NDP Platform Highlights

The following is a compilation of statements taken from the Alberta NDP 2015 Election Platform that are particularly relevant to Alberta’s non-profit and charitable sector. Statements are taken verbatim. CCVO has reordered some of the statements and in some cases, added different headings. We have also removed reference to the Progressive Conservative Party and former Premier Prentice in these statements.

Children & Families | Communities & Municipalities | Economic Diversification | Education | Employment | Environment & Climate | Fiscal Framework | First Nations & Indigenous People | Gender Equality | Health | Social Services | Budget Summary

Children and Families
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.

We will immediately implement enhancements to the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit and the Alberta Working Family Supplement so low income families do not have to wait more than a year to benefit. We will also adjust the Supplement to ensure all low income families can access it.

We will review employment standards to support family-friendly work standards, including improving compassionate care leaves and providing time off for family responsibilities.

Communities and Municipalities
We’ll provide stable, predictable funding to both large and smaller municipalities and ensure they have resources they need to fulfill infrastructure priorities, such as transit. We will maintain the Municipal Sustainability Initiative.

We’ll ensure rural communities have access to needed health care, education and infrastructure services. As part of this commitment, we will sit down with local government stakeholders to review the question of linear assessment.

We will work with bus companies to reinstate more bus services to rural communities to ensure

We’ll expand the powers available to municipalities to allow them to mandate affordable housing in new development projects, expanding the supply.

And we will work with Alberta’s cities to ensure the City Charter process is mutually developed and respects cities as economic and social drivers for Alberta, giving them the tools to build the services their residents expect.

We will strengthen Alberta’s rural communities by ensuring better access to transportation, doctors, schools, long term care, post-secondary learning and other essential services.

Economic Diversification
As our province’s finances recover, we’ll work to actively support economic diversification in other sectors, including alternative energy (including our proposed building retrofit loan fund), high tech, advanced research, knowledge industries, film and television production, small Alberta brewing, wind power, forestry, value-added agriculture, food processing and tourism.

Education
We’ll provide stable, predictable funding to school boards, colleges, universities and technical institutes that will support Alberta’s growing population and the need for quality education in a modern economy.

We’ll invest to reduce class sizes and deal with growing enrollment in the K-12 system.

We’ll reduce school fees for essential services such as lunch supervision and bussing.

We will ensure schools have the people and resources they need to respond to the increasing complexity of Alberta’s classrooms.

We’ll invest to build the new schools that are needed to lower class sizes, to improve learning conditions for all Alberta kids and to end the chaos created by the … continual delays in building those new schools.

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

And we’ll implement a real tuition freeze for post-secondary students, including rolling back the … most recent “market modifier” fees.

(see also STEP under Employment)

Employment
We’ll introduce a Job Creator’s Tax Credit to directly and effectively help Alberta businesses who invest to create new jobs.

We’ll ensure the benefits of better economic policies are more widely shared, by increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018.

We’ll restore the successful Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) job creation program for Alberta youth.

(see also Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit, Alberta Working Family Supplement and employment standards under Children and Families)

Environment and Climate
We will establish a green retrofitting loan program that will assist Alberta families, farms and small businesses to reduce their energy usage affordably, which will reduce environmental impacts and create jobs in the construction industry.

We will phase out coal-fired electricity generation to reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions and expand cleaner, greener sources, including wind and solar and more industrial co-generation in the oil sands, all of which will improve both the environment and the health of Albertans.

We will end the … 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.

We will strengthen environmental standards, inspection, monitoring and enforcement to protect Alberta’s water, land and air. We will build standards based on independent science and international best practices, designed transparently in careful consultation with Albertans.

We will take leadership on the issue of climate change and make sure Alberta is part of crafting solutions with stakeholders, other provinces and the federal government. First steps will include an energy efficiency strategy and a renewable energy strategy.

We will ban gas drilling in urban areas.

And we will protect the Castle Wilderness Area.

(see also, Economic Diversification)
Fiscal Framework
We will eliminate [the] regressive health levy, saving working and middle class Alberta families up to $1000 a year per tax filer. And we will roll back … new user fees

A careful review of how Alberta will promote resource processing and fair royalties.

Large profitable corporations will contribute a little more. We will cut the …. wasteful corporate tax breaks, by increasing Alberta corporate tax to 12% (from 10%), retaining the current small business tax rate and no sales tax.

The top 10% of income earners will contribute a little more. We will introduce a high income, progressive tax system, asks the top 10% of tax filers to contribute to public services based on their ability to pay. To that end, we will introduce a set of new high-income tax rates that will ask the top 10% of Alberta tax filers to contribute according to their ability to pay: 12% on taxable income over $125,000 to $150,000; 13% on taxable income over $150,000 to $200,000; 14% on taxable income over $200,000 to $300,000; and 15% on taxable income over $300,000.

We will reverse … cuts to the charitable donation tax credit.

(see also Summary of NDP Budget Changes at the end of this document.

First Nations / Indigenous People
We will implement the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and build it into provincial law.

We will support a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, which will have at its centre Indigenous women and the families of the missing and murdered women.

We will work with Alberta Indigenous Peoples to build a relationship of trust and ensure respectful consultation.

We will work with federal and Indigenous governments to resolve land claims.

We will work with the federal government to ensure jurisdictional conflicts do not prevent children from receiving services they need.

We will work with the federal government to ensure Indigenous communities have reliable access to clean and safe drinking water.

We will improve the representation of Indigenous culture and history in Alberta’s school curriculum in consultation with Indigenous leaders and Elders, and improve availability of First Nations language programs.

We will repeal Bill 22, which was passed without consulting First Nation groups and imposes requirements on First Nations Bands not required of other business arrangements. We will work collaboratively and respectfully with our province’s First Nations to replace this legislation.

Gender Equality
We will create a Women’s Ministry to lead initiatives for greater gender equality in Alberta.

Health
We will ensure a stable and secure budget for health care services. We will reverse the … cuts to front line health services and ensure stable, predictable funding for acute care in our hospitals, so that you and your family get proper, timely care.

We will not proceed with [the] proposed reorganization of our province’s health system. We will use less disruptive ways to ensure regional health care needs are heard and addressed.

We will shorten emergency room waiting times by creating 2,000 public long-term care beds over four years, which will improve seniors care and reduce hospital congestion.

We will phase in a new model for expanded public homecare which will enhance and stabilize the system by directing care to where individuals need it, helping to keep people at home instead of in hospitals.

We will end … costly experiments in privatization, and redirect the funds to publicly delivered services.

We will eliminate Alberta’s growing health infrastructure backlog by properly repairing hospitals and seniors’ facilities and constructing the new facilities needed for proper health care, including immediate action on the most pressing deferred maintenance needs.

We will implement a mental health strategy that modernizes the current broken system to properly deliver badly needed mental health services to Albertans, which will also help reduce hospital congestion.

(see also, health care levy under Fiscal Framework)

Social Services
We will reverse the cuts made to services for children in care to ensure that our most vulnerable children receive the support and services they need. We will also implement reforms to the child intervention system to make sure that when tragedies do occur they are properly investigated so we can prevent the same thing from happening again.

We will increase funding to Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) to enhance important community-based services and programs.

And we will create more spaces in women’s shelters province wide, and increase support for organizations taking initiatives to end violence against women and within families.

(See also, mental health strategy, under Health)
(See also, affordable housing under Communities and Municipalities)

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