The Government of Alberta has released its 2020 election platform, which will be the final election platform the NDP is expected to release before the 2019 provincial election.
It lays out a set of six areas the NDP will be focusing on in the next year and a half, including infrastructure, jobs, education, health care, and education.
The platform includes a number of other new initiatives, including a new “Better Work” plan for employers, an increase in provincial funding for universities, and a pledge to create 50,000 jobs by 2025.
However, the NDP has said its policy priorities won’t change once the election is called.
The platform also does not commit to any specific policies or priorities.
The NDP will have to make up some ground with other political parties in order to pass its election platform in 2019, said Jeremy Hahn, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
“I think we have to look at the party and say, well, what is the platform that they are running on in 2019?”
Hahn says the NDP platform needs to reflect the way in which Alberta’s economy is currently functioning, and that will require a more ambitious approach to job creation.””
We have to be clear, we are going to be talking about the platform they are going forward with.”
Hahn says the NDP platform needs to reflect the way in which Alberta’s economy is currently functioning, and that will require a more ambitious approach to job creation.
“You can’t just be talking to people in their 40s and 50s and say to them, ‘You need to be doing something to boost your productivity.’
That doesn’t make sense,” Hahn said, adding that the NDP’s platform could also have to address concerns about how much energy the economy is consuming.
Hahn points out that while there is a surplus in Alberta, many of the new initiatives are aimed at getting the province to a surplus, and the economy has been growing since the Liberals took office.
“That surplus is still going to grow,” Huhan said.
“The economy is growing, but the jobs are not.”
The province’s overall economic situation is not expected to improve significantly as the election draws near, but Hahn is optimistic that Alberta can make a significant impact on the federal level.
“We’re not at the point where the economy isn’t going to do better than what we had,” Hahaan said, pointing to the fact that Alberta’s unemployment rate was 1.9 per cent in March.
“I think the economy could be at a more positive position in the second half of 2019.”
The NDP platform is also focused on helping Albertans with higher education and reducing the cost of living, and it calls for a minimum wage increase of $3.70 per hour, to be phased in over five years, to bring the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2020.
“Albertans are getting a little bit better off from the NDP government, but there is still a long way to go,” Hahns said.
Alberta is one of only two provinces that have a provincial minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour.
Despite a deficit in 2019 that was greater than the previous deficit of $1.1 billion, Hahn believes Alberta’s recovery is stronger than some of the other provinces in Canada.
“There’s a lot of confidence in Alberta,” Hohahn said about the economy, adding it will be a good year for the NDP if they can turn things around in the coming years.
“And if they continue to build a strong team, I think we can take them to victory.”
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