Page 11 - June 26, 2017
P. 11
THE WEEKLY ANCHOR
PAGE 20 MONDAY JUNE 12, 2016

THE WEEKLY ANCHOR MONDAY JUNE 26, 2017 PAGE 11

One-on-one interview with Wildrose Leader Brian Jean



by Adrienne Tait

Wildrose leader Brian Jean was in Edson on June
16 where he first attended a private dinner before
speaking at the local Wildrose constituency's
annual general meeting. The Weekly Anchor had
the opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one
interview with the leader of the official opposition.

Q) With the province's credit rating having
been downgraded yet again, what does that
mean for Albertans, for our province?
A) The best way to bring up any economy is to
provide people with opportunity to lower taxes, to
lower regulation, and to encourage businesses to
invest in Alberta so they create jobs.
This is unacceptable. Our credit rating has
plummeted in just two years because of this
government, because they don't have any sense
what to do with the economy. They have certainly
showed that they don't seem to care. Joe Ceci the
Minister of Finance has said several times that it's Prior to speaking at the local Wild Rose Constituency AGM Brian Jean (right) met with local residents and
not a big deal but what it means when your credit supporters at a private dinner. photo Adrienne Tait
rating goes down [as a province] it is just like when
Brian Jean; Wildrose Leader your credit rating goes down as an individual.
Your cost to borrow becomes more. that ultimately follow reporters around. clearly there is 55 MLAs in this province that
some people would like to recall right now.
There are more communications staff at the
People may not recognize this but when we owe Property rights. My members will not give up
$90 billion as people here in Alberta, which is going government than there are reporters in Alberta, it's property rights. That's one of the reasons why we
to be 20 months from now, that will work out to just ridiculous. were born. I believe in property rights. I believe
about $3 billion in interest each and every year. people have the right to have personal property
That $3 billion in interest is bigger than the justice Q) What kind of feedback are you receiving and not have governments take it away from them
department – all of the money in Alberta that we from your party and Albertans across the and take away their rights. I think that is what the
spend on fighting crime and making sure that province with regards to the unity agreement? cornerstone of our society was built on. That's
A) People are asking some pretty tough
people are prosecuted. We have let over 200 questions and I don't blame them. I'm glad they why we're so successful. That's democracy and
people charged with criminal offenses go because are. I'm cautiously optimistic. I work hard, I'm other democracies that have a central registry of
we didn't have the proper resources to try them. going to work extremely hard. My wife and I are land have significantly better economies than
That's unacceptable when you consider where this on the road quite a bit as we travel from one end of others that don't and the rule of law is well
interest is going, rather than where it should be respected. Australia, the U.K., the United States,
going. this province to the other. I'm grateful to have her Canada. Land ownership and private property
That along with the carbon tax is $2500 per with me. rights are extremely important.
family per year it is going to take a ton of money, In talking to Albertans across the province I feel
$5000 from people and it's just not right. That's the empowered in what's going on and what our Q) If the choice is to amalgamate you are
reason our credit rating is going down. We have the message is on unity. Because I think the best thing quickly launched into a leadership race. Can it
highest personal debt in North America and our we can do is to unify Albertans. To do that we be done in such a way so that you are ready if
government doesn't know what it's doing with our need to unify Conservatives in this province. And Premier Rachel Notley decides to call a snap
economy. we need to make sure we have the proper election?
foundation though the legal framework of the
We are spending $8-$10 billion per year more Wildrose to be certain that the next party, which A) I'm ready right now. If they call the election
than B.C. for the same population. has that same foundation, will be empowered by today we are ready right now. We've got a plan,
the members. It is those members who will have we've got the money in the bank, we have been
Q) Do you have a plan to restore our credit the greatest degree of control over the political good stewards of the money the people have given
rating and address the debt which current to us. We're not going to waste any of that money
projections estimate will be $90 billion by the process moving forward. going into this. We're ready right now to go to the
next election? next election.
A) You can't turn a ship this big, a $53 billion Q) What do Wildrose members stand to gain
economy, around overnight. It's not the Alberta or lose by that kind of unity? Q) What is the biggest falsehood being spread
A) First, let me tell you what the PC members
way to fire nurses, teachers, and front line workers. would gain. Every year the PC members would right now?
That's not what we do here. We need to work get to vote for policy at the AGM and if 51% of A) The fear mongering that we are social
together to get control of our expenses to make the people vote for that policy it passes. If you conservatives that are hard right ideologically.
sure that when people quit through attrition and want to make a constitutional change, a change to I hate the right/left thing. I think the best
other means that we don't rehire for those positions our bylaws and our constitution, which governs government, the best premier, is the person that
unless they are front line positions. That we makes common sense decisions, practical
reorganize the structure in the healthcare system out party you can do that by way of a 75% vote. decisions based upon the circumstances in front of
here in Alberta by way of people working. It's not a vote of the executive, it's not a vote of you. If you have a debt that is $90 billion you are
We have 108,000 employees with Alberta Health the leadership or the leader, it's a vote of the going to have to make sure you control your
Services, it is the third largest employer in Canada, membership. That's why I feel so strongly about expenses and get the debt down because the debt is
and it's out of control in costs. We spend far too this. I think the secret weapon in the whole thing the killer. If you have a set of power agreements
much money compared to other provinces that is that The PCs get far more rights in the new legal that have been in place and have cost the taxpayers
have almost the same population we do. framework than they did in their last one. I'm very $4.1 billion to get them there then certainly I am
excited about that for the PC party. I truly believe
When you consider British Columbia spends 20% their members will be empowered with their not going to reverse it so it costs them another $4.1
less than us, you realise how out of control our ability to control the process, the political process billion. We have to make the best decisions based
government is with their expenditures. going forward because they have been on the facts we have at any given time. I'm a
disillusioned with some of the things that have businessman. I have owned and operated 15
Q) How does your party plan to combat the happened over the last 10 years. Remember, the businesses in Alberta, I love Alberta, I'm a real
rising health care costs? Would you adopt a Wildrose grew out of a resentment toward the Albertan as real as you can get. With my legal
user pay system? background with 10 years as a lawyer and 10 years
A) I think a lot of it is going to be technology elitism and the political class controlling that party in the federal government I think I am the right
driven. I believe there are a lot of people right now so they tried to do everything they possibly could person to take this province back to where it needs
to eliminate that.
in the healthcare system around the world that As far as the Wildrose members I think what to go, to create jobs, prosperity, and to make sure
could provide us with the proper management they have the opportunity to do is to settle and to people understand that as far as individual rights I
techniques to help us get a better return on have peace, and to put aside grievances with PC am a big proponent of that. I've argued charter
investment. members that are their friends and their relatives, cases and constitutional cases in the courts in
We know that other provinces are able to get a people that have the same political philosophy in Alberta and I understand fully the obligations that
better return on investment for less dollars. For 90% of what they do. There may be a little 10% we have to the people of Alberta on individual
instance in B.C. and in Saskatchewan the wait time difference but I think it's going to unify Albertans, rights and I will respect that. I will work for it and
for knee surgery and hip surgery is between 84 and it really will. I will have their backs on it every single day.
90 days on average. In Alberta it's about 220. We
know that we are not getting good results July 22 is the vote on unity/amalgamation. If it
notwithstanding that we spend far more on Q) That 10% difference - where does it lie? goes through, Jean plans to resign on the 23 and
rd
A) We're about to see in the founding
healthcare. convention. There may be some differences in the run for leadership of the new party. The leadership
We need to get back to making sure that the front recall legislation. My members want recall vote will take place on October 28. After which
line is actually fully empowered and that the legislation. They want the ability to recall MLAs time Jean plans to spend a few days with his wife
managers are not managing managers who manage if they are not behaving properly. I have been told for her birthday and to catch up on some sleep.
other managers who manage communications staff
   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16