ALBERTA PROVINCIAL ELECTION: A BALANCING ACT
Written by Natalie Knowles
Voting can seem like a complicated process, so we've tried to make it as simple as possible for you.
This is your chance to choose leaders who care about what matters most to you.
That basic concept often gets lost in the identity politics and accusatory rhetoric dividing people and parties. It's easy to get caught up in defining ourselves as a *insert your preferred political party* and arguing with friends and family members who identify differently. Rather than add fuel to the fire, (because let's face it there's more than enough literal and figurative fires blazing across the province) let's focus on shared values and aligned objectives:
We all ❤️ Alberta.
As our Alberta Chapter Leads shared, Albertans and POW Canada love the beautiful and rugged natural landscapes from the Rocky mountains to the wide open plains, appreciate Alberta's strong diverse communities, and want a resilient economy that provides equitable well-being to Albertans long into the future.
So who should you vote for?
What we did was dropped all assumptions about the five parties and started with our own values and priorities. At POW Canada, climate change is our top concern, and our values come through our 3 key impact areas - Protected Nature, Regenerative Economy and Inclusive Culture. So, as objectively as we could, we ran through every party platform and official website, collecting their guiding principles and election platforms, and we broke it down according to our impact areas. The results are below. These are their words (not ours) pulled directly from their websites and platforms.
But as we know, climate change is deeper than just emissions, and as an Albertan you've got concerns that go beyond the environment. So we encourage you to forget about the party you think you are, or the candidate you voted for last year, or who you hate the most (or least) and start with yourself. Jot down what really matters to you, your family, friends and community, and then take a dive through the party platforms (links are all below) to see how your values align with the five parties. It's a surprisingly fun and interesting exercise to learn about yourself and the views of other Albertans. If that seems like too much, check out CBC's vote compass for the Alberta Provincial Election, a five minute quiz to help you explore how your views align with those of the parties.
Whoever all this reflecting leads to, go out and vote for them. And while it might be different than your friends or family, shift judgment to curiosity. Listen to what drives their decision and remember that they also ❤️ Alberta.
Here is what matters to us. What matters to you?
Leader: John Roggeveen
Election Focuses: Health Care, Jobs, Education, Cost of Living
Principles: Honest conversations that get results, treating everyone with respect even when we disagree, working hard for Albertans
References to Climate Goals: Society and the economy are not healthy if they are not sustainable. We must address and mitigate the harms of climate change and work to preserve and protect wildlife and natural ecosystems. The Alberta Liberal pla
Breakdown Based On POW's Impact Areas:
- Protecting the environment is essential to the long-term health of our planet and ourselves and our quality of life. Environmental policy must look beyond a traditional view of economics to reflect the cultural and spiritual importance of the environment in our lives. Responsible policy-makers must consider the environment a sacred trust
- Currently, around 15% of Alberta’s natural environments are protected. We would expand protected areas to cover 30% of Alberta by 2030 and 50% by 2050. Nature needs half.
- work with experts, conservation non-profits and other stakeholders to strengthen our conservation policies and preserve biodiversity. For example, we support the creation of more wildlife corridors to allow for the safe movement of animals, protecting species at risk. This will be more necessary as climate change forces species to migrate.
- ban clear-cutting forests outright while working with the forestry industry to implement best practices for developing a vibrant and robust sector focused on sustainability and profitability. In addition, the practice of clear-cutting is highly damaging for ecosystems, animal life, flood protection, and tourism.
- Alberta is well-positioned to be an agricultural superpower and compete in growing markets such as plant-based protein.
- As the climate warms, we will experience more extreme weather disasters, including wildfires, droughts, and floods, budget much more realistically for disaster recovery
- more robust conservation strategy for our water supplies and the Rocky Mountains Eastern Slopes including: Setting water quality and quantity as the highest priorities when considering any activities that affect water supplies, Funding all watershed councils to develop land-use planning documents, Implementing regulations and incentives to reduce the amount of fresh water used in fracking favouring non-potable water and mandatory baseline groundwater testing and public reporting for oil and gas wells where hydraulic fracturing, Banning off-highway vehicles in areas where they compromise water supplies and habitat viability.
- Supporting Oil and Gas: War rooms and bluster can’t grow our energy industry. Alberta Liberals support expanding market access with pipelines.
- help the oil and gas industry become more environmentally responsible, which will also make our products more competitive.
- “Oil Patch Cleanup Bond” to ensure polluters pay. Additionally, we will put time limits on “suspended wells” to ensure non-producing wells aren’t left unreclaimed for decades.
- help oil and gas industry and workers transition toward a sustainable, lower-carbon future.
- Renewable Energy and the Innovation Economy: We will create a framework for success for emerging industries like hydrogen, lithium, semiconductor manufacturing, and renewable energy such as solar, geothermal, and wind. We will work with industry to expand their businesses and market access.
- creation of a made-in-Albert, revenue-neutral carbon tax.
- expand electronics recycling to include small appliances and a host of other electronics that are currently ineligible for the Alberta Recycling Management Authority’s Province-Wide Electronics Recycling Program.
- implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on select products. EPR is a recycling strategy that adds all the environmental costs of a product to its market cost.
- oppose both privilege and prejudice. Everyone should have as equal as possible an opportunity to participate in society, enjoy equal rights and freedoms, and shared responsibilities.
- enact budgets that examine and assess their impacts on women and minorities to ensure policies, programs, initiatives, and funding support the goal of equality of opportunity for all.
- commit to respecting First Nations’ Treaty rights. We would negotiate resource-sharing agreements with First Nations in advance of negotiated Treaty land entitlement agreements. We support mandatory training for all civil/public servants in consultation with First Nations and Indigenous authorities.
- curriculum must accurately explain the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the injustices of the residential school system. Therefore, we support funding Indigenous language school immersion programs so more Indigenous Albertans can retain their language heritage.
- Pay Equity Legislation that requires companies to prove they pay men and women equally.
- ending systemic racism through: The complete banning of carding, A substantial overhaul of policing in Alberta, Repealing the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, Mandating diversity on government boards and agencies, Amending the Jury Act to make juries more diverse and representative of the community, Listening to affected communities and implementing their advice in advancing the cause of equality.
Leader: Rachel Notley
Election Focuses: good jobs, good schools, and strong public healthcare
Principles: democratic socialism
References to Climate Goals: The Alberta NDP are fighting for all Albertans to create a province that’s more progressive, sustainable, and where no one is left behind.
Breakdown Based On POW's Impact Areas:
- protect our parks and our public lands, and the livelihoods of all the people who depend on them.
- protect our mountains by law, and pass the Eastern Slopes Protection Act, which will ban coal mining projects in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas.
- Every Albertan needs and deserves access to safe and clean water. Our watersheds must be protected from destructive strip mining and the harmful pollution that comes with it.
- Set up a Local Food Incentive task force to incentivize small-scale, rural start-ups that can upgrade local ingredients to new food products.
- the creation of a new tax credit — the Alberta’s Future Tax Credit — to spur investment in cleantech, carbon materials, critical minerals processing, and advanced manufacturing.
- Calgary public transit - Begin work on the North Leg of the Green Line LRT
- Consult with Indigenous communities on expansion of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunity Corporation
- Hometown Alberta program will create 1,500 jobs over three years and build stronger communities by supporting municipalities and non-profits to build, repair, renovate, upgrade or expand local community facilities, including sports, community halls, legion halls, non-profit spaces, seniors centres, recreation centres, museum, art and culture centres, playgrounds, or places of worship.
- $200 million for a downtown Calgary campus as part of our broader plan to revitalize the city’s core, to bring businesses, students, and researchers together to facilitate collaboration and innovation, and support economic diversification. A downtown campus would be the centerpiece of the party’s downtown revitalization strategy, use the empty space downtown to create these spaces quickly to classrooms and student housing, while increasing vibrancy to the area and supporting economic growth.
- Pass legislation focused on anti-racism and race-based data collection, and establish an anti-racism office to help identify and address racial inequalities in the province, including Work towards a public service that is as diverse as the province it serves
- Set future generations up for success by developing a modern and inclusive curriculum
Leader: Barry Morishita
Principles: Prosperity, Fiscal Responsibility, Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Democracy, Quality of Life
References Climate Goals:
The Alberta Party will ensure that Alberta is a recognized leader in the energy transition and that Alberta is appropriately compensated for its achievements in the Canadian Federation. The Alberta Party stands for the incorporation of life-cycle waste reductions by considering the impacts on Alberta’s land, water, and biodiversity to meet the federal 2050 net-zero emissions targets.
Breakdown Based On POW's Impact Areas:
- work with the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Métis Settlements General Council to develop legislation that will protect the harvesting rights of the Métis as Indigenous peoples, in alignment with their rights under s. 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982.
- Renew the Water for Life Strategy with a focus on the impacts of Climate Change on Alberta’s water supply. Assess the risks posed by climate change on areas that are at risk of drought or flooding.
- collaborate with all levels of government to secure market access for oil and gas resources through pipelines.
- re-introduce a made-in-Alberta, provincial carbon tax with the same emission reduction targets as the federal program. Further, this carbon tax will include a rebate for low-income Albertans, municipalities, school boards, nonprofit entities and rural, remote residents including a farm fuel exemption.
- Encourage the transition to an increasingly decarbonized energy system, where generation is shifted from centralized fossil fuel based sources to a localized renewable energy sources.
- fiscal support for immediate development of Zero Emission Vehicles technologies that may be appropriate for Alberta and will then encourage the development of the appropriate infrastructure to achieve meaningful and appropriate conversion to ZEV’s by 2035.
- Support and encourage the development of micro-generation in the province & Employ a revenue-neutral carbon levy to incentivize the expansion of energy generation from renewable sources
- ensure that teachers, First Nations, Metis, Inuit educational partners, relevant industry leaders and future employers, and a wide sample of parental and student input is provided at every step of the process, and with ongoing evaluation of the current curriculum to identify strengths and challenges
- defend the rights of all Albertans regardless of race, religious belief, colour, sex, gender identity, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status, gender identity and gender expression or sexual orientation.
- take a nation to nation approach to working with First Nations communities to build long term, sustainable prosperity. commits to developing new and ongoing partnerships with Indigenous and Métis communities to acknowledge and redress long-standing injustices perpetrated by colonial powers upon generations of FNMI communities and peoples.
- Seek the guidance and participation of Indigenous Albertans in educating the public service on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the UNDRIP, Treaties and Indigenous rights, Indigenous law, and Indigenous-Crown relations, as a pillar of reconciliation and a precursor for action.
- undertake an initiative in consort with the Law Society of Alberta, the Provincial Court Judges Association and other interested stakeholders to examine the current state of “Access to Justice” by all, including the poor, Indigenous, immigrant and other disadvantaged segments, and provide recommendations to improve the overall situation.
- all Canadian citizens residing in Alberta at the age of sixteen and over, become entitled to vote in all provincial and municipal elections.
Leader: Jordan Wilkie
Election Focuses: Safe and Secure Communities, Strong Public Services, Sustainable Jobs & Economy
Principles: Ecological Wisdom, Non-violence, Participatory democracy, Respect for diversity, Social justice, Sustainability
Healthy food, clean air and drinkable water are the building blocks of a thriving province and must be at the forefront of our political decision making. The GPA recognizes climate destabilization is increasing wildfire, flood and supply chain breakdowns for all Albertans and that we must prioritize our future. We must go beyond the boom and bust economy to create sustainable and secure job opportunities for the future of Albertans. The GPA will add to our existing industries by opening up Alberta's largely untapped renewable energy potential, including guaranteed job programs to wipe out unemployment.
Breakdown Based On POW's Impact Areas!
- Stop habitat loss to protect biodiversity and Immediately protect pollinators and keystone species:
- Protection of drinking water sources from privatization, development, mining, and toxic runoff:
- Create and protect local supply chain resilience for year-round food production:
- Support Farmers as Land Stewards by Celebrating them and Subsidizing their Stewardship:
- Access to Land for young farmers: including support for sustainable agriculture. Young farmers are often interested in sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices, which can improve soil health, reduce carbon emissions, and improve biodiversity
- Ensure GHG emissions in Alberta peak before 2025:
- A strong and efficient transportation system is necessary to connect the urban and rural population of our province.
- Establish a Public Transportation Agency responsible for coordinating the delivery of Inter-urban and rural public transportation within the Province of Alberta. Increase funding to municipalities in order to expand, improve, and eliminate fare costs for municipal public transit services:
- Green jobs are essential for mitigating the impacts of climate change while also supporting employment opportunities. Any transition to green jobs must be done fairly, protecting workers' pensions, benefits, seniority, identity, and allow access to job markets through public transportation.
- Launch the Reclamation Job Boom: There are a quarter of a million oil and gas wells in Alberta that are depleted or idle and require cleanup. By cleaning up these wells, we can create create 10,000 jobs per year, and also help to mitigate environmental damage caused by these wells, while supporting the transition to renewable energy sources.
- Work with all Indigenous Nations, municipalities and communities to protect and preserve prime agricultural land, watersheds and natural landscapes:
- Basic income for all albertans
- Establish a non-Eurocentric grade school curriculum from a diverse group of educational professionals:
Leader: Danielle Smith
Election Focuses: Tax Cuts, Compassionate Intervention, Healthcare for Women and Children, Savings for Seniors, Safe Street Action Plan, Job Growth and Diversification, Public Health Care Guarantee, No Tax Hike Guarantee, $10/day Childcare
Principles: Moving Alberta Forward
Ensuring Albertans have greater control of how we manage our natural resources and emissions reduction frameworks, despite the federal government’s intrusion into our economy with carbon taxes and unrealistic emissions targets. The UCP is committed to continuing to set our own made-in-Alberta policies to effectively and responsibly manage our environment and natural resources while focusing on the unique needs of Albertans and our industries.
Breakdown Based On POW's Impact Areas:
- Taking action on caribou recovery with sub-regional plans that consider a broad range of land uses which support environmental and conservation outcomes, Indigenous traditional use, recreation and economic development.
- Established a Rangeland Grazing Framework to support the important work of ranchers to sustain and enhance the function and productivity of Crown land rangeland ecosystems in a way that promotes biodiversity and ecological goods and services.
- Worked with Enoch Cree Nation and the City of Edmonton to establish Big Island Provincial Park in southwest Edmonton in the North Saskatchewan River Valley.
- Working with the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society to continue their preservation and conservation work in Fish Creek.
- Introduced the Alberta Petrochemical Program – a grant program that has attracted billions of dollars in investment in the province’s petrochemical industry, including: $408 million for Inter Pipeline’s $4-billion petrochemical complex in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, $32 million for Dow Chemical’s ethylene production facility in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland
- Fought the Liberal-NDP coalition’s “Just Transition” plan
- As its first bill after winning government in 2019, the UCP repealed Rachel Notley’s carbon tax
- Our made-in-Alberta emissions reduction and energy development plan will ensure that Alberta remains a world leader in responsible, ethical energy production
- Launched the Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap, laying out a clear path to build a provincial hydrogen economy and get Alberta’s hydrogen products to international markets, making Alberta a world leader in clean, low-cost hydrogen.
- committing more than $1.8 million to carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology
- $15 million to expand affordable transit.
- The UCP is committed to fighting racism and building inclusive communities.
- Ensure Indigenous communities in Alberta can benefit from venture capital projects by investing $25 million in Indigenous equity funds. double the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) loan capacity to $2 billion
- Invested more than $211.3 million over three years to improve and expand recreation in and access to provincial parks and Crown land across the province so that Albertans and visitors alike can continue to enjoy Alberta’s parks now and in the future.
Leader: Jeevan Singh Mangat
Election Focuses: Independence & WIPA Government, Business Growth not Bureaucracy, Alberta Revenue/Collection of own Taxes, Property Rights, Health Care, Education
Principles: Liberty (Freedom), Rights, Responsibilities
Look to China, India, and the USA on the issue of reducing emissions, and will adopt and implement policies in accordance with what these counties are doing to reduce emissions.
Breakdown Based On POW's Impact Areas:
- Mandate that the environment, including land, water, air, fish, and wildlife be managed and protected for use by future generations
- Exercise its’ authority to both protect the environment and practice responsible stewardship in consultation only with Albertans
- Ensure that land and water reclamation protocols are mandated and that wildlife corridors receive appropriate protection where land is disrupted for the development of natural resources,
- Will disallow interference from any and all foreign governments, Non-Government Organizations (NGO), and other foreign third-party entities
- Avoid Bill C- 69, the Federal Environmental Impact Assessment Act, as it does not apply to resource projects within Alberta, as Alberta has sole jurisdiction under section 92-A of the constitution.
- Use every tool at its disposal to allow pipelines to be built, including legislation to prevent illegal obstruction of pipeline projects
- Consider, as one possible option, cutting off energy exports to provinces that seek to undermine or eliminate our oil and gas industry; consider further measures to restrict east- west travel, trade, and commerce across Alberta’s borders, as necessary
- Cancel oil production curtailment and abolish all caps on production
- Permit coal plants to remain operational if they can meet modern emission standards using clean coal emission technology.
- Permit the development of new coal mines subject to Alberta’s environmental protection standards
- Declare pipelines as “vital infrastructure” in order to facilitate their smooth, unhindered development and operation, with appropriate enforcement
- Permit renewable energy projects to be developed and funded privately only, subject to Alberta regulatory approval
- Given the historic opportunity afforded by the creation of Alberta sovereignty, First Nations people along with all Albertans are invited to participate in the development of a Constitution of Alberta that is mutually acceptable and beneficial to all; based on the principles that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by natural law with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, entrenched by our freedoms, individual rights, and responsibilities