Newly elected Alberta Premier Jim Prentice speaks  to about 450 people at the Progressive Conservative Leader's Dinner Wednesday at the Sheraton in Red Deer.

Newly elected Alberta Premier Jim Prentice speaks to about 450 people at the Progressive Conservative Leader's Dinner Wednesday at the Sheraton in Red Deer.

Prentice focused on rebuilding trust in government

In the midst of trying to rebuild Alberta’s trust in the Progressive Conservatives, Premier Jim Prentice vowed a no nonsense and common sense government as he delivered his speech at the Leader’s Dinner.

In the midst of trying to rebuild Alberta’s trust in the Progressive Conservatives, Premier Jim Prentice vowed a no nonsense and common sense government as he delivered his speech at the Leader’s Dinner.

Postponing the originally planned October dinner to run in a byelection, Prentice headlined the annual leader’s dinner at the Sheraton Wednesday evening.

Speaking to the 450 or so in attendance, Prentice focused on re-building trust in government and how he intended to do so through good policy and good government. But above all he spoke of the party will not take constituency for granted.

He conceded that oil prices below $80 a barrel have financial implications that Albertan’s need to be cautious and prudent about.

“The long term strength of Alberta’s energy industry is not in question, whatsoever,” said Prentice.

“There will be low price environments, there will be high price environments. We need to be cautious because we don’t know how long this low price environment is going to continue. As a government we can’t control international oil prices, what we can control is access to markets to make sure we get world prices.

“Secondly we can control our public finances and make sure we’re prudent, disciplined and careful.”

In two weeks, he and finance minister Doug Horner will deliver a fiscal update, which could address some of the issues Alberta faces with lower oil prices.

“If oil prices continue below $80 or $75 a barrel, this is not a business as usual environment.”

Factors including the province’s continual rapid growth and need for infrastructure will also weigh heavily on future budgeting decisions.

“We will operate the government, day-to-day, in the black ink,” said Prentice. “Dealing with the capital issues we have, relative to our population growth, is another discussion.”

Fresh off a sweep of four byelections, including his own victory in Calgary-Foothills, Prentice smiled a little as he said that no one expected the PCs to win all four but “one of the parties is going to spend it’s convention weekend” coming to terms with their loss – referring to the Wildrose.

“We were pleased with the byelection outcomes,” said Prentice. “But I don’t want anyone in my party to take anything away from them other than, in the humblest of terms, we have an obligation to keep working hard.”

Prentice also said a climate change strategy, something Alberta currently lacks, was in the works and the framework of one will be publicly available before the end of the year.

“I’ve made it clear we need a strategic framework that is visionary, that has a 25-year lifespan in terms of how Alberta deals with environment, energy and climate change.”

Prentice will face his first legislative session as an MLA starting on Nov. 17.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

Phone lines were swamped and the Alberta Health Services website crashed on… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau as they meet virtually with United States President Joe Biden from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Biden on China’s detention of two Michaels: ‘Human beings are not bartering chips’

But the White House offered no hints about how it might help secure their release

Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem holds a press conference at the Bank Of Canada in Ottawa on October 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada monitoring hot housing market amid early warning signs: Macklem

Central bank surprised by the rebound in housing market

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Wednesday

Total of 1,602,365 doses given so far

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney makes his way to the chamber in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices in the third quarter of the budget is helping the bottom line as his government prepares to introduce its 2021-22 budget. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Higher oil prices boosting Alberta’s bottom line as budget looms Thursday: Kenney

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien gives instructions during practice in Brossard, Que., Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CP NewsAlert: Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien

Assistant coach appointed interim head coach

(Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
NFB hiring new execs to lead anti-racist practices, forge ties with Indigenous groups

TORONTO — The National Film Board of Canada is creating two key… Continue reading

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Schitt’s Creek’ earns third consecutive ensemble win at ACTRA Toronto Awards

Tamara Podemski won outstanding performance by a female on ‘Coroner’

NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers

NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers

FILE - In this March 9, 2020, file photo, New York Yankees' Clint Frazier runs to the dugout during a spring training baseball game in Clearwater, Fla. Brett Gardner's return to the Yankees won't displace Clint Frazier from taking over as New York's starting left fielder. Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, that the 26-year-old Frazier remained his first choice in left while cautioning developments during a season could alter intentions. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Yankees finalize deals for Brett Gardner, Justin Wilson

Yankees finalize deals for Brett Gardner, Justin Wilson

Most Read