The candidate for the Freedom Conservative Party is concerned with where Alberta is going and believes he has an answer. Jim McKinnon has studied and worked across the country and currently oversees an oilfield construction company.
Over the past four years, McKinnon says he’s witnessed the devastating impact of a failing oil and gas sector on Alberta’s economy. Specifically, he’s seen the effect it’s had on those who work in that economy. McKinnon calls it dramatic and traumatic and hopes to provide alternative solutions that other governments are lacking.
“The current provincial government’s failure to mitigate this economic upheaval, and the federal government’s absolute lack of concern for the same, really requires a different approach,” says McKinnon.
In his mind, the FCP will return the Alberta advantage. McKinnon hopes to cut taxes and spending, create a fiscally responsible government, and end corporate welfare. He also advocates for “unleashing” the province’s energy sector by ending the carbon tax, building pipelines at all costs, abolishing production caps and demanding the repeal of Bill C-69.
McKinnon also advocates for more Alberta and less Ottawa. He seeks to end equalization payments in Canada, control immigration, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and collect our own taxes. When it comes to ending equalization, he hopes to fiercely negotiate with Ottawa on making things fair for Alberta. If that means a referendum for independence, he’s prepared to utilize that for leverage.
“I’m a proud Canadian and a proud Albertan. I’m not a separatist and I’m not an anarchist. I’m just tired of Alberta being treated as a second-class colony, and tired of being milked without so much as a thank-you from the federal government through equalization payments.”
While he hopes that doesn’t have to happen, he believes Alberta should be prepared to walk away from the negotiation table. McKinnon says that many have criticized him for potentially splitting the conservative vote, which he says he’s not concerned by.
“One of the things that the Freedom Conservative Party elected to do was not have a candidate in any riding that had a large NDP following. What that means is that currently, we have 24 candidates out of 87. That’s roughly 27 per cent. So I don’t think there’s too much of a fear of splitting that vote.”
McKinnon points to a recent CBC poll predicts a 99 per cent chance of the UCP forming government. He argues that if that’s the case, the left-leaning parties will be holding them accountable. With nobody there to hold them accountable to the right-wing of Alberta, he belives they’ll under-deliver on their many promises.
“The UCP right now, they’re promising things to the left, to the centre and to the right. One of the things I’ve discovered in many years in business is that if you have someone who’s over-promising is that ultimately what that means, they under-deliver. You can’t please everyone all the time.”
McKinnon hopes to ensure that the UCP stays accountable to its conservative voter base. He’s heard from Albertans that they’re fed up, and he’s working to represent the concerns they’ve voiced. The riding is quite large, and he admits it’ll be a struggle to get his message out. However, he says Alberta is open to hearing what he has to say.
“We’ve got some work to do, but I think Alberta is receptive to the message we have, and the platform we’re putting forward…
“It’s time to stop being nice. It’s time to drop the gloves, and it’s time to make Alberta great again”
Anyone looking to support Jim McKinnon in the Alberta election can visit his website at jimmckinnonfcp.com.