Alberta is under attack from its own government. More Albertans are appreciating the direction in which the NDP is taking the province is much different than the Alberta they have chosen as home or the place they moved to from another part of Canada or the world. More business people and investors are increasingly concerned Alberta is becoming uncompetitive for investment dollars, particularly in the historic economic anchor of oil and gas. There are a lot of ideas floating around about how to change the government next election. The recent merger of the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties to found the United Conservative Party is a great step forward.
But if Alberta were to go in a new direction what would it be? What policies and platforms can control or reduce spending but still provide what Albertans increasingly want which is outstanding social services and enhanced environmental protection? Can Alberta be economically competitive and still meet the expectations of younger generations to develop resources and expand industry in an environmentally benign manner?
That’s the purpose of the Alberta Fund. We want to determine what Albertans want, what they care about, how voters are thinking about the future of the province, and what we can to make it happen.
Alberta has undergone major changes this decade. The province has had four premiers and two entirely different governments in only five years. After 25 years of near-continuous economic growth which made Alberta the envy of the nation, 2016 will be the second year of major financial contraction. Oil and gas, the industry which powered Alberta to its prosperous and unique financial situation, is struggling from collapsed commodity prices. Meanwhile, more people increasingly question whether this still-essential resource even has a future.
Increasingly more Albertans are confused and concerned about their future. Unemployment, deficits and taxes are rising while real estate and business values are going in the opposite direction. A new carbon tax introduced January 1, 2017 has affected everyone and everything. Electricity costs will surely rise as coal fired generation is phased out and replaced by renewables of unknown source and cost.
Albertans are becoming increasingly concerned. More are believing a new government will be required. But with an election is nearly two – possibly three - years away, what can be done now?
Has our province changed or has only the government changed? When the NDP won a majority government in the 2015 election, was this representative of a quantum shift in the views and aspirations of Albertans? Or was it a protest vote caused by fractured support between the two fiscally conservative political parties, Wildrose and Progressive Conservative?
A million people have moved to Alberta in the past ten years. Why? What do they want? Is today’s Alberta different from the once of the last decade or the last century?
The Alberta Fund intends to help answer these questions and provide a vehicle to engage concerned Albertans to participate in shaping our future. We are concerned Albertans, not political insiders desperate to get back into or retain power. We see a government that is taking Alberta in the wrong direction and want to make a constructive contribution to shaping a better future.
As an incorporated not-for-profit organization, Alberta Fund will raise money to conduct research into the attitudes and aspirations of Albertans We will analyze this information then communicate it to the public. At the same time, we will support more news and information outlets that tell the whole story, not just what the ever-shrinking conventional media chooses or can afford to report. Once we know what the majority of Albertans want and need, we will advocate for those views. At the same time, we will support politicians and political parties who agree with the views of the Alberta Fund and have the greatest chance of winning the next election and turning ideas into political reality.
Again, what is Alberta? Who are Albertans? Everybody is talking but is anyone listening? The Alberta Fund will change that. Please provide your support.