Should he be elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, Jason Kenney's first order of business will be to boost investment in Alberta, he told the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary on Friday.
Proposing to unite the PCs and Wildrose Party before the next provincial election in 2019, the Conservative MP has not spelled out much in the way of economic policy for what he calls a party that does not yet exist.
But in a speech to the Economic Club of Canada, Kenney said the NDP government's policies are deepening the current recession.
Should he become premier, Kenney said he would cut taxes, declare Alberta open for business and eliminate the NDP government's new carbon tax.
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"My goal would be to restore the Alberta advantage through the lowest taxes in Canada," Kenney told reporters following his speech.
"I would start by repealing the NDP's job-killing carbon tax, they have no democratic mandate to impose it, it means no measurable environmental gain but a lot of economic pain."
Kenney called the coming carbon tax "a wealth redistribution scheme."
"They're going to create a huge, expensive, central bureaucracy to collect the tax and then administer rebates, and the cost of bureaucracy to do all of the above with no meaningful environmental gain," he said.
"I think this is exactly the wrong way to approach this, we should be taking a prudent regulatory approach to reduce the carbon intensity of Alberta oil and gas and reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions generally, without imposing upon us economic costs that are not being taken on by other jurisdictions. I don't believe in economic masochism, I think we should be responsible about the environment but also put Alberta's economy first."
A former PC MLA, Donna Kennedy-Glans, announced Thursday she intends to run for the PC leadership.
A new leader will be chosen next March.