By GEORGE BROWN / Ponoka News
A Wildrose Alliance government would create an Alberta constitution to provide a legal framework for governance and the protection of individual rights.
The party’s Lacombe-Ponoka candidate, Rod Fox, and deputy leader Paul Hinman, told members at the constituency association’s annual general meeting in Ponoka Nov. 23, they are committed to “introducing an Alberta constitution when we form government.”
“What’s protected in a constitution is all that we have as individuals,” he explained. “If it isn’t written and protected in the constitution, then the rule of law doesn’t work in our favour.”
Hinman said Fox, who received the party’s nomination earlier this fall, “has a desire and a passion to protect our life, our liberty and our property.”
He added that despite the Canadian Bill of Rights and because of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there has been a “continual erosion of our property (rights), our life and our freedoms.”
The Stelmach government continues to erode Albertans’ rights with legislation that gives cabinet ministers the right to unilaterally trample individual rights, Hinman said. “They have the right to decide, ‘You know what? We want to put this powerline through your property and we will tell you what it’s worth.’”
Despots throughout history have rationalized their actions by saying they were for the good of society, Hinman said. “We must protect the individual’s rights if we’re going to protect our community rights.”
Hinman, who has fought three election campaigns, winning two, has heard from Albertans that they are “disgusted with their government.” Sixty per cent or more of Albertans don’t vote because they believe politicians are all the same and that they can’t make a difference.
Voters believe, “‘It doesn’t matter what we say, what we want, once you get in there you’re just going to go and do what you want to do,’” he explained. He wants to be part of a strong Wildrose government that speaks for the people.
“We want to do the right thing. We want to spend the taxpayers’ money, our money, in the best way possible.”
In a Q and A session, Gawney Hinkley pressed Hinman on whether a Wildrose government would turn authority for hospital decisions back to local administrators.
“What we absolutely need is a local administrator that runs the hospital and that is charge of the staff and all of the facilities,” Hinman replied. “We have lots of closed units in our hospitals and people down in the emergency room are being told, ‘We have no room.’”
Hinman said the local administrators in hospitals today are in charge but “they’re not allowed to make any decisions.”
Wildrose has not determined the board governance structure it would implement, he added.
He was also asked whether a Wildrose government would split mental health away from the Alberta Health and Wellness ministry but said he was uncertain how to best serve the needs of patients and would listen to the experts.
The Wildrose Alliance Lacombe – Ponoka Constituency Association has 450 members.