Rebecca Schulz is a leadership candidate for the United Conservative Party. Schulz is currently the MLA for Calgary-Shaw and was most recently the Minister of Children’s Services.
I’ve heard from conservatives all across our province. Albertans want a leader and a government that will defend our constitutional rights. We want to be treated fairly in confederation, and we want to be recognized for our significant contributions to our country.
I want the same, which is why I am firmly committed to defending Alberta and driving strong economic growth so we can continue to be a leader in Canada and continue to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
Writing letters, empty threats, chaos, and catchy headlines haven’t worked.
This won’t be my approach.
I worked for Premier Brad Wall in Saskatchewan when he simply said “no” to the federal government — a Conservative federal government — when BHP Billiton was looking to take over PotashCorp.
He said “no” because he understood that resources belonged to the people of his province. The same applies right here in Alberta and we as Albertans know this.
It’s easy politics for a candidate to say they’ll create a silver bullet piece of legislation that will simply fix all of our problems. Danielle Smith has pitched the Alberta Sovereignty Act as a means to bar any federal legislation deemed harmful to our province. But it’s not realistic. It’s just one more example of a politician overpromising on something they can’t deliver to win your vote. Even worse, it puts a target on our back for Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley.
So what can we do?
There are of course things we can negotiate, like child care and housing. I went toe-to-toe with the feds on child care and got an agreement that worked for Alberta — one that respects private operators and parent choice. We need the same in housing. Municipalities are facing very real struggles and they need the help of their provincial and federal governments.
But we can say “no” to Ottawa when they infringe on our jurisdictional rights. If we look east to our neighbours, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has done an effective job saying “no” to the federal government on fertilizer emissions caps. He also led the charge with other like-minded provinces.
We can better position ourselves by taking over our pension and tax systems, and of course, giving Albertans the facts before we do this.
We can be a leader in this country by standing up to Ottawa and working with our provincial counterparts to gain more leverage and push for change.
That is how we win these fights.
So here is my commitment to you:
Within 10 days, a Schulz government will have a dedicated team in place with a Deputy Premier to prioritize pushing back on Ottawa.
Within 50 days, the Deputy Premier will present a Provincial Rights Framework, with the mandate to identify every legal and constitutional measure at our disposal to stand up against Ottawa’s attacks on our province.
Finally, within 100 days, we will present a new Market Access Plan to create political and economic incentives for federal and provincial governments to negotiate with Alberta in good faith for improved trade and market access. This includes looking at criteria for “Turning off the Taps” through the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.
No more over-promising and under-delivering. No more unkept promises.
But to do this, we need a leader who can keep our party united and beat the NDP in 2023.
Someone who will lead with hard work, humility, and common sense.
I will lead a team and a party that Alberta conservatives can be proud of.
I encourage you to visit my website at www.rebeccaforleader.ca to learn more about my vision for Alberta.
If we want to improve our position within this country, it’s important that we get this right.