The Griff

The Alberta provincial election

Politics

The Alberta provincial election

The basics from each party’s platform

The 2019 Alberta provincial election is coming up and deciding on who to vote for can be a stressful task. Most large news outlets have a political leaning and it can be difficult to determine what aspects of the election are factual and examples of party platforms and which are false information. To that end we at the griff want every Albertan, and, more specifically, every student at MacEwan University to make an informed decision when they head to the polls April 16, so below are the basic aspects of each of the four political parties platforms — what is either written on the party websites or posted platforms, and all the information about each party comes from the party’s posted platform itself.

Taxes:

NDP: The NDP states they “value and share Albertans’ entrepreneurial spirit” in their official party platform. The NDP government uses how they cut small business taxes by 33 per cent as an example for future tax laws, and state they will continue to invest in tax credits. They intend to create a Small Business Investment Office for streamlining small business regulation and to support up-and-coming businesses, and the NDP promises to keep small business taxes low.

UCP: “Bill 1 of a United Conservative government will be the Carbon Tax Repeal Act, and will sue the Trudeau government if it tries to impose a carbon tax on Alberta” the UCP official party states. They promise to put a Job Creation Tax Cut in place to reduce business income tax rates from 12 per cent to eight per cent over four years. And they will maintain a two per cent tax rate for small businesses.


Alberta Liberal: Alberta Liberals plan to reduce income tax while continuing to support public services through by putting an HST in place. This would lower Income Tax, where every Albertan would be have $57,000 in income be tax-exempt ($114,500 for couples). The Alberta Liberals state than an eight per cent HST would provide stable funding for Health and Education, and they will give a two per cent Corporate Tax Cut (12 per cent – 10 per cent) to boost the economy, create jobs, and increase wages.

Alberta Party: An Alberta Party government would remove the provincial carbon tax for families, small businesses, farms, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments. Large industrial emitters would still be required to reduce their emissions annually under a properly structured carbon price. The Alberta Party’s platform focuses predominantly on, and states they will, will stop penalizing families, households, non-profits, and municipalities.

Alberta Oil:

NDP: The NDP government wants to build support for the Alberta oil industry and new pipeline development. The NDP promises to continue fighting for additional pipeline capacity, “including getting the Trans Mountain expansion built, working with industry to unlock $75 billion in new investment and 70,000 new jobs through a major expansion of refining, upgrading and petrochemical production capacity”. They will facilitate “moving large industrial equipment around the province and adopt a series of reforms to speed up and streamline regulatory processes for oil and gas projects without undermining environmental and safety standards”.

UCP A United Conservative government will support building more pipelines. They will put an Associate Minister for Natural Gas and Associate Deputy Minister for Natural Gas in the Department of Energy in place. They will reduce regulatory “red tape” to streamline industrial development, and “work with the natural gas industry to facilitate infrastructure for shipping Alberta gas to Asian markets through Liquified Natural Gas projects”.


Alberta Liberal “Alberta Liberals will fight to make sure the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is responsibly built” the Alberta Liberal party platform says. They seek to build a Canada-wide coalition that is dedication to displacing forweign oil imports in eastern Canada. “Alberta Liberals will immediately demand an interim report that details their efforts to comply with the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision and the status of the consultation process with affected First Nations in Alberta and British Columbia”. They seek to modernize and improve the National Energy Board and will reduce federal power by removing project approval from the Environment Minister. They will also establish clear policies regarding climate change and Indigenous rights relating to the Alberta oil industry.

Alberta Party: The Alberta Party seeks to increase development in refinery and petrochemical processing in order to create jobs and province-wide value. They support the development of CanaPux (bitumen pucks), a company owned by Heart Lake First Nation. The Alberta Party wants to expand refining in Alberta and will increase the Alberta Innovates budget with a focus on material sciences.

Education

NDP: The NDP government will increase enrollment growth funding to provide teachers and resources to match the growing population. They plan to make the Classroom Improvement Fund permanent and ensure that all students have the necessary supports put in place to learn. They “will create new language programs in Alberta schools, including creating new provincial Filipino, Punjabi, Somali and Cantonese offerings”. The NDP government promises to provide post-secondary institutions with stable and consistent funding to ensure that it remains accessible and affordable to all Albertans.

UCP: The UCP plan to increase or maintain educational funding, end the focus on “discovery/inquiry/constructivism” learning and develop a Ministerial Order that focuses on essential knowledge and foundational competencies in place. Financial literacy would become a mandatory element of the Alberta curriculum, and consent would be one of the essential teachings from sexual education. The Grade 3 PAT would be reinstated, as would the 50 per cent diploma exam for Grade 12. The UCP would “reduce provincial red tape and mandates on universities and colleges, freeing them to innovate and compete more and comply with bureaucratic mandates less”. They also plan to “measure labour market outcomes of post-secondary programs to identify the correlation between provincial subsidies and economic returns for taxpayers” and “require all universities and colleges to develop, post, and comply with free speech policies that conform to the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression”.


Alberta Liberal: The Alberta Liberal party would make small class sizes and the hiring of enough teachers mandatory for Government and school boards. The party plans to increase mental health service funding in schools and change the curriculum to include emotional and mental awareness teaching for K-12, expand financial literacy education, and update age-respectful early education on LGBTQ2S+ issues. “Alberta Liberals support mandatory GSAs in all schools where they are requested and fundamentally oppose informing parents that their child has joined a GSA without the child’s consent.” They plan to increase funding for students with extra needs by 50 per cent and to completely phase out school fees (as well as remove school and bussing fees for Charter school students). “The Alberta Liberals will unveil a plan to make financial support for post-secondary institutions more progressive in order to make post-secondary education more accessible to low-income students”.  The Alberta Liberal party also seeks to expand the number of institutions that train tech workers, especially in order to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates.

Alberta Party: “Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel promised an Alberta Party government will require children to have up-to-date immunizations in order to attend a publicly-funded school” the Alberta Party’s position statement website says. Immunizations included in Alberta’s Routine Childhood Immunization Schedule would continue to be offered to Albertans for free. The Alberta Party also plans to double the educational assistants in K-12 classrooms and increase the funding for inclusive education. “The Alberta Party will deliver best-in-class kindergarten, primary and secondary education”.

Human Rights and Equality:

NDP: The NDP seek to develop an Alberta Affordable Child Care Program that will improve the quality and availability of province-wide child care. They plan to expand the $25-a-day child care so it will be accessible to every child-care facility in the province. They plan to increase affordable housing for low-income Albertans, and will establish modern, up-to-date, and fair employment laws. They plan to remove all prescription drug copayments for seniors who earn less than $75,000 a year. The NDP is also putting a Hate Crimes Unit in place and resources for communities to implement provincial anti-racism and anti-bias strategies. “The creation of a Ministry of Multiculturalism to educate and promote diversity, inclusion and mutual respect among all Albertans” and will work to increase security and to restore a sense of safety in any communities or places of worship that have experience hate crimes. The NDP will also ban conversion therapy techniques and the provincial Hate Crimes Unit will be used to investigate crimes targeted at LGBTQ Albertans. The NDP will “continue to protect all students by ensuring the timely creation of a gaystraight alliance when requested by students so they have access to a safe space without fear of being outed”. They will also explore renewed fiscal relationships between Indigenous groups and the Government of Alberta, and they plan to “accelerate the schedule to extend drinking water infrastructure to reserves so more Indigenous families can get safe, reliable drinking water faster”.

UCP:  The UCP plans to “ensur(e) appropriate training for judges, prosecutors, and first responders including police officers, nurses, and doctors, to enhance detection of human trafficking and the prosecution of human traffickers, as well as improving support for victims”.

They will pass laws that allow people at risk for domestic violence to know their intimate partner’s history of violence, and plan to commit $5 million in funding to combat sexual assault and provide services for survivors of sexual violence. Groups at risk for hate crimes will be eligible to apply for $100,000 in funding for security equipment. The UCP also plans to “respect and support Alberta’s seniors by prioritizing the creation of new long-term care beds, restarting the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI), and maintaining existing seniors’ benefits”. They plan to work with Indigenous communities to increase support systems for Indigenous families who have children with disabilities. They also plan to increase affordable housing for Alberta residents. “A United Conservative government will partner with Alberta’s Indigenous peoples in pursuit of reconciliation, inclusion, and opportunity”.


Alberta Liberal “The Alberta Liberals will double the funding for new affordable housing over the next five years”. “The Alberta Liberals will implement Pay Equity Legislation that requires companies to prove they are paying men and women equally and fine those who are not”. They plan to enact budgets to examine the impact on women and minorities, and they plan to ensure all policies, programs, initiatives, and funding support equity and equality. The party plans to establish manadtory sexual assault/harassment training as well as consent training for police and judges.They also plan to intriduce free birth control for women and subsidize child care. They plan to “update the Alberta Curriculum with age-appropriate content about the history of LGBTQ2S+ populations in Canada and the world, and their struggles to achieve equality…(and) will ban conversion therapy”. They also plan to institute an Associate Minister of Disability to make Alberta more inclusive and accessible, and support indexing Alberta Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) to inflation.

Alberta Party: The Alberta Party plans to establish 3,500 long-term care beds and new programs to help seniors live independently. They also plan to improve the lives of Indigenous seniors  and “improve programs and facilities to support cultural, spiritual, language, dietary, and intergenerational care-giving practices, and support training to caregivers to help ensure culturally appropriate care-giving”. The party plans to split the Ministry of Seniors and Housing into two separate ministries. “The Alberta Party is committed to ensuring all Albertans have access to justice and equal treatment. The Alberta Party will protect the province’s vulnerable citizens. The Alberta Party will respect diversity regardless of race, gender, colour, religion, sexual orientation or ability”.

Environment:

NDP:  The NDP has vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Climate Leadership Plan and hopes to combat climate change through a number of strategies. They plan to eliminate coal by 2030, increase renewable energy technology use, maintain a firm cap on oil sands carbon emissions, and work to keep the industry strong and competitive.

UCP: The UCP plans to increase funding by 50 per cent to the Alberta Land Trust Grant Program that conserves ecologically important areas and to “implement a balanced back country land use plan to ensure all Albertans can enjoy public lands and appreciate the wilderness”. “A United Conservative government will implement a Common-Sense Conservation Plan that will take a balanced approach to environmental stewardship recognizing that recreation, economic use, and conservation can and should support each other”.


Alberta Liberal: “
The Alberta Liberal Environmental Plan is focused on three key areas: Combating Climate Change, Taking Care of Nature, and Living Sustainably”. They plan to introduce a revenue-neutral carbon tax that is efficient, equitable, and protects the environment. ”Alberta Liberals will create the business and regulatory environment to allow green initiatives like renewable energy to grow and thrive.” There will be great focus on wildlife corridors, urban planning, expanding protected areas, protecting wildlife/species at risk, banning clear cutting, and expanding recycling programs, and they will eliminate the use of single-use plastics in Alberta by 2030.

Alberta Party The Alberta Party will protect the province’s land and water resources, will improve Alberta’s parks system,will partner with municipalities to improve the communities we live in, will support improving transit through infrastructure funding, and will support best practices in recycling and waste management.