EDMONTON, AB – Premier Jim Prentice is adding to his legacy of broken promises and mistrust by reneging on a commitment to build new schools, Wildrose Education Critic Drew Barnes said.
Last October, when he was campaigning for his seat in the legislature, Prentice promised to build 55 new schools and modernize 20 by 2018, in addition to former Premier Alison Redford’s promise to build 50 new schools and modernize 70 by 2016. On Wednesday, however, Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar again admitted the schools would likely not be built on time.
Barnes said Prentice misled Albertans when he promised he could spend $2 billion on new schools, without tacking waste, at a time when oil prices were already in decline.
“Month over month oil prices were in free fall when Premier Prentice promised he’d build these schools on time and on budget,” Barnes said. “It was flat out irresponsible for him to say he could deliver on this, when he knew he couldn’t. This is just one more broken promise on this Premier’s record.”
Barnes said a prioritized infrastructure list coupled with consistent capital spending will take the politics out of infrastructure and provide more value for taxpayer money. He said these Wildrose ideas would build trust in the political process, something he says has not happened under Prentice.
“Premier Prentice is building a reputation as someone who will say one thing, but do another, and Albertans are getting tired of this crass approach to politics,” he said. “Alberta needs and deserves honest leadership in these tough economic times, and Mr. Prentice just isn’t providing it.”