Sunday, January 29, 2012

Super Saturday Nomination Results

Nation, with Daveberta away from his blog (and its comprehensive coverage of the nomination races taking place across the province) for the next week, someone has to step up and fill the void. I guess, by process of elimination, that means "me".

Not to fear: You'll be getting my thoughts on my own nomination race in Calgary-Fish Creek before too long. It just takes a while to put into words what it feels like to come so close to achieving your life's dream on the first attempt. :)

The following nominations took place yesterday:

Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo: Councillor Mike Allen emerged victorious, and will try to win this riding for the PCs against former PC Guy Boutilier, now of the Wildrose Party.

Little Bow: Former municipal Councillor and agri-businessman John Kolk will wave the PC flag.

Banff-Cochrane: 4-term Canmore Mayor Ron Casey emerged from a strong PC field which included popular Cochrane Mayor Truper McBride.

Calgary-Hawkwood: Social Worker and City of Calgary non-profit big-wig Jason Luan beat out 9 other candidates to win the PC nomination in the new riding in Calgary's north-west.

Grande Prairie-Smoky: Grande Prairie County Reeve Everett McDonald will run under the PC banner.

Highwood: Local publisher John Barlow will be the PC candidate running opposite Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith. Barlow is a popular and high-profile long-time resident of the riding, which is exactly the type of candidate the PCs needed here to try and counter Smith's celebrity. While party Leaders often spend much of their time attending to the provincial campaign in far-flung corners of Alberta, their opponents (and the bank accounts of other parties) can focus on yanking out the rug from underneath them. All politics is local.

Calgary-Varsity: Lawyer and former Nexen VP Donna Kennedy-Glans won the nomination for the PCs. Worth noting is that Kennedy-Glans had, several years back, announced her intention to challenge Calgary-West MP Rob Anders for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination.  Her supporters won control of the local CPC Board, but were rebuffed in their attempts to hold a nomination vote.

Calgary-Currie: School principal Christine Cusanelli won a hotly contested race for the PC banner. Also in the running here was former MLA, Alderman, and mayoral candidate Jon Lord, whose scrutineer was ejected during the count for being on her phone (with a babysitter, according to sources). Party rules prohibit scrutineers from communicating with the "outside world" during the count itself. Lord has the option of challenging the result and submitting to arbitration on the Party's "Form G" if he so chooses.

Medicine Hat: Banker and former Alderman Darren Hirsch emerged from a 4-person field to capture the PC nomination.

Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock: Former head of the Alberta School Boards Association and curent Deputy Reeve of Westlock County, Maureen Kubinek won in a race with over 1,200 votes cast, and will be the PC nominee replacing Speaker Ken Kowalski.

Airdrie: School Principal and Airdrie Alderman Kelly Hegg won a fierce contest, and will represent the PC brand in this riding, which elected a PC in 2008 by the name of Rob Anderson, now of the Wildrose Party.

Fair readers: Did I miss any? Were there other parties holding nominations yesterday? Let me know! :)

- E.S.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

JoeyO on... being a Progressive

(as posted at

Webster's would define a progressive as "one who looks forward".

I've decided that, in my own efforts to define what a progressive IS, I'm going to try very hard to avoid doing 2 things:

  • Firstly, I'm going to try to avoid defining a progressive by what they AREN'T.
  • Secondly, I'm going to try to avoid comparing progressives to other groups as though they are mutually exclusive - "progressive", in political terms, is not mutually exclusive from "conservative" as we know it and as I previously defined it, for example.

So... what is a "progressive"?

To me, a progressive is someone who eschews the sacred cows of public policy discussions in order to have a full dialogue about what needs to happen to move society closer to a goal that is socially just. By this definition,
Lyndon Johnson was acting as a progressive when he moved forward with the Civil Rights Act - a stance that to this day still hinders the fortunes of the Democratic Party in the southern U.S.. Likewise, Abraham Lincoln - a Republican, let's remember - was a progressive with his championing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

To me, a progressive is someone who feels that government can and should be a force for good within a society. That those things we can't count on the market to deliver for the betterment of all, government should take up, to ensure no one gets left behind. By this measure,
Mackenzie King (introducing Old Age Pensions in 1930) and Tommy Douglas, John Diefenbaker, and Lester Pearson (the 3 mid-wives of national Medicare) were all progressives, in their own way.

To me, a progressive is someone who recognizes the value of stability, but also the potential reward to a society for embracing new ideas. That the "status quo" CAN be a good thing, but that it isn't ALWAYS a good thing. Using this barometer,
Dwight D. Eisenhower (expansion of Social Security, creation of the Interstate Highway system, response to Brown v. Board of Education) and Theodore Roosevelt (Trust-busting, leadership of the "Progressive Party") were progressives.
The rotten thing about political labels, as I've said before, is that they can be applied by just about anyone, onto just about anyone else, and given whatever meaning one wishes. I can proudly call myself a progressive, thinking it means exactly what I've outlined above - and, at the same time, a political opponent can sneeringly refer to me as a "progressive, which is code for Liberal"... and, so long as we're using labels (progressive, liberal, conservative, libertarian) for convenience's sake, in the place of frank and open discussions about policy, that will always be the risk.

But, when you look at the actual party affiliations of the people I've named in my examples, you see a cross-section of MANY different political parties: a Democrat; 3 Republicans; 2 Liberals; a New Democrat; and a Progressive Conservative.

I've been tempted many times during this writing to go on the offensive, and talk about anti-progressive forces. To talk about political rhetoric that promises to return things to "the good old days" or "the way things used to be"...

But I'm a progressive.

I'm looking forward.

And the future I see for this province is as bright as a clear day in Calgary, as expansive as an Athabasca prairie, and as rich and full as an Edmonton festival.

Come along with me, won't you?

JoeyO on... Engaging With The Public

(as posted at

I've wanted to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly since I was 17 years old. The problem was always that, even as a 17 year-old, I self-identified as a small-c conservative (or, what I understood that to mean). I believed then, as I do now, that we deserved the best government we could afford, and not a penny or a secretary more than that. I believed in mandatory minimum sentencing for violent offenders, and freedom of speech, and the ability of the free market to ensure competition and quality in most cases. I believed that an MLA’s job was to represent their constituents, and when they weren’t sure how the constituents felt, to ASK them rather than assume the once-every-4-years endorsement by the voters was carte blanche to just go with the member’s own opinions, beliefs and values. I believed in those things then, and I believe in them today.

I was a lonely 17 year-old, and my Progressive Conservative MLA welcomed me with open arms.

Fast forward 10 years (to 2005), and I still held those same beliefs - but, in many ways, I was still viewed as "too young to have anything intelligent or useful to add to the conversation". While the fringe parties in this province routinely threw 20-somethings to the wolves as candidates simply because they couldn't find anyone else, I would show up at campaign offices, federal and provincial, and be told by volunteers with important titles that my skill-set was best suited for dropping off flyers and pounding signs into lawns. Important tasks, to be sure. The kind of things that have to happen to win an election, absolutely. But this wasn’t what I wanted to learn how to do – I wanted to learn how to go from door to door with a candidate, and talk to people, engage with them, and change their minds – or my own – on a given issue. I wanted to apprentice, with the idea of someday using what I had learned, combined with my own knack for analysis, political thought and speech, to run for my “dream job”.

In late 2006, I noticed a conspicuous lack of coverage in the media on the PC leadership race. Members of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta were going to be choosing a new leader and, by default, a new Premier for the province – and no one seemed to be talking about it. I couldn’t find any coverage on the television, or in the newspapers, and the internet had a smattering of information, but not a whole lot. So I researched. I surfed all over the internet, trying to dig up information about these people who wanted to be the leader of the province that was the beating heart of Canada’s economic engine. And when I was done... it occurred to me that, while I was satisfied that I had found the information I needed to help me make an informed choice, a lot of the voting members of the party wouldn’t know HOW to find the information I had found.

“This should all be collected in one place”, I thought to myself. And the idea of starting a blog was born.

I took the name “The Enlightened Savage”, because as a provincial employee, I wanted the freedom to write what I actually thought about the leadership contenders without worrying that someone I spoke against would win, find my name on a list of provincial staff, and promptly fire me. The inspiration for my use of a “pen name” was actually Samuel Clemens, who on February 3rd, 1863, at the age of 27 years, signed his name for the first time as “Mark Twain”.

I thought the name really encapsulated what I was trying to prove to the outside world, and to the smaller world within my own political circles... that a self-identified conservative wasn’t automatically a mindless, brown-shirted barbarian incapable of rational thought and discussion... and that a young person without “all the right connections” or a Political Science degree could analyze policy and strategy and political trends, and stimulate meaningful discussion rather than the mindless, partisan back-and-forth you hear from so many of the party faithful. I didn’t need to be “special”, or have the “right connections”, to have a voice that mattered to people.

The blog changed everything for me. I was writing, and people of influence were agreeing. They were engaged. They wanted to talk about ideas, and strategies, and they thought I had something to say that they should be listening to. They wanted to talk to ME, and to hear MY ideas and opinions, about matters of importance. It was ironic, since some of these people were the same ones who thought Joey O had nothing to contribute until I stepped up on the soap-box and started writing under an assumed name. Some of the more intrepid among the Mainstream Media actually found me... I even got invited to do some in-studio analysis on CBC Radio on municipal election night 2007, and some more for the 2008 federal campaign. A friend of mine, for whom many of you probably voted last October, helped me get booked to do a spot of analysis on CityTV for election night during the 2008 provincial election.

This blog has helped me hone the skills I needed to achieve my goal. I intend to run to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Province of Alberta. I have 5 years of writings (over 640 columns posted) that I stand by, as if they were a voting record. I believe that, when I ask the voters for their trust, they have a right to know what I've said, and hold me accountable for it.

The first post to the blog was on Wednesday, November 15th, 2006. In that post, I mentioned that “I hope to provide as balanced an approach as I can to the issues of the day, while at the same time making it clear where I stand”. I’d like to think in the past 5 years, I’ve managed to do that.

I also committed to the idea of “holding my own to a higher standard”, and standing up for people and groups who are often marginalized in the political discussion, particularly if that discussion is happening to the right of centre. I have done my best to deliver on that commitment as well.

I’ve tried to use the blog to talk not just about how politics IS, but about how politics SHOULD be – how it MUST be if it hopes to keep up with and stay relevant to the changing face of our society. If the voters won’t engage with those who seek their consent to rule, then WE, as politicians and those who wish to serve and lead, have to do a better job of giving them something with which they will WANT to engage.

If politicians want more people to engage with them, and to vote, then the politicians have to do a better job engaging with those people. It’s not enough to shake your finger at them and tell them they should be voting.

The people who want to lead us should talk to us like we’re all adults, and all equals. Don’t sell exclusive access to those elite few who can afford to make huge donations. Stop insulting our intelligence by saying things that clearly aren’t true. And stop treating youth like they have nothing to contribute but delivering flyers and installing lawn signs.

My name’s Joey O, and I want to be your MLA – and if you’ve got an opinion about how we’re governed, or an idea about how to make things better, I want to hear it, whether you think I’ll agree with you or not. It’s not just about what *I* think, it’s about what YOU think. I remember what it felt like to be marginalized and ignored. To be taken for granted, and dismissed as a “kid who doesn’t know anything”. You don’t have to start a blog for your voice to matter to me. You just need to speak, and I’ll listen.

Isn’t that supposed to be how this “Democracy” thing works?

JoeyO on... Education

(as posted at

There's talk, yet again, about the lack of schools (at least in appropriate locations) in the province of Alberta. The Minister of Education has publicly pondered about the viability of building them using Public/Private Partnerships, so-called "P3's". The opposition has, predictably, come out against this plan, saying that in a province so awash in wealth, education should be a priority for full, public funding.

I agree with them.

Many Albertans moan about paying education taxes ("I don't have kids/my kids finished school long ago!"), and moan even louder about large government increases in payments to teachers ("they get 3 months off every summer!"), building schools ("put the kids on busses!"), etc. Two of these complaints are, in my mind, short-sighted.

Let's talk about cold, hard reality.

"I've got no kids in the system, why should my tax dollars pay for it?" - the thing I love most about this question is that it's often asked by people who in the same conversation will complain bitterly about the fact that their doctor, lawyer, or nurse speaks with an accent, and is from "somewhere other than here". The reality is, supporting a public education system not only ensures that we will train Alberta's children to hold meaningful and important jobs to make Alberta even stronger, but it ensures that those children, as they grow, will make more, thus contributing more to the CPP, which is the only way you're going to get any money from the CPP if you're in the 45-60 range as you read this. Let's be honest, folks... that CPP money you contributed back in '75 is LOOONG gone... It's the money that 18-year old Johnny Johnson from PEI contributed on his cheque last week that is going to be appearing on your first pension cheque. If we deny children the best possible education, it directly affects your financial well-being down the line.

"Teachers don't need more money, they work 6 hours a day and get 3 months off!" - Those 2 charges, "6 hour work-days" and "3 months off" are both way off the mark.
Let's review: The average teacher shows up to work about 45 minutes before the opening bell, spends 6 hours from (ballpark) 9 to 3 dealing with the students directly. No lunch hour for them, as they have to supervise either inside of outside the school in this age of schoolyard stalkers, zero-tolerance for bullying and liability lawsuits against schools and school boards. They'll then likely spend about 45 minutes to an hour at the school after the final bell, either working with students who need individual attention, running detention, or attending staff meetings or doing some marking. Let's make the point again that this is the AVERAGE teacher - for every one you know of that shows up 10 minutes before class starts and leaves 10 minutes after the final bell rings, there's one who shows up at 7:30am to coach handball and doesn't leave until the computers club is done at 6:00pm.

So, thus far we've got a 7.5 hour workday for Jane Averageteacher. Now Jane's going to go home and do another hour of marking, which is mandatory if she is to do her job well. She'll then spend about an hour and a half planning her next day's lessons and researching the subject matter to ensure she's got all the bases covered. Incidentally, spending an hour and a half planning 5 hours worth of instructional time is BARELY adequate - at least 2 hours is usually required. But, so far we've got Jane working 10 hours. She's been completely embroiled in her work from 8:15 in the morning until 6:30 at night, allowing only 15 minutes to get from the school to her home, and getting no breaks. And much of her Saturday is going to be spent marking and planning for the upcoming week... So, we're talking 50-to-55 hour work weeks. This is without any extra-curricular coaching or activities, by the way. 6 hour days? Hardly.

Now, do teachers get 3 months without dealing with students? Yes. 2 months in the summer, 2 weeks in Winter, and 2 weeks in Spring. True. But, in those OTHER 40 weeks of the year, Jane works between 2000 and 2200 hours, at a minimum. A 40-hour per week worker, who doesn't miss a single day of work all year, takes no vacation, and works every statutory holiday, 5 shifts a week, 52 weeks a year, will work 2080 hours.

So spare me the "they only work 9 months a year" argument, because in those 9 months they work more hours than most of us work in 12.

And these teachers, by the way, are not answering phones in an office or re-stocking shelves at a supermarket - they're entrusted with the minds and hearts of our children. A pretty stressful job, I think we’d all agree. At Mikka Kiprusoff’s job, a bad day at work means a red light flashed and several thousand people were momentarily disappointed - at Jane's, she might scar a kid for life or lead him to a life of crime. Whom should we pay better, to make sure we get people up to the task?

"Why do they need more schools in the suburbs, when they're closing ones downtown? BUS those kids!" - I actually agree with this. If a building is structurally safe, it should be utilized. Needs are constantly changing as technology changes, and we'd all like to work in a new building, but if the money's not there, it's not there. 30 minutes on a bus isn't "cruel and unusual", and there are better things the money can be used for within the system. The $15 million to build a new elementary would bus those kids and pay for enough music or athletic gear for the whole school system... our schools need up-to-date computers, maintenance, supplies, reduced fees charged to the kids' families, etc. Use the buildings you already have, as long as they're safe. Not everyone can walk to and from school – it would be NICE, but there are more important things that need attending to first.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

JoeyO on... Hard Spending Decisions

(As posted at

On June 24th, 2010, the provincial government released a fiscal update. The long and short of it was, "the 2010 budget said the deficit would be $4.7 Billion, but in reality it's $1 Billion".

Which is GOOD. I would MUCH rather be spending $1 Billion more than we have, than to be spending $4.7 Billion more than we have.

The PC's rightly point out that we in Alberta were in a unique position to weather the economic storm, because PC Governments had the foresight to open a "savings account" to draw on during bad times. More happy news from the report included the information that, due to the rise in the markets, the Heritage Savings Trust Fund earned $2 Billion - far more than the $711 Million initially forecast. As a matter of fact, with earnings of $2 Billion, and a budget deficit of $1 Billion, it looks as though the worst may be over, and it might be time to invest in black ink again. This is good news, right?

But... it's still not GOOD. It's BAD.

I'd understand if the deficit was 100% based on one-time infrastructure and education spending, to help Albertans in the skilled trades keep their families fed and help those "downsized" to find new vocations during the economic downturn. I'd be FINE with that - better than fine, in fact. That would be a sterling example of government being a force for good in the society.

The reality, though, is that we're in this situation because of program spending. There is fat in the system, make no mistake about that. We need to - ALL of us - sit down and have a real, adult conversation about what we're spending, and what we're spending it on, and how to do better. Press releases from the opposition demanding "More for Health!" or "Spend Less On Everything!" aren't helpful - they're exactly the opposite. Should we be funding chiropractic care? Let's talk about it. Should there be tax incentives for making healthy choices? Increased "sin taxes" on alcohol and tobacco? What about the funding model for our schools? Arts programs charge hundreds of dollars in fees at the high school level - is that okay with us?

Much of the reduction of the forecast deficit is as result of increased non-gas resource royalties. These are absolutely critical to our funding model - as we saw quite clearly when activity in the energy sector dried up recently. To this day, the Wildrose Party insists that moving the royalty rates upward was a near cataclysmic mistake by the Stelmach Tories, while opponents on the left say that we never would have RUN a deficit, had Alberta been getting a bigger share of resource revenue from producers.

Clearly, even with hindsight, the politicians can't agree on what to do.

We need to have these discussions, as a people. They're too important to leave to the politicians.

Because while they're going to be doing and saying what they need to in order to keep their own jobs, and support their own families in the short term - it's the only job in the world that you can be terminated, without cause, every 4 years and have your job given to someone else because they've got better hair - we need to think about what life is going to look like 10, 20, and 50 years down the line for us and our families and the next generation of Albertans... no matter WHO is sitting in the Legislature.

That's the greatest responsibility we have as citizens. Not voting. Not shoveling your neighbour's walk. Not picking up after the dog in the park.

We are the stewards of the future of this place. It's time to talk about what we're going to do with it.

Not like politicians.

Like grown-ups.

Fish Creek Thinks Big on Health

(originally posted on

One of the issues that comes up most frequently at the doors and on the phones as we work through this process is the topic of healthcare.

In particular, people in Calgary-Fish Creek want to know how to improve the care they receive, and they want to know when the South Calgary Health Campus will be an option for their emergency care.

One idea that I really like in order to improve care is the notion of a health "SmartCard", with a chip and PIN. In essense, this card would be used every time you accessed a health service, from a doctor's visit to a trip to the pharmacist. Your test results, diagnoses, notes by your other health care providers, etc would be stored in a secure system, and would only be able to be accessed when you presented your card and entered your secure PIN (just like a bank card). Your practitioner would be able to see the notes from the doctor at the walk-in clinic you visited last week, your pharmacist would see what other medication you were recently perscribed to avoid drug interactions... this would result in fewer missed diagnoses, fewer errors all-around, and give your medical professionals a more full picture. These men and women are exceptionally well-trained, and when they have access to all the information, they can make MUCH better judgements. Of course, some people are really uneasy with the thought of their personal medical information on a computer server - so perhaps the cards would be something you can "opt in" to.

There is, understandably, a lot of concern about the South Calgary Health Campus. It seems, at times, as though we've been waiting 20 years for this new hospital and health campus to open. In the meantime, people in Parkland or Canyon Meadows are deciding to drive to health centres in Okotoks or Black Diamond rather than sit in the Rockyview ER. I will work with Alberta Health and Wellness to communicate to the people of Fish Creek exactly when they can expect the various phases of the new Health Campus to open, and make it very clear that the people of Fish Creek expect the centre to be fully staffed when it does open.

Fish Creek Thinks Big on Democratic Reform

(originally posted on

One of the hardest deficits to eliminate is the democratic deficit. People feel disconnected from their representatives - and why shouldn't they? Premier Klein, after his retirement, famously spoke of 'Dome Disease': "You spend enough time under that dome and you start to believe that the most important thing in the world happens under that dome... Eventually you start to believe what the opposition and the media say is true; what the caucus says is true. It's only when you come out from under that dome and speak to ordinary Albertans do you get a different perspective." Our MLA will celebrate her 19th year in office this year. That's a lot of time under the dome.

Calgary-Fish Creek has always been an area full of reformers - people who aren't afraid to challenge convention in order to make things better. Some of the ideas I've heard from the people here to address the democratic deficit include:

  • The creation of a permanent voting record for every bill and motion debated in the Legislative Assembly. Hansard, the current record, only records that the bill or motion "passes" or "fails", unless someone specifically requests a Division of the House, when each member must stand and have their vote recorded. ALL votes cast by your representative should be recorded, and should be accessible on-line to the taxpayers - their boss. Will it take longer? Absolutely. But this is 2012, and you should be able to hold your MLA accountable. Part of that is knowing how they voted - and when they were and were not present for votes.
  • Mandatory reporting of donations. Political parties currently run like the private clubs that they are. There is, however, one big difference: The gentleman running to be the chair of your local Elks Club is not going to use that position to decide how to spend billions of tax dollars. People running for political office in Alberta, or for nominations or the leadership of political parties, should be held to the highest standards of transparency. I am in favour of requiring all political campaigns to release a full list of donors BEFORE the voting date, so the public and those casting their ballots will know to whom the candidates are beholden.
  • Provincial senate. One of my favourite ideas on how to address the democratic deficit involves the establishment of an elected Provincial Senate. While we try to get the rest of Canada to clue in to Federal Senate Reform, we can plow ahead and show them how a Senate can, and should, work. By cutting the number of MLA's to 50 (from 87) and establishing an Alberta Senate of 25 members, elected at the same time as MLA's via proportional representation, we can ensure that Albertans are governed responsibly, that the power of the Legislature to push bills through unilaterally is diminished, and engage more Albertans by making it ever more clear that their vote DOES matter on a provincial scale, even if their voice is a minority one, locally. We're paying fewer politicians, and getting more democratic governance - talk about a win/win situation...

These are just the tip of the iceberg, but it's important that we start to have these conversations now. Rare is the government that will willingly turn over some of its own power - but we have seen, through our new leader, a willingness in Premier Redford to do just that. We need to strike while the iron is hot, and build a governance model for our province that will serve as an example across the country of what accountable, responsible and open government looks like.

If you can get behind these ideas, I ask you to consider getting behind me and casting your vote for me on January 21st. If we want to change "business as usual", we need to make sure there's someone advocating for this kind of change in Edmonton - and nominating me is the first step.

Yours for a better Alberta,


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Leadership in Calgary-Fish Creek

On Saturday, January 14th, my team of dedicated volunteers (whom have dubbed themselves the "O-Team") and I spent the daylight hours knocking on every door we could find, blanketing 2 communities in Calgary-Fish Creek.

I heard a lot of good ideas and strong opinions. About health care. Policing. Seniors care. Fiscal responsibility. Education. Child care.

One area that mirrored a discussion I've been having both online and in real life centred around the idea of an MLA as a "leader" versus an MLA as a "servant".

Ralph Klein is often cited as the most effective leader our party has seen since Lougheed. Ralph liked to say that the key to political leadership was to figure out where the parade is going, and then get in front of it. I liked Ralph, as a leader. Policy-wise, I've always been more of a Lougheed Tory, but Ralph's idea of leadership jives very nicely with my own. I'm a populist - power to the people.

The thing is, as I look at the people in Fish Creek, I don't see a lot of people demanding an MLA to "lead" them, in the conventional sense. We don't wake up, roll out of bed, and say "I wish I knew what to do, I hope a politician tells me what needs to be done.". In Fish Creek, we're ALL leaders. Leaders in the community. Leaders in our churches, or our volunteer organizations, or our households. And, yes, we're leaders in the political sphere as well. The ideas I've been hearing at the doors are the sort of ideas that can build the Alberta of the future.

We in Fish Creek don't need to be led. We need to be served, by someone who understands that your ideas, your hopes, and your expertise are what truly matter.

I ask for the honour of serving you. Let's harness all of the leadership in Calgary-Fish Creek to lead our fellow Albertans to a better future for all of us.