By Rick Strankman, MLA Drumheller-Stettler
The knowledge a person has comes from real life experiences that can’t be replicated in any other way. As a young boy I was involved in Scouts and came away with some very valuable lessons that I still use to this day, most notably was the Scouting motto, “Be Prepared.”
The learning curve of life continues beyond our days in school and follows us through virtually every real-life experience we have. Ultimately, there is no better educational ground than that of ‘hands on’ life experiences.
Six years ago, I set out on a great learning experience that the constituents of Drumheller – Stettler were so gracious to bestow upon me. The political education I‘ve received has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I appreciate each and every one of you for the privilege of being your representative in the Alberta Legislature.
While the educational component is important, I also view my time in office as an investment by the taxpayers. The important decision to seek the nomination for the United Conservative Party in Drumheller Stettler in order to run in the next provincial election was driven more by a need to give the constituents of Drumheller – Stettler a return on their investment rather than a career move.
Going towards the next provincial election one thing is abundantly clear; to repair the damage done to Alberta by the NDP, we will need to most certainly be prepared and have all experienced hands on deck. If the United Conservative Party earns the right to be the government in Alberta, the caucus may be comprised mostly of inexperienced MLA’s that will have a sharp learning curve that every new MLA faces.
In order for a UCP government to hit the ground running and gain back the advantage we all once knew in Alberta, every ounce of legislative experience we can muster will be needed. That is why I am offering my experience and integrity for another term. Every good or bad experience is a kind of education; some of those experiences are unique and simply cannot be duplicated in a classroom.
The unique education that I have gained during my time in the Alberta Legislature is as valuable as the education I gained while engaging in positive activism as a private citizen. Throughout my entire life, I have been a strong advocate for positive agricultural development that is spurred by incentive, rather than corporate welfare or ‘special’ hand-outs.
Facilitating sound economic development and wealth creation is something that I strongly believe is more fruitful when it is done legislatively or through policies that create positive market opportunities. The move away from government picking winners and losers is something that will also eliminate selective funding to support special interests and the entitled.
As we approach the next provincial election the focus for all of us should be, learn from Alberta’s recent past, set a new course, and most importantly, use our depth of experience to make the changes necessary to bring back the Alberta Advantage.