He was even able to wrap up his speech 10 minutes early.
The Wildrose MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner, speaking at the weekly Southern Alberta Council for Public Affairs (SACPA) gathering, did not hold back on his criticism of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, led by Premier Alison Redford, in his presentation called “Burning Issues Facing Albertans and their MLAs.”
“PC party discipline requires MLAs to simply rubber stamp government policies if they want to retain their positions in the caucus or in cabinet,” said Bikman, the official opposition critic for Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour.
“This is bad government, plain and simple. It’s not democracy, it’s a legislative dictatorship.”
As a member of the official Wildrose opposition, Bikman, elected in 2012, said he’s seen first hand how oilsands management, resource development, the delivery of health care, and Redford’s style of governing have poorly affected the province. He said the Wildrose party firmly believes in open and honest government. They would support legislation to give citizens power to recall ineffective MLAs, offer open tendering for government contracts, and would provide full public disclosure of prioritized capital spending projects.
“The problem is, what’s common sense to you and me, clearly isn’t common practice to an entrenched political class that’s been in power for more than 42 years and has enough skeletons in its closet to fill a graveyard,” Bikman said.
“The truth is, after four decades, the PC Party of Alberta has lost touch with everyday, ordinary Albertans, and the needs and concerns they bring to the table.”
Bikman went on to say Redford campaigned on debt reduction during the last election, but has yet to live up to her promises.
“Back then she said debt has proven the death of countless dreams and debt is the trap that has caught so many struggling governments. Now she’s led us right back into that trap,” Bikman said.
“It’s what we’ve come to expect of this premier and this party — lies, deceit, and forgetting or ignoring the fact that government has no money of its own.
“It all comes from hardworking taxpayers and the businesses that employ them. Quite frankly, we’re auditioning for our role as government. We walk the talk.”