04/08/2015 12:53 EDT | Updated 06/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Wildrose Election Platform Calls For Balance Budget As Priority Issue

CALGARY - Alberta's Wildrose party released five priority issues Wednesday that it will focus on during the provincial election campaign including cuts to spending and a balanced budget by 2017.

Leader Brian Jean told reporters in Calgary that his party will balance the budget by 2017 through reduced spending and no tax increases.

"It's not that big of an axe, but let's be clear — we believe we have a better solution than the PC government in what they're proposing," said Jean.

"We believe that any Albertan that goes into any government service will see inefficiencies and things they would actually see to change themselves. We are bringing forward practical solutions to change things. We are not going to affect any front-line workers and I would not suggest it's an axe."

Jean is also promising to improve health care and education, and make government more accountable. He said Albertans are frustrated by what he called "countless scandals" involving the abuse of tax dollars and the entitlement of senior government officials.

The changes Jean are proposing include legislation to prohibit MLAs from floor crossing without a byelection. Wildrose was gutted last December when former leader Danielle Smith and eight Wildrose MLAs cross the floor to join the government of Premier Jim Prentice.

Wildrose says it will help rural Alberta by improving ambulance service and entrenching property rights.

Jean also took exception to Prentice's comments that Wildrose is the "extreme right" and the NDP the "extreme left".

"I think that it's not very helpful and I think it's ridiculous," said Jean, who was a member of the federal Conservative caucus along with Prentice for several years.

"I have 10 years of history in Ottawa and no one would suggest I'm an extremist, but if low taxes and balanced budgets is extremist, I guess most Albertans are extremists because I think that's what Albertans want."

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