2015-04-29 20:03:47 UTC
CBC News Posted: Apr 29, 2015
Rachel Notley says priorities are job creation, education and health care
Notley addressed royalty reviews, taxation, budgeting errors and pipelines in
pair of interviews
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley addressed many of the criticisms lobbed at her
party from the Tories in the past week during an interview on CBC Radio
One day after she accused Premier Jim Prentice of fearmongering Albertans with
his suggestion that the NDP would turn their back on the province's oil
industry, Notley responded with a laugh, saying all parties do dabble in the
practise from time to time.
But she also reiterated her earlier message.
"Really, we've been trying to focus on the good parts of our policy in terms of
our focus on job creation, on protecting our education and improving our health
care. But that being said, you know, I think there's been a lot of ..
fearmongering by the Tories about what might happen should we be elected."
When pressed by Edmonton AM host Mark Connolly on the billion dollar error in
the party's original budget platform just one day after delivering it, Notley
delivered her standard line saying "sometimes errors are made — the key is how
you respond to those errors when they're made."
Asked whether she was worried if the miscalculation would affect Albertans'
faith in the party, Notley was quick to point out the province's finance
minister made a similar-sized error when he projected Alberta would be facing a
half-billion dollar deficit in January, when in fact there was a half billion
Changes to taxation
"We want to make it a bit more fair," said Notley when asked about her plans
for tax changes, which would include cancelling the health care premium
introduced in the last Tory budget and ditching the flat tax.
Under the NDP plan, she said, 90 per cent of Albertans would end up paying
fewer taxes than they would under Prentice's proposed tax model.
Only those who make more than $125,000 per year would see an increase.
Likewise, 'profitable corporations — not small businesses' would go from 10 per
cent to 12, she added.
"We still believe that we remain competitive relative to other provinces by
doing that and that we can ensure the ongoing competitive advantage that
Alberta will enjoy."
Notley also responded to Prentice's criticism that Alberta's NDP will take an
anti-pipeline stance on principle, following the lead set by the party in other
Last weekend, Notley said her party would move away from the Northern Gateway
pipeline, which would transport oil from Alberta's oil patch to the B.C. coast.
On Wednesday, however, Notley said the decision to distance the party from
Northern Gateway was made based on experts' analysis suggesting the project
will not be moving forward quickly.
She said Alberta would be better served in the immediate by sitting down with
industry leaders to determine a more realistic focus for its efforts that will
being success sooner rather than later — "and Gateway is just not one of those
projects, and most experts will tell you that."