Friday Focus: Here we go again.

The Friday Focus is a weekly blog post from Interim Leader John Roggeveen. It covers some of the pressing political issues of the week.

Where are the 4th doses? 

Last month Canada’s Chief Medical Officer warned of another possible COVID wave. We’re seeing Ontario face a new wave due to the BA.5 omicron subvariant and cases beginning to tick up in Alberta. What we are not seeing is the UCP government making a fourth vaccination dose available to all Albertans. 

The Government must act to mitigate the risk of another COVID wave. Failing to act now will only result in more infections and potentially force us to implement pandemic restrictions once again. 

This UCP  inaction is par for the course when it comes to COVID. They fail to plan and plan to fail. The least the UCP could do at this point is help Albertans boost their immunity with a fourth vaccine dose. 

Pre-conceived conclusions 

We keep seeing government-sponsored reports with pre-determined outcomes used to justify junk policy from the UCP. The list includes the MacKinnon finance report, the Fair Deal Panel and the curriculum review. The latest is the Alberta government’s report on safe drug supplies, which is being met with harsh criticism from experts for its biased and inaccurate conclusions. 

These dubious reviews and reports lead to bad policy. They also erode public trust in both the government and expert opinion. The UCP should embrace evidence-based policy, instead, they’re chasing policy-based “evidence.” 

We need to restore trust in our government and our experts, and we can only do that by being honest with our citizens, no matter what the research shows.

UCP Tax Hikes

For all the UCP’s championing of tax breaks, only corporations are feeling any relief. According to a new report, the rest of us paid $118.6 million more in taxes in 2020. This results from the UCP de-indexing personal income tax from inflation, a stealth tax increase on most Albertans. 

The UCP slashed corporate taxes and government programs while simultaneously making life less affordable for middle-class Albertans.  Their priorities are skewed, and regular Albertans are clearly not their top concern. 

Alberta Liberals will keep fighting to offer a clear alternative to the UCP. We believe in a thoughtful, compassionate government that puts people first.