Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr

OPINION: Opposition stands ready for Spring Session

Ponoka's MLA Ron Orr speaks to a strong opposition party in the Spring Session and the Legislature.

On March 2, Alberta’s Legislature reconvenes for the Spring Session with the Throne Speech.

With the 2017 budget and several other divisive pieces of legislation on tap, one can expect some real fireworks. Unfortunately, if history has taught us anything it’s that when governments raise the temperature inside the chamber, regular Albertans find themselves left out in the cold.

According to the most recent update from Statistics Canada, nearly 98,000 Albertans are receiving Employment Insurance support. This is the most ever recorded. If ever there were a time for encouraging jobs and growth, it is now.

Ideas like cutting taxes, reducing red tape, making responsible reductions in government spending are needed to spur growth in our economy and support families.

Yet, the NDP government remains fixated on dividing Albertans along ideological lines, fomenting old divisions. This government’s “us vs. them” paradigm does nothing to get Albertans back to work. It does nothing to strengthen Alberta’s families. It does nothing to build our communities. Perhaps worst of all, it divides our society at a time when cooperation has never been so important.

Raising taxes and increasing spending is clearly limiting the full potential of our economy to bounce back, and more of the same can only lead to a jobless recovery.

The fact is, the Premier promised in her 2016 budget that she would create 100,000 private sector jobs over three years. But since her budget was introduced, Alberta has lost over 45,000 full time jobs.

But don’t expect for this government to change course.

While claiming to consult with Albertans, the NDP refuses to disclose who was admitted to its taxpayer-funded invite-only consultations. It is reminiscent of the phoney consultations staged in to try and justify the introduction of the carbon tax.

However, it is worth noting that two-thirds of Albertans remain opposed to the carbon tax.

As your MLA, I stand ready to bring your thoughts, your concerns, and your desire for change to the Legislative Assembly. This is my duty in Alberta’s Parliament. It is also a real honour. There is no higher service than giving voice to those who are being ignored.

The government says our Official Opposition needs to be put in place. We know our place. It is right here, standing on your side.

To conclude, I would like to thank those that have sent e-mails, letters, called and brought in their energy bills. The information is very useful as we begin Session.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at 403-782-7725 or by e-mail at Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca or drop in 101, 4892 – 46 Street Lacombe.