to a globalist-controlled future, then that is exactly what we can look forward to. If Albertans can show our pioneer and independent spirit in the voting booth, then we have a real chance at becoming the most prosperous bastion of liberty in the western world. If they can see through the deception and scare tactics of “vote splitting” we can show that we are not fools and we’re not going to put up with the status quo anymore. The choice is yours this election, show them that Albertans have what it takes!

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