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.

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