'It's sensible': Lorne Gunter's take on Premier Smith's message to Albertans

Last night on The Ezra Levant Show, Ezra discussed Premier Danielle Smith's speech to Albertans with Lorne Gunter from the Edmonton Sun.

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Ezra Levant recently spoke to Lorne Gunter from the Edmonton Sun about Premier Danielle Smith's speech towards Albertans.

"With this year’s budget approaching and economists predicting softer oil and natural gas prices this upcoming year, I want to take a moment to share with you how our government intends to manage the provincial budget and finances in the years ahead," Premier Smith said in her speech.

"Although I’m pleased to report that spending cuts will NOT be needed to balance this year’s budget, lower resource revenues will certainly require us to show more restraint than previously predicted. We will ensure this is done thoughtfully and with priority given to the programs and services Albertans most rely on such as health, education, and social supports," she continued.

"I think she sounds great, she sounds conservative but also futuristic," said Ezra.

Ezra expressed his appreciation for Danielle Smith going directly to the people. He believes every conservative politician should follow suit, as he thinks the mainstream media often acts as a filter, setting aside outside comments.

Ezra asked Lorne the following questions: "What about the heart of her message? Do you agree with it? Do you think it's smart for Alberta? Do you think it's politically popular? What do you think of her message today?"

"I think it's good, I do think it's sensible, it's not as dramatic as it might have been," Lorne replied. "For instance, it doesn't acknowledge that the provincial government has a spending problem. It doesn't matter which party is in office, whether it's the Conservatives, the NDP, or now the UCP. They all spend more and more money every year."

He continued:

In 2013, Alison Redford, who was the PC premier at the time, talked about the bitumen bubble and how it was impossible to avoid deficits when we had to rely on oil and gas revenues. Then in 2016, Rachel Notley talked about the revenue roller coaster and how it was impossible to avoid deficit because we have to rely on oil and gas revenue. They have all done this.

I remember going back to Don Getty whining and whinging about the fact that they couldn't count on non-renewable resource revenues. That's what they call the line in the budget, every non-renewable resource revenue because some years as Smith pointed out this year, it's like 16 or $17 billion in revenues, whereas two or three years ago it was three. It's tricky for sure. But nobody ever looks at the fact that 20 years ago they were spending just a little more than half per capita adjusted for inflation of what they're spending now so that they've increased spending by about 80% over 20 years in real dollars, and they never acknowledged that. 

Lorne felt there were aspects of the speech that lacked transparency. However, he agreed with the general sentiment expressed, particularly the refusal to resort to tax increases for revenue stability. He found the idea of implementing a provincial sales tax to be absurd, a sentiment shared regardless of the premier in office.

Lorne appreciated the proposal to hold spending in line with inflation and population growth over the next 25 years, allocating any surplus funds towards debt reduction and investment in the heritage fund. He considered this approach sensible and agreed with the acknowledgment that Albertans might not be fully aware of these financial intricacies but trusted their intelligence to grasp them with proper explanation.

Reflecting on recent speeches by provincial leaders, Lorne noted the informative content but suggested improvements in presentation style. He specifically mentioned the need to address motion sickness caused by excessive movement during the speeches, emphasizing the importance of effectively conveying information in a clear and steady manner.

This is only an excerpt of last night's episode of The Ezra Levant Show. To watch the full episode, become a subscriber to RebelNews+.

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