"How will the new party deal with the sum of total debt that Alberta has incurred once the NDP has been voted out of office?"
Ralph Klein once famously said, "Alberta has a spending problem, not a revenue problem". I have a wealth of experience fighting for lower taxes and smarter fiscal management. As Premier, I would do everything I can to stand up for taxpayers.
By the end of the NDP's time in government, they will have taken Alberta's debt from just over $10B to at least $70B. Ralph Klein's government made great sacrifices to pay down Alberta's debt and bring in the Alberta advantage, and the NDP are throwing it away. I think getting Alberta back to a balanced budget should be one of the United Conservative Party's top priorities.
The NDP has announced that they will have at least $70 billion–that's ten zeroes–in Alberta public debt by the fiscal year 2019/ 2020. They started with about a $12 billion debt. So they're taking it from roughly $10 billion all the way up to $70 billion. Right now the deficit is just under $12 billion. I anticipate that by 2019 when we come to office that the NDP will still have a deficit probably in the range of $5 billion to $10 billion per year.
This is going to be a huge challenge, there's no doubt. It's just tragic when you think about it. For those of you who were in Alberta back in the 90s, you will remember the huge sacrifices that were made during Ralph Klein's government to eliminate the deficit, eliminate the debt and then bring in the whole Alberta advantage. It wasn't easy and it's just tragic watching all of those gains–that incredible fiscal foundation of the Alberta Advantage–just being thrown away recklessly by this NDP government. This is a government that's increasing spending faster than inflation, or our population or economic growth, and way faster than the economy.
Obviously one of the number one responsibilities of a new government will be getting us back on track to a balanced budget. Are we gonna be able to do that overnight? No, I don't think so but certainly in the first term of government. I would hope in the first couple of years.
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