By early next month, Alberta will have a new Premier. Whether you will be participating directly in the voting process throughout this month or not, it is important to be aware of what is at stake. After two years of pandemic policy making, our world appears to be entering a state of economic chaos. It should have come as no surprise that printing trillions of dollars of imaginary money and injecting it into the economy would result in soaring inflation, or that prolonged shutdowns and operational restrictions would result in the devastation of countless businesses and the global labour market. Yet it is 2022, and here we are.
Governments now face a dichotomic decision: continue to falsely hold up their reeling economies with additional spending and financial aid, which are sure to naively cause worse economic damage and inflation in the long run, or return to the ideals of responsible governance and fiscal responsibility to ensure social supports can be sustained for those who truly need them. Governments everywhere must recognize that a welfare state funded solely by debt that cannot be repaid is sure to crash one day, and when it does, the crash and inevitable disappearance of its supports for those who need them most will hurt far more than measured restraint ever would have. We are perhaps already beginning to see that collapse in our federal government, who’s budget documents quantify the “cost savings” achieved by providing medical assistance in dying (MAID) to those living beneath the poverty line as opposed to providing them with continuous and lifelong social supports and housing. We aren't talking about providing MAID to those with terminal illness - that is an entirely different conversation. Our federal government is offering this service to otherwise healthy individuals who simply cannot afford a basic standard of living. Despite the seemingly obvious, I fear many governments around the world will use the pandemic to embark down an irresponsible path of no return, establishing a financial reliance upon the government amongst their citizens that will never be dissolved. That is why it is paramount that Alberta maintains our responsible fiscal and economic trajectory. Alberta is, and has always been, a brilliant place of optimism and opportunity, where our only limitations are the size of our dreams and the caliber of our work ethic.
The generational prosperity of our province can be largely attributed to the fact that Alberta people - coming from agricultural, entrepreneurial, and industrial backgrounds, have engrained in our culture the values of hard work, individual responsibility, and compassion for community. Naturally, over the years, those values have translated into a government model which, through intentionally limited interference and targeted social supports, has managed to empower a uniquely Albertan spirit of self-determination amongst its people. My conservativism is rooted in a belief that those of us who inherited this world as we know it have a duty to preserve the foundations upon which it was built, and pass down the shared values, beliefs, and institutions that created it. In Alberta, our culture and economy were built upon limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, faith, family, and community. I am proud of those things and consider them to be as much a part of my personal identity as my province’s. My home is an extension of myself. Many of you have been asking me about the upcoming leadership election, and what I will say is this: in the next Premier of our province, I will be looking for someone who understands the importance of keeping our Alberta, Alberta, and who can articulate the importance of maintaining our free-market economy and strong fiscal position. This vision may not seem flashy, but at a time of such global instability, and at a time when so many wish to convince us that the only solutions to our problems are even bigger government, a message of stability and confidence is the vision our future needs. Within these parameters, we can still do much. We can fortify ourselves against Ottawa; grow and diversify our economy; maintain strong health and education systems, and protect our most vulnerable. To be done successfully, however, this work must be guided by a fundamental set of principles and uncompromisable beliefs. The world, and even our own country, has too many ideas of who Alberta should become for us to elect a leader who lacks steadfastness. All of this said, I am supporting Travis Toews for leadership. At a time of such global uncertainly, Alberta has an opportunity to establish itself firmly within financial and capital markets as the safest economy to invest and do business in, long into the future. More importantly, Alberta has an opportunity to establish itself firmly, once and for all, as the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family. But we need to get this right.