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2023 Election

Promise tracker: What Alberta’s UCP and NDP pledge to do if they win the election


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NDP Leader Rachel Notley and United Conservative Party Leader Danielle Smith are shown on the Alberta election campaign trail in this recent photo combination. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh


Albertans are scheduled to go to the polls May 29. Here’s a look at some of the promises announced by the two major parties in the past few months:

United Conservative Party

— Create a new tax bracket that would deliver about $760 more for everyone making more than $60,000 a year. Those making less would see a 20 per cent reduction to their provincial tax bill.

— Extend the pause on the provincial fuel tax, with savings of 13 cents per litre at the pump, until the end of 2023.

— Put into legislation a guarantee not to increase personal or business taxes without approval from Albertans in a referendum.

— Contribute $330 million toward a new National Hockey League arena project for the Calgary Flames.

— Follow a public health-care guarantee that no Albertan would have to pay for a doctor out of pocket.

— Introduce a 25 per cent discount for seniors on personal registry services, camping fees and medical driving exams.

— Bring in the proposed compassionate intervention act, allowing people with severe drug addiction to be forced into treatment.

Alberta New Democratic Party

— Ensure every Albertan has access to a family doctor, hire 4,000 more health workers and create 40 new family health clinics.

— Cover the full cost of birth control, including oral contraceptives, copper and hormonal intrauterine devices, hormonal injections and the morning-after pill.

— More support for schools by hiring 4,000 new teachers, and 3,000 educational assistants and support staff.

— Create a new tax credit to spur investment in areas including cleantech and critical minerals processing.

— Bring back the Rapattack program of elite aerial wildfire fighters that was cancelled in 2019.

— Table the proposed eastern slopes protection act to ban coal mining projects in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas.

— Bring in a fully costed economic plan that predicts a $3.3-billion surplus over three years. Raise the corporate tax rate to 11 per cent from eight per cent to increase revenue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2023.

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2023 Election

CBC News retracts report alleging email interference by Alberta premier’s office

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith responds to a question during a news conference after a meeting of western premiers, in Whistler, B.C., on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. CBC News is retracting a report from January alleging someone in Premier Danielle Smith’s office emailed prosecutors to question the handling of cases involving a COVID-19 protest at a U.S. bordering crossing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

By Dean Bennett in Edmonton

CBC News is retracting a report alleging someone in Premier Danielle Smith’s office emailed Crown prosecutors to question and challenge the handling of cases involving COVID-19 protests in Alberta that blocked traffic at a U.S. border crossing for more than two weeks.

CBC made the announcement Wednesday in an unsigned editor’s note atop an amended online version of the original Jan. 19 story.

“Our sources have insisted that Crown prosecutors felt political pressure regarding the Coutts, (Alta.), cases, but they are not able to confirm that the emails they originally described were sent directly from the premier’s office to the Crown,” said the editor’s note.

“As such, we have updated this story and related pieces, removing references to direct contact between the premier’s office and prosecutors — which the premier has vehemently denied.

“CBC News regrets reporting direct contact by email.”

The story, along with public comments made by Smith around that time, sparked months of controversy, accusations, investigations and threats of lawsuits that culminated in an investigation and subsequent May 18 report by ethics commissioner Marguerite Trussler.

In that report, Trussler found no evidence of such emails but, based on other information, concluded Smith broke ethics rules and sought to undermine the rule of law by trying to persuade her then-justice minister to make a COVID-19-related criminal prosecution “go away.”

Smith had challenged the veracity of the CBC email claims from the start, noting officials could find no evidence of such correspondence and that CBC News itself had stated it had not seen the emails in question.

CBC stood by its reporting for months, but in Wednesday’s note stated Trussler’s finding of no evidence to support the existence of the emails prompted it to review the matter anew and reach a new conclusion.

Smith’s office has threatened to sue the CBC for defamation for months over the story, but has yet to formally launch a claim. Smith recently said she wanted to sit down with CBC officials to explore the matter.

Smith stood in the chamber of the legislature last month and formally apologized for her Jan. 6 phone call to then-justice minister Tyler Shandro in which she sought to have him abandon the criminal prosecution of COVID protester Artur Pawlowski.

Shandro refused to intervene and Pawlowski was eventually found guilty of mischief.

Smith has since asked new Justice Minister Mickey Amery to give her guidelines on how she is to interact with him on legal matters.

Smith has said she will also act on Trussler’s recommendation to have new members to the legislature receive briefings on how the separation of powers works in Canada’s democracy.

Her office declined Wednesday to comment on the CBC retraction, state whether the meeting with CBC officials took place, say if Smith still planned to sue or say whether the updated guidelines from Amery had arrived.

CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said in a statement that the public broadcaster has not met with Smith.

“The editor’s note was published after reviewing all of our journalism and talking again to sources,” Thompson said.

“As you can appreciate, it’s not our place to speak for the premier on what she may or may not do (regarding a lawsuit).”

The Opposition NDP, meanwhile, asked RCMP in a letter last month to investigate whether Smith’s actions violated Criminal Code provisions surrounding breach of trust and obstructing justice.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2023.

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2023 Election

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley mum on political future following election loss

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