LETHBRIDGE: The provincial Conservative party leadership race is picking up steam.
Hopeful Rick Orman made a stop in Lethbridge Tuesday during a province wide
tour. He met with various community leaders and residents and stated his
greatest concern with the provincial govenremnt, is the continuing
roller-coaster ride of funding for health, education and other stakeholders. He
wants to bring back some stability and predictability.
Orman says his strength is the fact that he's already been in government and
he's also been a businessman so, "I understand that government, like business,
needs to have a plan - and any plan I make going forward, I need to listen to
all the people who interact with the government." Listening was a big part of
his open house at the Lethbridge Lodge Tuesday night.
According to Orman, one major concern he continues to hear is the public's
belief that government isn't efficient with taxpayers dollars and that's
underscored by the fact that, "We bring in about $34 billion annually and yet
we have to run a deficit."
Orman is also hearing a lot of concern about Bill-36, the land use framework
that government put in place and they believe it was "confiscation without
compensation". Another hot topic is, "Bill-50, the power lines, they don't feel
they were appropriately consulted at that."
On the topic of education, the P-C leadership contender has met teachers
and other education officials. Orman noted, "One of the things they want out of
their government is predictability and dependability -- and that comes with
long-term funding that you're not clawing back because it plays havoc with the
stakeholders' ability to budget". He says it's part of a flux that the
government has been in with doctors, teachers and other departments. Orman
wants to work to see that changed.
The P-C party election to replace Ed Stelmach is slated for September.