The leader of the Social Credit Party says it is the only social conservative party left in Alberta.
“We now have four liberal parties: the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, Wildrose and Alberta Party, and one socialist party (NDP), and the only one true social conservative party is the Social Credit,” said party leader Len Skowronski.
He pointed to the Wildrose Party’s recent annual general meeting and the fact it shed some social conservative policies during that meeting.
“We see an opportunity there to get some of these people to come back to Social Credit.
“We are now the only social conservative party in Alberta.”
Despite the uninviting weather, enough people showed up for a quorum at the Social Credit Party’s annual general meeting on Saturday. In Innisfail, the party of Earnest Manning and ‘Bible Bill’ Aberhart discussed its platform and Social Credit’s future.
Although there were no resolutions — the policy convention is held in the spring — there was policy discussion, including how to deal with natural disasters like this year’s flooding.
“We really do need insurance against this,” said Skowronski.
“Of course, the private insurers really don’t want to do that, so we’re thinking of working on a resolution that would stipulate the government should have a home insurance Crown corporation that would provide this kind of insurance to people in the flood plains.”
He said the cost of the insurance would be substantial, but if someone does not want to be covered then the government would not bail them out in the event of a flood.
The floods were a key topic at the meeting.
“They (the Conservative government) really didn’t seem to be prepared for such a disaster and some of their response was overwhelming when you consider the cost,” said Skowronski.
“I live in Calgary and we’ve had a peak in high-end housing purchases because a lot of the people along the Elbow River and Bow River had multimillion-dollar houses and the government is paying the whole shot for them to move to other places.
“It’s nice to help people, but I think there should be some responsibility for people building or owning houses in flood plains.”
Oil and gas revenues were also highlight for Skowronski, who said the province is not taking enough advantage of its wealth of resources.
“We’re losing more than $34 million a day by not upgrading the bitumen we’re exporting,” said Skowronski.
“We wouldn’t have to be cutting back, they say they want to cut back 177 nurses and so on. We could afford to have lots of nurses and doctors. They’re cutting back education and we shouldn’t have to.”