Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Integrated Action Plan for Alberta

I am passionate about Alberta and what we can achieve. But, for Alberta to be the best it can be, we have to act on what Albertans say they want. Yes, there are real solutions, and those solutions come from the people who know the most about the challenges: Our healthcare professionals, the business people, our educators, our municipal leaders, our Aboriginal communities, and our farmers. But these solutions must go beyond the next election cycle ... they must be integrated, and have a 50-year window so political opportunity does not derail them.

Here is my vision and action plan for Alberta.

Develop a Balanced Partnership with Alberta’s Energy Sector to establish Alberta as a world energy leader for the next 50 years, including immediate transition from dirty coal usage to equivalent natural gas and renewables usage for electrical generation by 2020.

Develop a 21st Century Environmental Policy on non-recycled industrial wastewater and waste fuel by 2020, with incentives for development of new technologies and early adopters.

Develop a Balanced Partnership with Corporate Alberta to establish economic priorities, and how we will meet demands for the next 50 years in Alberta.

Establishment of a 50/50 Fund for Albertans – A $50 billion fund by 2031 for the next 50 years – for the development of economically viable “Made in Alberta” industries, post-secondary education, and long-term capital infrastructure. 50% of this fund will be allocated to “Made in Alberta” industries.

Set a Goal of Full Employment by 2020. Why would we settle for less? Not some politically palatable number of 5% or 6% unemployment, but as close to rock bottom as is humanly possible. Every Albertans who wants to work, should be able to work. We must create the environment and the opportunity to turn this into a reality.

Set a Goal of a Fully Literate Alberta by 2020. Our public & separate school systems must have the very best schools, best educational infrastructure, and best qualified teachers ... with sustainable funding. This must include a significant investment in the trades.

Create a Balanced Partnership with Healthcare Professionals to establish a market-competitive employment system for medical professionals within Alberta. This includes ending the wasteful billing system currently in place. Most healthcare professionals want to be healers, not business managers. Also put in place healthcare policies with significant incentives for accomplishing health & wellness milestones (e.g., smoking cessation, diabetes reduction).

Create a Balanced Partnership with all Provincial Unions that impact Government operations in Alberta, to establish economic priorities and how we will meet demand for the next 50 years in Alberta.

Implement a Hiring Freeze in the Bureaucracy, until a full 3rd party independent audit is completed to identify systemic waste. Systemic waste is not caused by the civil service who work diligently to help Albertans; it is caused by a broken system which must be fixed. An independent 3rd-party audit of all areas will uncover financial waste.

Implement an “Alberta Empowered, Alberta First” Agricultural Policy. Strongly promote and encourage the use of agricultural products from Alberta farmers & ranchers by all Alberta institutions. Make a significant investment in “100-Mile” agriculture solutions.

Institute a "Zero Loss" of Alberta Communities Policy. Establish an “At Risk Community Inventory”. Focus on municipal revitalization and innovation. Foster less reliance on subsidization from Edmonton. Encourage, empower and enable the local level to increase reliance on local innovation.

Institute a "Zero Tolerance on Aboriginal Poverty" Policy. Ensure that all Aboriginal communities – Status / Non-Status and M├ętis – are made full partners in Alberta’s economy, and that the “tribal system” is addressed and no longer supported.

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