Our new Premier and his soon to be slimmed down cabinet will quickly get to work, charting a new course for the Province. As we watch the new thinking unfold, there are ten tests which will help decide whether the Government of
First, will they reduce public spending? Public spending in
Second, will it control spending? Every year for the last five years, Government spending has been higher than it budgeted for by about $1 billion annually. This needs to stop. Premier Stelmach needs to impose strong fiscal discipline if he is to set a new course.
Third, will the Government start to manage growth?
Fourth, will the Government engage in a systematic approach to diversifying the
Fifth, what investments will the Government make in the future? In 2002 the Tuer Financial Management Commission looked at
Sixth, what is the strategy for the future of health care in
Seven, what steps are being taken to increase the participation rate in post secondary education? Students are right concerned about affordability of College and University education. Albertan’s should be concerned about the need to have a highly educated workforce. This means that participation rates and completion rates in our post secondary programs need to increase – so look for a different kind of encouragement and incentives for participation in and completion of programs.
Eight, look at the way municipalities are treated – do Cities get a fair slice of the cake? Cities and communities are at the heart of our experience of Government. Look at the flow of resources to cities and communities and at the fairness of these allocations. Look too at the extent to which municipalities are re-engaged in decisions which affect them. Listen to the reaction of Mayors to policy announcements – expect a change of tone.
Nine. look at the relationship between
Finally, will Stelmach “fix” the democratic deficit in
The electors who chose Stelmach sent a message. “Smarten up! Be responsible. No more same old!”. These ten tests will tell us whether he and his team not only heard, but understood the message they were sent and are acting on it.