NDP outline successes of spring sitting

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July 2, 2015 8:15 AM

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley spoke on June 15 about the accomplishments of the NDP government during the spring sitting of the legislature, including the prohibition on corporate and union donations to political parties, work on climate change and budget changes for education.

“The house has risen and the first chapter in Alberta’s new story has been written. I’m incredibly proud to stand here today as the head of a new government that truly cares about making life better for Alberta families. I think we can all agree this was a session like none before it,” Notley said.

“There was a noticeable change in the tone of the house and I’d like to say that I’m grateful for the opportunities that my colleagues and I have gotten to have to have a true debate on real issues.”

Democracy was renewed, she said, with power given back to Albertans with a ban on the corporation and union donations during election periods. The issue was supported unanimously in the house and committee with members from all parties will now work transparently to restore accountability in the province, according to Notley.

The NDP also started a review of Alberta’s climate change policy with an aim to make a preliminary proposal in time for the COP21 summit in Paris, France this December. They will also soon launch two more environmental initiatives. The first of which is to update the province’s current and expiring regulations that govern carbon emissions and the second is to form an advisory panel that will review Alberta’s climate change policy, talk to stakeholders and provide a permanent set of measures.

It was announced that the advisory panel will be chaired by Dr. Andrew Leach, associate professor and academic director of energy programs at the Alberta School of Business.

Regarding the educational budgeting changes, Notley said, “12,000 students entering our school system next fall will have the tools they need to get the best start possible through budget adjustments universally welcomed by school boards across the province. Tuition was frozen for two years as part of a restoration of funding to universities and colleges.”

In her speech she also acknowledged the government’s apology for the failure of elected officials to act on what was happening to Aboriginal citizens and the treatment of children in residential schools. An inquiry has also been called into the murdered and missing indigenous women of the province.

“So these past two weeks have been busy and we’ve accomplished a lot. We have followed through on key promises made to Albertans and we’ve charted a course for a strong, stable majority government to continue this good work,” she said.

“We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am very proud of these first steps. I’m very much looking forward to returning in the fall when we bring in the first budget and the first full legislative program under our new government.”

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