Saturday, February 26, 2005

Perpetual Opposition

Here's a press release from the provincial Liberals. Lots of good ideas in the bunch. Heck, if the federal Libs can steal Tory and NDP ideas, maybe Klein can peg off a few of these. The province would be better off if he did.

Liberal Opposition Committing to Alberta’s Future

Edmonton - A commitment to Alberta's future will top the Alberta Liberal's legislative agenda for the spring session. Alberta's Legacy Act would establish, in law, how the government will invest surpluses in Alberta's future.

"The Alberta Liberals are committed to turning non-renewable resource wealth into something permanent," said Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft. "So we're proposing a bill based on our election platform, to stream surplus oil and gas revenues into savings accounts for the benefit of generations to come."

"Albertans want their government to have a vision for the future," says Taft. "Since the Klein Tories don't have a plan, we will push legislation to ensure some visionary thinking is brought to the table."

Bill 203, sponsored by Hugh MacDonald, would see the government commit 35% of the surplus to a Post-Secondary Education Endowment Fund – to improve accessibility and excellence at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions. Another 35% of the surplus would go into the Heritage Fund to transform fleeting resource revenues into a permanent revenue source. Twenty five per cent of the surplus would go to the Capital Account to eliminate Alberta’s $8 billion infrastructure debt over 10 years and the remaining 5% would be invested into an Endowment Fund for the Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts to increase funding and encourage exploration in these fields.

Other opposition bills to be brought forward this session include an act to protect people in long term care. The Provincial Standards of Care Act, sponsored by Bridget Pastoor, would set standards for long-term care facilities in areas such as staffing to resident ratios, refusal of treatment rights, and nutrition and food safety.

The Alberta Liberals will also present legislation to ensure Alberta's water supply does not become a commodity to be traded like oil and gas. A draft proposal of the Water Protection and Conservation Act, sponsored by David Swann, also contains provisions to eliminate the use of fresh water for oil well injection.
Deputy Leader Dave Taylor will sponsor the Electoral Reform Act which would establish a Citizen's Assembly to recommend and implement democratic reform measures such as fixed election dates, and proportional representation.

7 Comments:

  • Love the idea for 35% of surplus invested in post-secondary education. That would make Alberta universities the best funded in the country, given the size of the surpluses there and the fact that you guys have what, three real universities?

    By Blogger Gracchi, at 11:43 PM  

  • Clearly, Kevin Taft is the best thing that's happened to the Alberta Liberal Party in a long time. He's sharp, he's the cerebral cortex of the Legislature, his political skills have grown exponentially in the past few years, and he brought a nearly-dead party back to life.

    Now if only we could get some strong candidates to run some fierce local campaigns in rural Alberta -- especially the North, where we at least have more of a shot than we do in the Deep South.

    By Blogger Jim, at 1:08 AM  

  • I agree. Taft has turned out to be an excellent leader offering a real alternative to the conservatives.

    We do have a Lib here in Lethbridge (Bridget Pastoor). A great candidate and even better MLA. Clint Dunford in Leth. West received for less that a majority of the popular vote. Bal Boora, the Lib candidate came a close second, and would have won had not the NDP also run a good candidate.

    If we look at the numbers, the issue is not strong candidates but vote splitting between NDP and Libs.

    Kevin

    By Blogger Kevin, at 11:56 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:26 AM  

  • "35% of the surplus to a Post-Secondary Education Endowment Fund"

    hmmmm, that's enough to send a warm feeling through any Alberta PSE student!

    Session starts tomorrow, let's hope we see some good action!

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:30 AM  

  • That plan will never fly, rural Albertans will never support the idea that their tax money should go to post secondary education and will be outright angered by a proposal to support the humanities and social sciences.

    That plank will win the Liberals a few more seats in Edmonton and Calgary but I think that's about it. I think the only way a party can take Alberta is to yell "TAX CUT!!!" as loud as they can. Even when tax cuts are the worst idea possible. We Albertans, as much as I hate to admit it, are kind of short-sighted.

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 3:18 AM  

  • I'm not so sure about that - the "It's Your Future" survey indicated that Albertans - or, at least, those Albertans who responded to the survey - favored increased social spending over tax cuts.

    By Blogger Jim, at 3:12 AM  

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