05/22/2015 06:47 EDT | Updated 05/22/2016 05:59 EDT

Former Alberta finance minister says give new NDP government time to learn

CALGARY - A former Alberta finance minister is urging people to give the new NDP government time to learn the ropes.

Jim Dinning, who was a Calgary MLA in the 90s, says incoming Premier Rachel Notley and her 52 MLAs will make smarter decisions if they get time.

He also is urging Notley to look at the big picture when it comes to the environment, energy and the economy.

Dinning says it's up to the new government to have difficult conversations on these topics, and says leaders create followers.

He also says Notley needs to remember how important the energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, adding he hopes the provincial government can contain spending.

Dinning says the NDP is intent on working with the climate-change portfolio.

“As long as they can participate and truly listen to a debate and get the best out of it, they’ll come up with sensible policies, they’re good listeners” says Dinning.

“Give them time to learn more about how the place actually runs and they’ll make smarter decisions.”