David Yager has had a life-long interest in public affairs. In his youth he was intrigued by the concept of Canadian governments directing the economy through enlightened public policy. But the turning point came in the early 1980s with the Liberal National Energy Program. Already owning a business and writing about the oil industry, he experienced and documented the economic devastation caused by ostensibly well-intentioned but ultimately ill-conceived public policy. Since then he has become convinced government should play a limited role in directing the economy.
Reinforcement of this view came in 2007 with Alberta’s New Royalty Framework. It was clear through this policy and the enormous growth in the cost and size of the provincial government that Alberta was on the wrong path. As an alternative he became actively involved in the Wildrose Party and dedicated 10 years to turning Wildrose from an idea into a serious political force in the province. He supported the merger of Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties to create the United Conservative Party in July of 2017.
The most recent trend is federal and provincial policies to control future climate change through carbon taxes, subsidies, restrictions and regulation. More central planning. Canada only emits 1.6% of global carbon dioxide emissions yet several current governments believe that its actions alone will have an impact when all credible forecasts are than global fossil fuel consumption will increase for the foreseeable future regardless of Canada’s actions. Economic self-immolation by an advanced country that could be a leader in research into lower-carbon energy technologies is a problem, not a solution.
But less government does not mean no government. David Yager believes in the important role governments can and must play in providing strong and effective public services (public health care, public education, police and fires services being the most important), quality infrastructure (roads, highways, libraries, community and sports facilities), and an appropriate safety net for those who slip through the cracks and need the assistance of their fellow citizens (social services, financial support and job retraining to name but three).
As he said many times at the door while campaigning for public office during the 2012 Alberta provincial election,
“The measure of the progress of civilization is how we take care of those who cannot take care of themselves”
While a fiscal conservative, David Yager is not a social conservative, supporting free choice for all individuals in all their decisions to the greater degree possible.
“Alberta was settled by people who came from all over the world seeking political, economic and religious freedom. All three are being threatened by the relentless growth of government and its intrusion in our day-to-day affairs.”
- Student council high school
- Early member of the Reform Party, 1990
- Member of Reform Party board of directors in his home riding, 1990 – 1992
- Considered seeking Reform Party nomination, 1991
- Attendee of the Reform Party Convention in Saskatoon, 1991
- Supported the Alliance Party of Alberta, fall of 2007
- Joined Wildrose Alliance Party February 2008
- Fundraiser for Wildrose Alliance in March 2008 Alberta election
- Fundraiser and organizer for Wildrose in 2008 and 2009
- Encouraged Danielle Smith to seek Wildrose leadership in 2009
- Top fundraiser for Smith’s leadership bid, 2009
- Appointed co-chair of Wildrose Energy Policy Task Force November 2009
- Won nomination as Calgary-Hawkwood Wildrose candidate November 2010
- Wildrose candidate in 2012 Alberta provincial election
- Wildrose Party President November 2012 to December 2014
- Wildrose Party Vice-President Fundraising December 2014 to January 2016
- Fundraiser for Wildrose Party in the May 2015 election
- Senior energy policy advisor to Wildrose and Leader Brian Jean until January 2017
- Supported the merger of Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative Party in 2017 to create the United Conservative Party (UCP)
- Active in Brian Jean’s leadership bid for the UCP
With the UCP created and leadership race concluded, David Yager has stepped aside from active political involvement preferring to communicate directly with voters through research, writing and the media.