Another candidate has announced his intention to seek the United Conservative Party’s (UCP) nomination for Red Deer-South.
Speaking to nearly three dozen supporters at the Bower Community Hall on Friday, Bruce Buruma laid out his plans to be a strong, experienced and committed voice for the riding, expressing the need for a business-friendly government with a controlled and balanced approach to spending.
Buruma admits it wasn’t his idea to seek the nomination initially.
“It was people coming to me saying that they felt I would be a strong and a good representative,” explains Buruma. “I never really thought about it but because of that support, I finally felt now was the time.”
Buruma, who is Director of Community Relations for Red Deer Public Schools, says he knows the community well and has many connections to draw upon.
“I was born and raised in Red Deer,” states Buruma. “I’ve served this community in lots of ways through volunteer work, years on boards and committees trying to make a difference as well. I also believe my experience as a senior leadership in one of the largest organizations in Red Deer is really important and I think I’ve built a sense of trust with people.”
Buruma says when you’re talking about the future of the province, decisions made by governments today are going to shape where Alberta goes in the future.
“That’s what really concerns me about it,” says Buruma. “That whole thing about hope and confidence and really the whole thing in regards to where we’re at budget-wise and the debt and the deficit. We can spend those dollars today but if we’re going to have our children paying those off in the future, we’re really going to limit the kinds of things and the hopes and the dreams that they have moving forward.”
Buruma points to crime, health care, education and the economy as top areas of focus.
“We need to look at what is fiscally responsible,” explains Buruma. “I think it’s very clear, that doesn’t mean cuts, cuts, cuts, it means taking a look at the situation. I think we clearly have to understand, what is the financial situation and how do we work together to figure out what those challenges are and how we’re going to address it.”
He says Albertans realize some difficult choices will have to be made and expectations will have to be managed.
“Just from my experience I believe those choices can be manageable and I think by working together, it’s really important to do that,” says Buruma. “In terms of priorities, I think it’s very clear Albertans don’t want the Carbon Tax and I don’t even think is effective for Alberta. In many ways It’s just a sales tax on Albertans which we know they don’t have a spirit for that.”
Buruma says Albertans want the province’s financial house in order.
“I look at the days of Ralph Klein and think although we were able to eliminate that debt, we recognize that that was done at the cuts of infrastructure and other things,” adds Buruma. “I think we’ve learned some lessons from that. It has to be a balanced approach, we cannot cut, slash and burn but we also have to have a common understanding that our finances need to be better managed for the future of our province.”
Although a date has yet to be confirmed for a UCP nomination vote in Red Deer-South, Buruma anticipates it to be in late January or early February.
There are three other candidates seeking the nomination in Red Deer-South, including Adele Poratto, Jason Stephan and Norman Wiebe.
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