Thomas Lukaszuk's response to Question 2
Question 2(a): What are your plans for long-range, sustainable, predictable operating and capital funding for Alberta’s largest cities?
It is very easy to promise sustainable and predictable funding, but it is very difficult to deliver. When the price of oil drops, funding gets cut – it isn’t pretty. I’ve experienced this first hand. The real solution is to diversify Alberta’s economy so government funding a possibility for all our priorities.
Question 2(b): What are your thoughts on the future of existing infrastructure programs, including the MSI?
Real diversification takes time. In the meantime, I will include stakeholder groups earlier in the budget building process, including AUMA and AAMDC. While you may not always be happy with this finished product, you can rest assured I will hear your concerns, and you will be included early enough in the budgeting process to be prepared for any changes in funding.
Question 2(c): What is your opinion of the Wild Rose 10-10 Capital Plan?
On infrastructure, we need to build. We have a large infrastructure deficit, and our province will only continue to grow with our sustained economic success. Roads, hospitals, schools, arts and culture facilities need to be built and updated. We cannot afford to build all of this using cash-on-hand, so we need to borrow to keep pace with our growth. We must also maintain a balanced operating budget, including the cost of amortizing our infrastructure.
by Thomas Lukaszuk
by Ric McIver
by Jim Prentice