Alberta NDP platform: What’s done and what’s left to do

24/07/2019 Posted by admin

Since being elected in May 2015, Rachel Notley’s NDP hasn’t been shy about making changes. The government made a number of significant promises during the election campaign and a year-and-a-half later, much of that platform has been implemented.

At the heart of the campaign was a commitment to raise taxes on wealthier Albertans and corporations. Alberta now has a progressive personal income tax, where the wealthier pay a higher rate, and the corporate income tax rate was raised from 10 to 12 per cent.

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READ MORE: How will Alberta’s carbon tax impact consumers?

The NDP has also fulfilled promises to review royalties, increase the minimum wage, restart the STEP program and move to phase out coal power.

That being said, there are still a few key promises that remain unfulfilled. Here are a few highlights of what is left to do.

(4.3) We’ll reduce school fees for essential services such as lunch supervision and bussing

The government has not been able to follow through on this promise, admitting in the spring budget the government simply doesn’t have the money right now. The budget deficit currently stands at more than $10 billion and there is no plan to get back to balance before the next election in 2019.

READ MORE: Notley urges patience as Alberta deals multi-billion dollar deficit 

(4.6) We’ll phase in all-day kindergarten as Alberta’s finances permit and school construction progresses, beginning with priority neighbourhoods

The party was clear in the platform that this promise hinged on Alberta’s financial situation.

(5.1) We will invest in child care, creating new spaces and improving affordability, quality and access. We will move toward $25-a-day care in quality child care centres as Alberta’s finances permit.

Once again, Alberta’s financial situation will get in the way of this one.

(5.5) We will properly and effectively “smart regulate” Alberta’s electricity retail system to give Alberta families more stable electricity prices and to protect the public interest from financial manipulation.

We haven’t heard much about what “smart regulate” means and the government is now in a dispute with the province’s power companies over the abandonment of power purchase agreements.

READ MORE: Return of Alberta power contracts to cost $600M, says study 

(5.11) We will end the PCs’ costly and ineffective Carbon Capture and Storage experiment and reinvest the 2015/16 component of this project into construction of public transit, which will help reduce families transportation costs and reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.

The government continues to fund two projects: the Shell’s Quest project and the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, but has no plan to fund any future projects.