Prentice discussed how he would work with southern Albertans and the issues important to them, if chosen as party leader. Prentice believes there isn’t a disconnect between southern Alberta and the rest of the province.
“My family lives in the Crowsnest Pass. I spend a lot of time in southern Alberta and I speak with people there. I was at the high school graduation in the Crowsnest Pass just a week or more ago,” said Prentice, during the media conference call.
Prentice plans to visit every corner of Alberta in the weeks to come and what he’s hearing are the same concerns from Albertans across the province, which include concerns about infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and roads that are needed.
“Of course, those concerns are expressed differently because every region of Alberta has a different way of looking at it,” he noted.
One issue Prentice has identified and wants to be clear about is private property rights.
“I spent most of my earlier life as a lawyer fighting for the private property rights of farmers and ranchers. I think that the balance between those rights and the rights of industrial development has been lost and I intend to restore that balance and I’ll be speaking about that in the days to come,” added Prentice.
Prentice said a big part of his campaign will be travelling across the province to hear from Albertans.
According to Prentice, he is running on a very specific agenda he has laid out, in terms of priorities, and he wants to hear from people across the province on what they think about it.
“This is Jim Prentice’s agenda. It reflects what I’ve heard from Albertans.”
“This is my agenda and what I believe we need for the province. I live here and I’ve been a citizen here for all of my adult life and what I’ve heard from Albertans is — they want to see a government that’s committed to the five things I outlined,” said Prentice.
Prentice’s five priorities of importance include a government that’s fiscally responsible but with much needed infrastructure being built, a government that will restore the faith of Albertans in the government, a government that’s focused on an ability to be a global powerhouse in terms of energy, forestry and the agricultural industry, as well as opening up new markets, and a government that restores the balance in terms of property rights and the environment and a commitment to both of those in the province.
“Finally, what I hear loud and clear from our citizens is they think that with the talent we have and the resources we have — we should really have the best public education system, the best public health care system and the best care for our seniors,” said Prentice.
As for Prentice’s thoughts on what should be done regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, he will speak about the issue, as his campaign unfolds.
“Virtually every business person I’ve talked to over the course of the last month tells me that this is the most pressing issue facing them, in terms of them being able to access labour to operate their businesses. It’s a pressing issue in Alberta. It’s a pressing issue not just in places like Fort McMurray but also in the agricultural sector. It needs to be dealt with,” he added.