Doug Horner PC Candidate for Spruce Grove-St.Albert
Continuing my series on candidates for the Spruce Grove – St. Albert riding for the upcoming provincial elections (read initial post and NDP response if you like), below is the response received yesterday from the office of the PC candidate for my riding, Doug Horner. While I would have loved more on the education response, I’m not unhappy with the response overall. I’m not sure about some of the PC platform, but Mr. Horner hasn’t been crossed off my list yet anyway. The candidate forum next week will be telling I’m sure.
1. Would you vote against your party if your constituents requested it? What if what your constituent’s want goes against your party or individual ideology?
I have always tried to vote the way the majority of my constituents would want me to represent them. Although there have been times when a vocal minority have tried to influence how I might vote, as a representative of the constituency the key is to be able to understand as best you can what direction your constituents want you to take. As a candidate, I make it known who I am and what I believe in so that you, the constituent have an understanding of the person you are electing.
2. Why don’t you actually use your twitter account? The #abvote hashtag is generating a lot of conversation about the election and a perfect opportunity to truly interact with some people who might want to hear what you have to say.
While I have used Twitter in the past, during a 28 day campaign I try to focus foremost talking to people at doors and on phones, and responding to the questions they e-mail in (like this one). I watch to see what’s going on through Twitter and Facebook when I can, but I’ve also found that it can be a bit addictive and can be a distraction.
3. In Spruce Grove we definitely have school issues that need to be addressed, which concern me as a parent of three children of various ages. Our urban schools are getting over-crowded and the city is growing every day. How soon will this be corrected? How will you address the needs for schools in the city despite there being under-used rural schools and why will you do it that way?
This is a fundamental question of the choice you face as a voter – on one side you have an ideologically driven party that will not invest unless they can pay cash for every asset, and side, a party that would raise your taxes and do more of the same. As Progressive Conservatives we try to balance a pragmatic business approach with a social conscience. We believe we should be investing for the growth we have now, and not waiting for future surpluses. We believe that the Alberta of the future is one where we have the infrastructure to ensure a quality education and health care system, as well as the infrastructure to support economic development and help grow our economy.
As you know, Spruce Grove and St. Albert are growing rapidly. At the Church my family attends, the local Pastor is fond of the statistic that the average age in Spruce grove is going down! Although we have had two new schools constructed over the past eight years, we do need more classrooms in the Tri-community area, including Spruce Grove. St. Albert is another high growth area whose schools are feeling growth pressures. I was happy to hear Premier Redford’s promise to construct 50 new schools and to upgrade another 70 schools across the Province. Although the details have yet to be worked out, I hope to see some of those projects in our constituency.
4. How active are you in the Spruce Grove community? I don’t mean by being on a committee or belonging to the Rotary. I mean truly involved-do you shop here? Do you use the park system? Have you used the school system? Do you really understand our community’s needs?
I am a resident of the area. My family shops in both Spruce Grove and St. Albert. My kids have been schooled in one of the five school boards I have had the honor to represent. I am a land owner both in and out of the constituency. I do reside in the riding and have my new grandson as a resident of the Grove, so yes I am very “involved” in the community. In fact, I am very proud that it was a Pastor from my church in Spruce Grove who gave the blessing at the Premier’s swearing in last October.
5. What is the first program/type of spending you think needs to be cut if your party were to gain a majority and why?
This is a very interesting question because it is based on an ideology that I may not follow. Every program or service delivery that Government provides should be regularly reviewed to ensure that it is achieving the outcomes and benefits to the taxpayer or society that it was designed to do. That is why I was very pleased that we were the first jurisdiction in Canada to introduce a Results Based Budgeting approach in this spring’s sitting of the Legislature. This means that every program in government will be independently reviewed with input from experts and Albertans as to whether it is achieving the intended results, and if not why not, and if it is no longer required and should be cut. If it needs more resources it then should be strengthened. A third of all government programs will go thru this review each year, and will be continued on a three year cycle with progress reported to the Assembly each year.
Stay tuned and see if my riding’s other two candidates even bother answering! Ah, politics, such fun.