Alberta Liberal David Khan issues the following statement reacting to the new UCP Government’s first throne speech.
Khan stated, “The UCP’s first throne speech shows a Government that is stuck in the social and economic past.
“While the UCP’s throne speech stated the economy and jobs are a priority, it failed to mention two concrete measures to get Albertans back to work. There was no mention of economic diversification or the new training and education Albertans need to thrive in the future job market. Only paranoia and witch hunts about foreign-funded environmental campaigns and tax cuts for corporations.
“Those same corporate tax cuts will further sink Albertans into debt. While the UCP are quick to cite economists on lowering corporate tax cuts, they’re equally quick to ignore their pleas for Alberta to implement some form of a sales tax. This Government will not get Albertans off the revenue rollercoaster. Basing the fall budget on recommendations of a “blue-ribbon panel” constrained to examine only spending, not revenue options, is reckless and self-defeating.
“The UCP promises to roll back curriculum changes and eliminate privacy protections for students joining GSAs are nothing more than red meat thrown to its rabid social conservative base. These changes will endanger the wellbeing of LGBTQ2S+ youth and impede our children’s understanding of the changing world around them. While the promise of more school choice is appealing on the surface, I’m skeptical this will be anything more than a way to excuse intolerant or inaccurate teachings.
“The “Farm Freedom and Competitiveness Act” may be a benign name, but it’s clear this legislation will only serve to undo necessary and hard-won labour protections for paid farm workers. Alberta had finally caught up to the western world on farm workers’ rights and the UCP will consign hard-working farmers to the 19th century.
“Lastly, the UCP’s promise to scrap the carbon tax in favour of more regulation is bewildering. When did conservatives become opposed to market-based solutions? It is questionable whether or not the UCP will ensure these regulations seriously reduce carbon emissions, and even if they do, by taking this approach over a revenue-neutral carbon tax, they will hurt Alberta’s economy. In the end, Alberta will have a federal carbon tax imposed on it as the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal’s decision has confirmed the federal carbon tax is constitutional. Legal challenges will be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
“This throne speech was high on rhetoric and regressive thinking, and low on constructive solutions to tackle the real challenges Albertans face.”