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MLA Laila Goodridge stands by Alberta budget

PHOTO. Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche MLA Laila Goodridge defends the recently released 2019 Alberta Budget and addresses claims by the Alberta NDP of a $4.5-billion handout to large corporations. Goodridge, seen left, with Premier Jason Kenney in a 2018 byelection photo. File Photo.

Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche MLA Laila Goodridge said she stands by the first Alberta budget by the United Conservative government.

In a statement, she said the budget reflects their main priorities: Getting Albertans back to work, making life better for Albertans, and standing up for Alberta.

Goodridge also defended the budget against attacks from the Alberta NDP opposition.

“The NDP continue to claim that our government has given a $4.5 billion handout to large corporations, but this simply isn’t true.”

University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe stated the claim was “a real puzzle”.

Goodridge blames the former Alberta NDP government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the province’s economic troubles.

Speaking of her United Conservatives, she said the government worked diligently to develop a pragmatic approach to fulfil its promises.

Taking action

Laila Goodridge also listed the Job Creation Tax Cut, eliminating the carbon tax, and efforts to reduce red tape.

She said these are necessary to secure investment, bring back jobs, grow the economy.

In turn, these should generate revenues which the government would reinvest in public services.

“As many Albertans know, however, we’re not in the clear as of yet. There’s still much work to be done to undo the economic damage that has been inflicted upon Albertans and our province’s economy. Very little of this spending has resulted in positive, economic growth for Alberta’s economy.”

Over the next four years, Goodridge said children’s services, and community and social services’ budget would see a 15.2 per cent and 7.6 per cent increase, respectively.

Plus, $200-million would go to the province’s health budget while maintaining fully-funded education.

She added Premier Jason Kenney was upfront in his message to Albertans on the eve of the budget.

Goodridge said lowering overall program spending by 2.8 per cent over that period would allow the government to address inefficiencies and give Albertans “the best bang for their buck.”

“We need to balance the budget because it is the responsible thing to do. If we don’t act now, our children will face far more challenging economic times in the future than we are today, but rest assured that you and your family have a strong team that is fighting for you so that your future, and that of future generations, will experience the Alberta Advantage.”