On March 30, 2019, the United Conservative Party released its full platform titled: “Getting Alberta Back to Work”. You can view the full platform here.
Here are the highlights:
The UCP has shared five top priorities for our province:
- Job creation plan (includes a corporate tax cut from 12% to 8%, the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, which cuts red tape by one-third, and Bill 2: the Open for Business Act).
- Repeal the carbon tax (Bill 1: The Carbon Tax Repeal Act).
- Stand up for Alberta (includes filing a constitutional challenge against Bill C-69, establishing an Energy War Room, creating a $10 million litigation fund to support pro-development First Nations, fighting against foreign funded special interest groups and firing Ed Whittingham from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Board of Directors, utilizing Turn off the Taps legislation, and building a coalition of provinces to raise provincial issues federally).
- Get our fiscal house in order (includes balancing the budget in the UCP’s first term).
- Protect quality health care and education.
The platform promises an Energy Policy that will re-energize oil and gas by speeding up approvals, cutting red tape, unblocking natural gas shipments and supporting LNG exports, implementing the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Fund for large emitters to achieve real greenhouse gas emission reductions while still encouraging investment across industries, releasing a detailed assessment of the impact of the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan on Alberta’s economy and key sectors, and fighting to get pipelines built.
Specific to energy regulation, the UCP has committed to reducing timelines for project approval and increasing investment certainty, creating stability for our most critical industry. It will do so by conducting a review of the AER’s budget and regulatory efficiencies within 180 days of forming government, establishing clear approval benchmarks, and improving reclamation and abandonment of old wells and facilities in the province.
The UCP will implement a Common-Sense Conservation Plan that recognizes that recreation, economic use, and conservation of our environment are not mutually exclusive concepts.
To do this, the UCP has committed to introducing an Alberta Trails Actto encourage sustainable use of trails, increasing funding by 50 per cent to $5M to the Alberta Land Trust Grant Program that conserves ecologically important areas, adding $1M in funding (tripling current funding levels) to protect creeks and streams on the Eastern Slopes, and reviewing Alberta Environment and Parks’ current legislation.
The UCP has also committed to ensuring that all major economic development proposals continue to be subject to mandatory environmental impact assessments, and that major environmental protection proposals will be subject to mandatory social-economic impact assessments to allow the government to strike the appropriate balance between economic growth and environmental protection. In doing so, the UCP will continuously encourage the use of development credits and conservation offsets in provincial development policy.
Our party has firmly committed to maintain or increase health spending, and maintain a universally accessible, publicly funded health care system.
Since the NDP have been elected, wait times for all major elective surgeries have increased. A UCP government will reduce surgical wait times to no more than four months in its first term by replicating elements of the highly successful Saskatchewan model.
To combat the ongoing opioid epidemic, the UCP has committed to appointing an Associate Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, investing $40M over four years into an Opioid Response Strategy that will reduce wait times and increase access by including additional detox beds, mobile detox programs, and funding a new Virtual Opioid Dependency Program. The UCP will also establish an Opioid Enforcement Team to implement aggressive investigation and disruption of opioid manufacturing currently impacting our province.
With regards to safe consumption sites, the UCP will support new safe consumption sites following extensive consultations with affected communities and robust evidence-based analysis of the socio-economic impacts of a potential new site.
Under the Associate Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, $100M will be invested over four years into a strategy to increase earlier access to addiction and mental health care centres and support Albertans in crisis.
The UCP is committed to finding efficiencies within our current healthcare system, which includes conducting an Alberta Health Services Performance Review (moving any “found” money to front-line services) and increasing the Alberta Health Quality Council (AHQC)’s budget by $1M annually. It will also modernize paper health care cards to be combined with driver’s licences or provincial photo IDs, and save $200M by reversing the NDP’s plan to buy laundry machines for AHS.