US President Franklin Roosevelt made the term “fireside chat” popular in the 1930’s with his radio addresses.
And now, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has created the “kitchen table chat.”
She says, like her family, she believes many Albertans make plans around their table as well.
Notley’s televised address was to preview next week’s budget and the grim financial numbers facing the province.
She says the deficit will be more than $10-billion this year because of the collapse in oil prices.
The premier says her government will work at controlling spending, but not make cuts that “slash and burn” the public sector and the programs that families count on.
She says the push will be on to create jobs and foster diversification, because the province’s economy is just too dependent on the price of oil.
In her address, which was also heard on News Talk 770, Notley reiterated promises put forth in the throne speech about the new Alberta Child Benefit Plan and the Alberta Jobs Plan.
Notley says the budget next week will have what she calls, “significant new announcements aimed at supporting businesses to create new jobs and diversify our economy”.
The premier also calls on the federal government to ensure that Canadian energy gets to new markets and that means a new pipeline to Tidewater and she will continue to work towards that since it is the to the benefit of every Canadian and not just for Albertans.
Despite the grim numbers, Notley says Albertans are resilient and can get through these tough times.
Wildrose leader Brian Jean says his party will formally respond next week, but he wasn’t impressed by what he saw.
“What we saw tonight with the premier’s speech is more of the same troubling vision for the economy and our province’s finances,” Jean said.
He pointed to increasing tax structures for businesses and to NDP policy for getting in the way of confidence in the province.
“All of this sends a message that Alberta is no longer a smart place to invest or to start a new business,” Jean continued. “I can’t help but think that Albertans sitting around their kitchen tables, wondering what to do, expected so much more.”