Alberta Budget openly excludes rural communities

Should rural municipalities who didn’t vote for NDP MLA’s in their riding be punished?

Should rural municipalities who didn’t vote for NDP MLA’s in their riding be punished?

According to the 2016 Alberta Budget the answer to this question is a resounding yes. The Provincial government failed rural Alberta with the release of Bill 6 and again with the recent release of the budget.

The vast majority of elected NDP MLA’s hail from urban centres and so it appears this is where a large portion of the budget will go while rural centres who voted Wildrose and P.C. are left to suffer alongside their decaying infrastructure for the next three years.

Aside from the blatant disregard for rural infrastructure, health care and education shown by the NDP government the Carbon Tax is undoubtedly the elephant in every rural room. The Carbon Tax will put a heavy strain on towns, counties and school boards, as they will face higher than anticipated fuel and transportation costs once the tax is implemented.

Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, Official Opposition Whip who also acts as the party’s Democracy and Accountability Advocate explained it would be the Carbon Tax that hits rural Alberta the hardest.

“The fact is everything from gas right at the pump to the cost of groceries is going to go up because of the Carbon Tax and it is going to cost every family more money. That is the last thing we should be doing when thousands of people are losing their jobs,” said Nixon. “What was clear in the budget was there is a lot of money going to urban centres while Sylvan Lake struggling to get their urgent care centre, in Sundre they are shutting down half a hospital and in Eckville we are trying to get doctors to already use the facilities present. There didn’t seem to be much investment into those types of unique municipal issues from the government.”

Betty Osmond, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Sylvan Lake, stated the Town is unsure at this time just how great of impact the new tax will have on the Town, adding they will be calculating the costs in the near future. Osmond explained they were however happy to see the carbon rebates will be going towards supporting lower and middle-income families and are also pleased with the increase of funding to Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) across the province.

“We know there are many people in town going through hard times right now and it’s good to know there are programs in place we’ve never needed them more,” said Osmond adding she hopes to see the Province instate a program to help municipalities to cover the increased costs incurred from the Carbon Tax.

Local MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Don MacIntyre said his greatest concern from this budget was the sheer level of debt.

“I knew it was going to be bad. I was aware last fall their revenue projections were based on myth. Their revenue and cost projections were fiction,” said MacIntyre.“They have shown a distinct lack of knowledge about how the economy functions.”

“We’re talking about tens of billions of dollars they’re not fiction and the people who are going to get hit hardest are the people who socialist governments claim they help the most, which are the elderly, the poor and all of our unemployed individuals currently.”

Nixon agreed the debt level is staggering.

“With that being said, even the Wildrose acknowledge we would have had to borrow some money to help Alberta get through this tough economic time but no one proposed $50-60 billion worth of debt on our end,” said Nixon. “In this budget they are borrowing to keep the lights on. It’s not just to put in infrastructure project to try to spur the economy or deal with the infrastructure hole left by the P.C.’s and that’s scary because eventually some one is going to have the deal with that mess to get our fiscal house in order.”

“I think all of our constituents know that if you are borrowing money to keep the power going at your farm or business then that’s a really bad sign and it’s no difference for a province, it’s just much bigger numbers.”

editor@sylvanlakenews.com

 

Just Posted

Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation hosting a drive-in movie fundraiser

Excitement building as the big event draws closer

WATCH: Jazz at The Lake draws a crowd for the 16th year

The annual Jazz at the Lake Festival returned to Sylvan Lake Aug. 17-19

Military Vehicle Display and Swap Meet will bring over 40 military vehicle displays

People from across Alberta will head to Red Deer for 2nd annual event

Beach Buddy Program brings reading lakeside

Beach Buddy Program is run through the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library during the summer months

Sylvan Lake swimmer heading to Pan Pacific Championships

Elizabeth Moore will be competing at the games in Fiji Aug. 23-26.

UPDATED: Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Gala brings the stars to Central Alberta

The Gala raises money for various children’s charities throughout Canada

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka counties launch agricultural plastics recycling program

The three counties signed an agreement with Merlin Plastics

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

The pilot project provides seasonal workers with up to five more weeks of benefits

Most Read