Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues the following release on Jason Kenney democratic reform proposals.
Khan stated, “Dark money will continue to buy elections in Alberta under the UCP’s proposal. A donation limit of $30,000 only seems reasonable when you have access to over $3 million in Political Action Committee (“PAC”) donations. The UCP is clearly comfortable using massive dark money pools. That is how you buy an election. Alberta Liberals condemn this abuse of democracy. We fear Alberta voters are losing control.
“Alberta Liberal Bill 214, An Act to Regulate Political Action Committees, introduced in 2017, proposed to limit PAC donations to $4,000. It is the same limit that currently applies to political parties. We would have banned corporate and union donations. The NDP Government killed our bill and substituted weak and and ineffective third-party advertising restrictions. The UCP stood on the sidelines and let this happen. Now, we know why.
Alberta Liberal Party Leader David Khan and Caucus Leader David Swann condemn NDP and UCP strong-arm tactics to weaken opposition parties and independent MLAs.
Khan states, “This is a bad day for democracy in Alberta. Albertans’ voices are being silenced. The NDP and UCP are ganging up to slash opposition parties’ and independent MLAs’ budgets by up to 60%. Clearly, the NDP and UCP fear the effectiveness of independent opposition MLAs.
“The “Gang of Two” are trying to entrench dual party rule in Alberta. This brutal tactic may work in tin pot dictatorships but not in this province. Alberta is an open democracy where citizens are legally entitled to many political choices.
“The Liberal Opposition pressured the NDP Government on many issues. We fought to get Albertans a better deal on AISH funding and classroom sizes. We battled against EMS-ER wait times and conversion therapy. We pushed for oil patch cleanup bonds to limit taxpayer liability.
“Competition is necessary for a strong democracy. When you muzzle democratic voices you are ignoring voters. The NDP and UCP will soon have to face those voters in the upcoming provincial Election. Alberta voters will not stand for this brutal attack on democracy.”
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan is calling for an immediate ban on “conversion therapy” for Alberta’s children. We will not support the NDP Government’s proposal to study the issue until July 2019.
Khan stated, “Alberta Liberals condemn this delay by the NDP Government. Alberta’s youth cannot wait another five months for an NDP committee to reach the conclusion that is obvious to most people in this province. What further input is needed to convince this Government? We must act now.
“This ban absolutely must be implemented before the next election. The NDP Government committee proposal is a sham designed to string along stakeholders and concerned Albertans. The NDP are willing to delay any meaningful decision in a desperate attempt to turn this into an election issue. This could put vulnerable children at risk.”
Alberta Liberal candidate for Lethbridge-East, Devon Hargreaves, said, “This is a cynical move on the part of the NDP Government to exploit this issue for political gain. They’ve had four years to ban “conversion therapy.” They had legislation ready to table in November. They did nothing.”
As an LGBTQ2S+ advocate Hargreaves was the driving force behind a federal petition recently tabled in Parliament calling for a federal ban on “conversion therapy.”
Hargreaves continued, “As one concerned Albertan, I was able to move this issue to a national stage and begin a meaningful conversation. The NDP Government with all its resources is willing to delay a decision until after the election even though it can draw on existing legislation in Ontario. If a Jason Kenney Government takes power this ban will not be put in place. We cannot take that chance.”
Khan stated, “Conversion therapy is a hateful practice rooted in homophobia. Alberta Liberals have been calling for a ban since 2016. We are prepared to act now”.
Khan continued, “We ask the NDP Government to provide us a private member’s bill in the Spring Session of the Legislature. Alberta Liberals will use that opportunity to table a bill to ban “conversion therapy”. Alberta Liberals will step up to protect Alberta youth.”