I would hope to be around in 50 years. My youngest son will be 52, my oldest will be 72. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, in fact quite opposite for my family. Grandparents and Great Grandparents on both sides of my family have endured life this long and certainly under much more strenuous circumstances than I have yet had to endure and probably never will, should our society continue its march forward with all its dizzying array of technological and scientific advances.
So therefore I thought it fitting that I should begin to lay out my 50 year plan for Alberta so that upon my 95th Birthday I might sit back and feel as if I have been part of something important, something that has left this Province in better shape than on my 45th, and something that my children, grandchildren and perhaps great grandchildren can look on with pride that I didn’t just sit back and talk about change but was part of making it happen.
I will over the next few months flesh this out in far greater detail, but it should be a simple task for you the reader to understand what the concepts are which I am trying to present as what I believe to be the FOUNDATION for a long term strategy to make this Province, Alberta an incredible place of opportunity and personal and corporate growth.
A FIFTY YEAR PLAN FOR ALBERTA AND ALL ALBERTANS THAT:
“FOCUSSES ON our LONG TERM PROVINICAL FINANCIAL STRUCTURE”
“FOCUSSES ON our PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE FOUNDATION”
“FOCUSSES ON our PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE FAITH IN GOVERNMENT”
What do I mean by these? In my mind they are the cornerstones of WHAT MUST BE THE PLAN for our Province;
First, we need a focus on long term Provincial FINANCIAL STRUCTURE. What is the financial plan for Alberta? If we claim as we do at the Alberta Party that it is our intention to “promote Alberta as a world Energy Leader and create an environment favourable to economic diversification”, this must begin NOW. We are blessed with an abundance of natural resources a constant theme in this province. What are we doing with them NOW and into the future? We must diversify our economy not to make us a manufacturing superpower, or a world widget super producer; we cannot possibly compete with the “human superpowers” of Asia. HOWEVER, WE CAN REVITALIZE THE CREATIVE ENERGY OF ALBERTANS by capitalizing on the wealth of knowledge we have in this Province and channeling that into creating an environment that fosters growth and expansion of the economic bedrock of the Province away from sole reliance on hydrocarbon extraction. In addition, it is absolutely critical that we discuss a new economic model for dealing with Provincial revenues and ensuring the financial infrastructure is sound. We need a new relationship with “Corporate Alberta”. Taxation into the black hole which has become the Provincial coffers is a non-starter. We need a partnership approach to Provincial revenues and spending in this Province; and it has to start with an intelligent discussion with its Corporate Leaders. It is a discussion I wish to have and it is a discussion which needs to happen now. Profits from our energy resources MUST be reinvested back into ensuring Alberta is equipped and able to handle its growth and development not just today but far into the future, through significant reinvestment back into research and development, innovation, post-secondary education with extensive and comprehensive focus on science and technology BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANT on development of highly skilled and qualified tradespeople.
Our personal and collective FOUNDATION is under attack. What do I mean by this; the very things that give us our grounding, our families and communities. This needs to end. While once again I will significantly expand on each of these 3 key areas over the course of the next several months, I will say this that the deterioration of these fundamental needs of all of Albertans is impacting and will continue to impact our “social system” if it is not addressed, and addressed with a view to a long term plan for reversing the damage that has been done and ensuring we don’t walk this road again. In addition, our “foundation” includes those things that are critical to our success and very survival as well, health and education, both of which are impacted by loss of focus on our personal and collective wellbeing. Of course a focus on this cannot be successful without focus on financial structure. We must not continue to preside over the death of any more Alberta communities. The same Alberta innovation, integrity and resolve that built these communities needs to be encouraged and fostered through an unwavering commitment by government to ensure that our communities are built up and supported instead of allowed to deteriorate and completely lose their identity, only to have it replaced by the identity of a “big box store chain”. Strong, vibrant and healthy “families” using a broad brush definition of that and proud, vibrant, growth oriented COMMUNITIES not faceless and characterless sprawl will set Alberta on a positive and healthy course for the next 50 years.
Our personal and collective FAITH and trust in the institution which is government; is deteriorating. We have lost control of the bureaucracy, and accountability in government is at an all-time low. We cannot continue to allow voter apathy and disillusionment with government to cloud our view of what role it should have and should continue to have in ensuring Alberta remains the best place in the world to live, work, raise a family, build a business and enjoy the fruits of those years of labour in a societal structure that ensures long term social infrastructure and care when needed. If we don’t begin to change peoples’ mindsets with regard to this critical part of our makeup collectively and as individuals we cannot hope to affect change in our financial structure in Alberta and ensure that we have reliable and effective development of our foundational structures as well. As I mentioned the business of government, the bureaucracy is taking valuable capital away from these areas of focus; it is in dramatic need of change.
Starting in February I will visit 50 TOWNS IN 50 DAYS TO EXPLAIN AND DISCUSS WITH ALBERTANS, MY 50 YEAR PLAN FOR ALBERTA AND ALL ALBERTANS. It will form the structure and theme of my campaign for the leadership of The Alberta Party. I’ll continue to blog about it and use social media to the greatest extent I can, but it in no way can replace personal face to face interaction with real, grateful, intelligent, innovative, but questioning Albertans who are not entirely hopeful about where they see the Province and certainly would question where it is headed in 50 years under this current administration. Many are hurting and don’t see government as truly committed to their FOUNDATION now or in the future. I look forward to listening to their stories and having those discussions and I’m sure occasional debate in the communities where they are, not just in the community online. It should be an exciting 50 days… imagine then what we can do in 50 YEARS!!