-EMBARGOEDAddress to the May 21, 2013 Wildrose Calgary Leader's Dinner, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, Check Against Delivery


Projection. Can mean "talking louder". That's good for public speaking, though we use microphones these days. Projection, can also mean "looking forward, planning, seeing ahead". That’s good. Or from the world of psychology, it can mean "the attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings or suppositions... onto others." Or, simply, wrongly assuming that your weaknesses are embodied in someone else. Someone who you don't like. Sound familiar? The Wildrose is so mean-spirited. The Wildrose is so negative. The Wildrose is unfair. The Wildrose -- they're just not nice. Come on, you've heard it. I've heard it. It's out there. And it's not true. So then, if that's who we're supposed to be, how'd those bogus ideas get out there? Projection. That's right: projection. From the other side. Projecting onto us. Because, here's a list of what they've said about us and just in the Legislature: • • • • • We ask questions, they accuse us of "slander". Squeezed into our legislature office... we're accused of "begging [the government] to spend more money" for office space. They've said... we "support red-light districts"! That we have" jaded views on disabled persons leading productive lives"! And they repeatedly deride us as the "Wild Alliance". And after endless warnings from the Speaker, they explain the insult by saying: That's what we think of them. That we" bought votes by giving away big screen TVs and scholarships". That we have "trouble understanding the English language". That we are all nothing but "climate change deniers." That we're "in the pockets of Big Tobacco." That I am a "hypocrite"! That we're "bottom-feeders"! "Extremists" "Ignorant"! "Twits"!

Here's a short list of other personal attacks from the Legislature: • • • • • • • • •

Not to mention attacking me because I can't have kids. Mocking some our members for their personal faiths. Stating that child pornography lies “at the core of who we are as a party.” By the way, that one was from the Justice Minister. I bring these things up not to complain. We’re Wildrosers and Albertans. We have thick skin, we can take it. I bring them up to make a point – a point about leadership. I’m no psychologist. It may very well be human nature to see one's own flaws in others, or seeing the whole universe conspiring against oneself. But I’m with Shakespeare on this one - as Julius Caesar says: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves...” Which simply means, stop blaming everything around you, and fix yourself.


That’s what we’re doing. We learned a lot in the last election. We learned some of our policies aren’t supported by Albertans, and our members are going to debate that at our AGM this fall. We also learned that we have to make sure ALL of our candidates can express their beliefs in a way that shows respect for ALL Albertans. Every one. That’s who we thought we had. We learned we didn’t, and we learned it too late. But I can also tell you, that won’t happen again. Because we learned our lesson. We came close to forming Government, but we're not. We're the Official Opposition. And that's nothing to be ashamed of. It’s easy to forget that in just five years, we went from a new party with zero seats, no candidates and an empty bank account... to smashing fundraising records and leading the polls. And let's not forget that Peter Lougheed – recently named Canada’s best ever Premier – captured 26% of the vote and just six seats his first time out of the gates in '67. Stacked up against that, our 34% vote share and 17-seat total from 2012 means we’re looking pretty good. But the fact is we're the opposition -- the Official Opposition. So, for now, that’s our job. To ask questions, to fight for Albertans, to hold the Government to account. And not to take anything away from Raj Sherman and the Liberals or Brian Mason and the NDs; I think we're doing one heckuva job. We are the largest Official Opposition in 20 years, and never before has Alberta seen an Official Opposition so united in purpose and so focused on the task we were elected to do. So what else has changed? For them? Well, 40 years in power -- without being held to account -- doesn't just make you soft. It makes you feel entitled, and when someone dares question you, ever, about anything, you get nasty. Or at least, THEY do. Very nasty. Very petty. Very mean. Which is how they describe us. But we're the Official Opposition, and sorry: but we are just doing our job - really well. What IS our job? Well we have three jobs: We oppose, we propose, and we expose. Sadly, the last one is way too easy pickings with a government this secretive, this furtive, this covert. Way to easy to sniff out, but very hard work all the same. Of the 93 hours of debate last fall, Wildrose carried 57 of them. We put forward or supported nearly 100 opposition amendments to 10 government bills. Of course, all but two were shot down by the government. But we're not saying they're always wrong. They're not. And we're not saying we're always right. No one can be. But do we oppose? Like some knee-jerk reaction? Never. In fact, our mean ol' Wildrose Caucus has supported a whole slew of PC legislation that we thought was good for Alberta. Proudly supported. That stuff just doesn’t make headlines. And we have pushed very, very hard to get results, PROPOSING changes to legislation. Not because we're mean; to make it better.


It's not a personal attack to raise questions about Lynn Redford charging political donations to the taxpayer. We have to raise those questions REGARDLESS of her last name. Are we supposed to grant immunity BECAUSE she's the Premier's sister? And it is not a personal attack when we question the Government's awarding of a 10 Billion Dollar file to the law firm of the Premier's chief political advisor. We don't care who he's married to then or now; we care about rules being followed. We care about fairness. Care. That’s the important word. That mean ol' Wildrose Party? Cares? About Alberta? Yes: we really care. That's why we're in this. That's why I'M in this. You know we're obsessed about fiscal matters - somebody has to be. But we're also obsessed about Health Care. Public Health Care. And Public Health expenses. And Education. Public Education. And we are true defenders of democracy. Real democracy. Transparent and accountable. So we call out when it's under attack. As it is right here right now. Do we criticize? You bet. But ask yourself this: Are the PCs perfect? Then yes: we criticize. And that's our job. But when Ms. Redford finally took Brad Wall's lead and followed him to Washington to fight for our economic life-blood, we applauded. And when she stopped siding with Chiquita’s antiAlberta crusade and finally showed she understood what the energy sector means to us all, we supported her. After all, the Energy Sector here is astounding, but we have to get the story out. The technologies being developed for greener extraction... are like the stuff of science fiction, only it's happening now... with even more around the next corner. And we support that. Energy here is cleaner than heavy oil from Venezuela. Cleaner than shipping it from around the globe. Cleaner than much of the "Conventional" production brought to this continent. And certainly cleaner than eastern U.S. coal. And it's only going to get better. And the Wildrose party: We want lower greenhouse gas emissions. We want a cleaner environment. And we want a solid economy. Because we believe in this province and we believe in the people here. We care about the people here and we want them, you, everyone to live full and fulfilled lives. Right here. So... when they say they are shutting down the Michener Centre -we fight. When they separate married couples in long-term care-we fight. When they mismanage health care, or waste our money, or line friends' pockets - we fight. Because the culture of entitlement has to stop. It's not supposed to be -- was NEVER supposed to be -- about their comfort, their privilege, their power. It was always supposed to be -- HAS to be -- about the people... of this amazing province. Everyone. No matter who they voted for. Because we care. Not about what WE can get out of it, for ourselves. We care about making it stronger. Making Alberta stronger. Which means, we have to get stronger ourselves. This party. Because that's the only way it's going to get better. First the party, then this government, this province, this country. Because a stronger Alberta makes a stronger Canada.


But a weak Alberta? A booming economy and a booming province that can't pay its bills? A booming Alberta with not enough classrooms? A booming Alberta with the longest wait times in Canada? A booming Alberta that can’t take care of its most vulnerable? But bigger and bigger and bigger bureaucracies?! More and more entitlements? Just makes no sense. That Alberta is not the Alberta we grew up with - it's not who we are. It's not the values we all share. And how exactly did we get here? Well: who remembers these election whoppers: 3 Billion for oil sands research. 600 Million for municipalities. 140 new Family Care Clinics. 50 new schools. Seventy school modernizations. Major expansions of post-secondaries. Tax credits for seniors, teachers and families. The topper? All "without cuts to core front line services, without running a deficit and without taking on debt." That's a direct quote. Here's more: In her maiden speech as Premier Ms. Redford told Albertans, “Debt is the trap that has caught so many struggling governments. Debt has proven the death of countless dreams.” She told us of Europe’s crumbling, debt-laden economy and of her commitment to avoid it at all costs. She finished with, “We will spend wisely and save intelligently, managing our finances to protect future Albertans from…” you guessed it: “Debt.” There are probably people here in this room tonight who voted for her because of that, but it’s never been more clear: She never believed in any of it. She made a cold political calculation that looking fiscally responsible would help her win an election - and it did. It sounded so good that 44% of Albertans were willing to give them another chance. And our reward? The fastest unravelling of an election platform ever witnessed. No tax credits. None of the promised election goodies. But instead, vicious cuts to front line services – in the very areas of health care and education she said were "off limits". But it`s not these broken promises we're most angry about. The Redford PCs are guilty of something far worse: their promise to balance the budget and stay out of debt. The foundation of their entire platform and the lynch pin of their success on Election Day. In less than a year, that promise was completely and utterly obliterated... For the first time in 20 years, Alberta is borrowing just to keep the lights on. But it wasn't just the death of a balanced budget. What followed was the confirmation of everyone's worst fear: for the first time in a decade, we're going back into debt. And now? Now she says it’s “extreme and ideological” to balance the budget. Really? Now she says staying out of debt is “parochial.” The very principles she stood on to get to where she is... aren’t merely abandoned, they're mocked! I actually hope Ms. Redford does something before it’s too late. That she does something before we're so far down this debt path that it takes a generation to pay it off. I hope I’m wrong; I fear I’m not. The only silver lining: we all vote again in 2016. Which is why we’re here tonight. Alberta can be strong again... and we have the vision for how to get there. To keep our books in order, because everything springs from our prosperity. Because of our vast wealth, if we balance the budget and manage our dollars, we can provide the very best of everything. It just needs to be managed with a firm -- but caring -- hand.


We don't hold these values out of ideological purity or some intellectual obligation, as she likes to accuse. We hold them because they work. We fight for those values. Government debt doesn’t work anywhere. Bad budgets aren’t fixed by bigger deficits, more debt, and higher taxes. They never have and they never will. That’s what Ms. Redford doesn’t understand. In her world, promises have expiry dates, commitments are moving targets and principles are to be mocked. In her world what you promised yesterday can be forgotten today. You can insult someone for believing in what you yourself once claimed to believe. And you can say, with a straight face, that you’ve been consistent all along. But there are truths that transcend the ballot box. Balancing the budget and staying out of debt isn’t ideological. No matter what side of the political spectrum you're on, it is just the right thing to do. So allow me my own projection. Not projecting my weakness and flaws onto someone else, but my own projection into the future. Our shared future: There is leadership we can provide – the kind of leadership we need... and aren’t getting. Leadership that's not preoccupied with finding the next magic bullet to win the next election, so that we lose sight of what is good, what is right and what is fair. No: leadership that sees the difficult path, the right path, and has the guts to stick with it. My projection is that my terrific team can keep us on that path, and you can keep us on that path. 'Cause... while 2016 may seem a ways off, it will be knocking on our doors before we know it. So allow me a positive "projection": only this one is about you. You - want to stay involved. You - want to stay active. You- want to stay strong. You - know our task remains great and you vow that your resolve -- our resolve -- must grow. My projection: this province is looking for leadership and you will help us be the ones to provide it. Thank you.

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