"Farming has taken such a massive hit due to regulations. The family farming industry is dying and the large corporate farming is buying up land and growing because they are the only ones who can afford to deal with the regulations. What's your plan to resolve this issue?"
It is sad to see, in one sense, agriculture's doing quite well in Alberta with the increased yields. On the other hand, we are seeing that the development of these mega-farms and the diminishing of the traditional family farm. It is sad to see. It's becoming very difficult for young people to buy their parent's farm or to be new entrants into farming to compete with the big guys. Part of this is because of regulation.
Let me tell you one thing I've learned over the past 13 months in this whole project that surprises me. It is the degree to which Alberta has become a really weak performer when it comes to economic freedom on regulations. There's been an accretion of regulations within every industry, with no apparent effort to manage these regulations, given their impact on businesses, especially small businesses.
If I'm Premier, I think we should have a Minister responsible for deregulation with very clear targets to eliminate and harmonize regulations everywhere possible. I want to be a Premier who gets out of bed every morning focused on the overwhelming challenge of restarting our economy, and letting nothing get in the way of that. If that means taking a weed whacker to the huge accumulation of regulations in agriculture and other industries, we must do so.