The future of Alberta's children. The education of Alberta's workforce. The health of Albertans. The NDP have no innovative ideas on how to improve these services, and Jason Kenney is threatening cuts of 20%.
The Alberta Liberals and I will fight for you and your family with fiscal strategies that put Albertans back to work, and with fair, progressive, balanced social programs that ensure no Albertan is left behind. We need to be FORWARD. THINKING.
Education For All
Education is the foundation of opportunity and prosperity. If Alberta wants to compete in a global economy it can’t afford cuts to education or simply be happy with the status quo. We need to focus on improvements to quality and accessibility like:
Bringing an End to School Fees: There are too many hard-working families in Alberta for whom a public education is yet another crushing expense. That’s why David Khan supports a gradual elimination of school fees while working with school boards to ensure budgets aren’t affected.
Improving Financial Aid: David is committed to grant-based financial aid for Alberta students as an alternative to debt-financing, with an emphasis on front-loaded grants. This simple solution is cost neutral and makes post-secondary education more accessible to students who struggle with upfront costs.
Expanding Trades Training: The trades offer high-skilled and high-paying jobs, yet we do not give them enough prominence in our schools. David Khan and the Alberta Liberals believe in expanding trades training in our high schools and serving all students needs.
Looking Forward on Healthcare
Healthcare spending already represents nearly half of the Alberta Government’s budget. With massive cost increases looming on the horizon as the population ages, Alberta is on the verge of an even worse fiscal situation than it faces now.
Thankfully, we can mitigate the oncoming increases in costs by making smart decisions today to create a more efficient healthcare system for the future.
Preventative Care: Citizens with chronic health issues can cost our system five times as much as a healthy adult. By investing in preventive care and keeping citizens health we can significantly reduce the costs of our healthcare system.
Results-Based Pay: Alberta spends $4.6 billion a year on physician salaries, yet we tie payment to services provided rather than results produced. David will advocate moving towards results-based model to better ensure value for taxpayer dollars
Continuing Care: Continuing care keeps Albertans out of costly acute care, providing better and more cost-effective care. David understand we need to continue investing here, particularly in home care, to fix our broken healthcare system.
Mental Health: David will fight to ensure Albertans have access to mental health services within a maximum of seven days for those experiencing acute episodes of mental illness, and 14 days for those experiencing disabling symptoms of mental illness that are not of a psychotic or suicidal nature. Additionally, he'll advocate for more mental health services to be available in our schools to help prevent the development of chronic mental health issues during adolescence.
Building a Better Justice System
At the core of Alberta lies its justice system. It touches every aspect of life in Alberta, from the wellbeing of children and families to the operations of businesses. Despite this, past governments have not done enough to address growing court wait times or modernize how we deal with criminal proceedings.
With forward thinking policy we can reduce wait times, improve outcomes in our justice system, and reduce long-term costs. That is why David Khan is committed to the following:
Improving Legal Aid: Ensuring Legal Aid funding goes towards services and not administration in conjunction with a more stable funding structure will improve access to justice and reduce court wait times by reducing the rate of self-representation.
Expand Drug Courts/Create Mental Health Courts: Not all crimes are the same and we need to be smart in how we deal with them. Specialized drug and mental health courts will reduce recidivism and crime and lower long-term costs.
Court Times Review Task Force: We can't wait until the problem gets worse. We need a committed group to consult with experts and stakeholders and look at best practices from other jurisdictions to further develop long-term, evidence-based strategies to improve efficiency in our courts.
Universal Basic Income
Albertans aren't afraid of big ideas and its government shouldn't be either. Universal basic income is a minimum income for all citizens and has been championed by economists on the right and the left as a cost-effective means of ensuring a good quality of life for all citizens.
Using a basic income to supplement and/or replace existing social programs can lower overall costs of government services while more effectively accomplishing their goals. It is a system of social support that is less bureaucratic and empowers recipients.
Past pilot projects in Canada suggest a basic income:
- Improves high school graduation rates.
- Significantly reduces hospital visits (8.5%)
- Reduces psychiatric hospitalization rates and mental illness consultations.
- Is less associated with social stigma than traditional forms of welfare.
- Had minimal impact on job seeking.
- Results in more workers finding the work they want to participate in.
While a Basic Income is promising, it requires further deliberation before adoption. We should embrace transformative policy but we need to balance ambitious plans with an evidence-based approach. This is why David Khan is advocating for a basic income pilot project here in Alberta, so we can explore if its the best way forward for Alberta.