Airdrie MLA named as finance critic
Airdrie’s Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson will be returning to familiar portfolios as a member of the official Opposition.
Party Leader Danielle Smith named Anderson to his previous roles of finance critic and house leader, May 1.
“They are great roles,” said Anderson. “It is an honour to serve.”
A May 23 to 31 sitting of the Legislature will be the party’s first opportunity to act in their new role as official Opposition.
Anderson said there are a number of key issues he would like to see addressed.
Firstly, Anderson said he will push to see the Province return to a balanced budget with a long-term savings plan. He will also demand an open and transparent infrastructure priority list from the government to ensure politics are kept out of decisions about schools and roads.
Anderson said he would like to see all direct government subsidies, such as the $2 billion the government is spending towards carbon capture and the $3 billion election promise geared towards private companies for green technologies, cut to private corporations.
“I would rather see that money spent on the front lines, hiring nurses, teachers and police officers,” he said.
Lastly, Anderson said he will speak out for a reduction in salaries for executives in the government beaurocracy, which he calls “the most bloated in the nation.”
“Many (government employees) are making upwards of $300,000,” he said. “We would like to see the government departments shrunk and that money directed to the front lines.”
As house leader, Anderson will be organizing the efforts of the Opposition in the legislature.
Locally, Anderson says he will do everything possible to ensure the three new schools, promised by the Progressive Conservative government in May 2011, are built as soon as possible. He will also work to bring a full-sized hospital to the region, likely in the Balzac area.
Anderson, who makes his home in Airdrie, will take a more active role in local issues including the Calgary Regional Partnership’s density requirements.
Anderson said he has heard from a number of residents that they don’t like the way the city’s new developments, with their density of between eight and 10 units per acre, are going.
He added Airdronians want autonomy over their city.
“Those requirements are far too onerous,” said Anderson. “(Airdronians) don’t move (here) to be stacked and packed on top of each other. They want more space and more parks.”
Anderson said the next four years will be interesting for the 17-member official Opposition.
“We believe that Albertans want the Wildrose to develop and become a credible and prepared government in waiting.”