Kicking into high gear for the fall session

It’s late October — time to kick into gear for the fall session in the Alberta Legislature.

It’s late October — time to kick into gear for the fall session in the Alberta Legislature. As MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, I plan to follow through on the commitment I made during the election to hold government to account.

A primary concern for the Wildrose Official Opposition is getting through the problems caused by E. coli contamination and the layoff of workers at the XL Foods plant in Brooks. Getting the plant open and in conformance to safety requirements is key to rebuilding confidence in the beef industry.

With a projected $3 billion deficit, another key priority heading into the fall sitting will be pressuring the government to improve its haphazard finances. This is unacceptable in a province blessed with such abundant natural resources. If families and businesses balance their books, so too can the government.

Taxpayers deserve honesty from their government, and failing to balance the books shows this

As the Canadian Taxpayers Federation pointed out, this government’s first quarter fiscal update failed to provide us with the hard numbers we are used to seeing. Instead, PCs dumbed it down with a flashy format and claimed Albertans aren’t capable of understanding the hard numbers.

Albertans have relied on these detailed balance sheets since Jim Dinning brought forward the Government Accountability Act 19 years ago as a way to keep tabs on government spending. Now, Premier Alison Redford has decreased the transparency of her government by hiding the detailed numbers.

Auditor General Merwan Saher has launched an investigation to uncover if Premier Redford’s government broke the law with its first quarter update. I will continue to advocate for Albertans to see the hard numbers, not just the glossy presentation.

A third priority for the Official Opposition will be pressuring the government to bring greater accountability and transparency.

Some of the priorities that I have concentrated on over the summer include the repairs on Secondary Highway 597 and these are underway. Busing concerns in the area have been a challenge and a review is underway. The pending closure of Satinwood School was of great concern, and again, this issue has been resolved at this time. It has been my pleasure to attend many functions throughout the community — Satinwood School, Veteran’s Banquet in Ponoka, the Alix playground ribbon cutting, discussions with Ponoka Cadets and much more.

In the fall legislative session I plan to hold government to account for its decisions. Please contact my office at 403 783 7725 or email lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca if you have any questions or concerns.

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