Hope and Fear: 2 days until Alberta’s election

With only two full days left before the May 5 provincial election, the 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives and its supporters are waging a thick fear campaign against its electoral challengers.

On May 1, five corporate CEOs and PC Party donors held a morning press conference in a penthouse boardroom to warn Albertans against out the PCs [see photo above].

Not surprisingly, the CEOs oppose NDP plans to raise corporate taxes from 10% to 12% and review natural resource royalty rates. The press conference started smoothly, but quickly veered off course when one CEO questioned why he must pay more and another appeared to claim that corporate donations to children’s hospitals and charities would halt if the corporate tax rate was increased.

The corporate tax rate in Alberta dropped from 15.5% in 2001 to 10% in 2006. The corporate tax rates in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are 12%. Alberta would still have a significant advantage over our prairie neighbours, as we have vast oil and gas deposits, low personal income tax, and no provincial sales tax.

[Note: the NDP and Wildrose Party support banning corporate and union donations. Nearly 80% of PC Party donations were made by corporations]

The fear campaign did not deter hundreds of Albertans from showing up at large rallies in support of the NDP and Wildrose parties this weekend. The NDP will hold another large rally in Edmonton on May 3.

A rally held in the Calgary-Varisty constituency for NDP leader Rachel Notley attracted hundreds of Calgarians on May 2, 2015.

A rally held in the Calgary-Varisty constituency for NDP leader Rachel Notley attracted hundreds of Calgarians on May 2, 2015. (Photo via @AlbertaNDP on Twitter)

With Election Day fast approaching, the parties are releasing their last major policy statements of the campaign.

NDP leader Rachel Notley announced plans to reinvest in Family and Community Support Services, an important community program that supports after school programs, child development programs, and counselling services. According to the NDP press release, FCSS funding has remained stagnant for the past four years.

A Wildrose Party rally in Calgary on May 1, 2015 drew hundreds of supporters.

A Wildrose Party rally in Calgary on May 1, 2015 drew hundreds of supporters (photo via @epamenzies on Twitter)

Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean announced that if his party forms government on May 5, he would introduce an Accountability Act as the new government’s first bill in the Legislative Assembly. The proposed act would ban corporate and union donations, ban MLAs elected under one party from crossing to another Caucus without a by-election, legislate true fixed dates for provincial elections and implement MLA recall legislation and End sole-sourced contracting.

Alberta Party leader Greg Clark with supporters in Calgary-Elbow.

Alberta Party leader Greg Clark with supporters in Calgary-Elbow. (Photo via @GregClark4AB on Twitter)

Alberta Party leader Greg Clark announced his party’s infrastructure plan, which would focus on building a new Calgary Cancer Centre at the Foothills, upgrading Edmonton’s aging Misericordia Hospital, and improve schools and public transit. And Liberal leader David Swann announced a $75.5 million investment in mental health and addictions.

Calgary-Klein Green Party candidate Noel Keough is throwing his support behind NDP candidate Craig Coolahan and he is asking Green voters to do the same. Also throwing her support to Ms. Notley’s NDP is Angie Klein, daughter of former PC Premier Ralph Klein.

The Progressive Conservative Party has not released any new policy statements since Jim Prentice reversed his party’s decision to cut the Charitable Donation Tax Credit on April 21, 2015.

21 thoughts on “Hope and Fear: 2 days until Alberta’s election

  1. RyanT

    Voted PC last time and I’m voting NDP this time. My Tory Blue Father is rolling in his grave now that I said that but it’s time to throw the corrupt bums out!

    Reply
  2. Doug S

    I am uncomfortable voting NDP but will not vote P.C. That leaves me in the Wildrose camp and not all that comfortable there either. The other parties do not even have a hope of forming an opposition. I would like to see Wildrose policies closer to those of the NDP and Liberals. As it is, I think a P.C. government with an NDP opposition is likely. Alberta needs realistic, progressive ideas and MLAs who will work together.

    Reply
  3. Rural gal

    Wildrose will work with others- that is what MLA,s should do. That is what produces results. Dictatorial proclaim atoms is what has been running this province and look at the corruption.
    Accountability is on the table by both NDP and Wr. A forensic audit is what is needed – just like SK. Is this why the PCAA are running scared?
    Although in some cases there is a divide of ideology between NDP and WR, there is some policies that match. So you work on what unites, and respect what divides.

    I am voting WR because I believe that there is a better balance of priorities. Waste in govt is a priority. Let us see where money is being wasted before you pick my pocket. The most expensive govt in Cana da – really??? Something wrong with this picture. But it is not in the front lines, that much we know.

    Reply
  4. Dan McAvena

    After this election the PC’s will have to stop looking into that mirror and figure a future in a minority using just a chalkboard & chalk instead of 80 inch TV’s and Skype.

    Reply
  5. Lorne Vanderwoude

    Abc. Anything but Conservatives
    I would like to see the six Social Credit candidates elected. Maybe a few Alberta Party ones like say 36. Let us say 30 NDP and 0 Liberals, and 0 Conservatives
    45 WildRose would make a perfect legislative assembly

    Reply
  6. Duane

    Interesting last election th PC message was if you don’t vote PC the wildrose will destroy the province. Today the message is if you don’t vote PC the the NDP will destroy the province. On the doorstep I am hearing, despite party affiliation, people are saying I will not vote PC. I don’t think the fear mongering will be effective.

    Reply
  7. G MacLellan

    This says it all: “Not surprisingly, the CEOs oppose NDP plans to raise corporate taxes from 10% to 12% and review natural resource royalty rates. The press conference started smoothly, but quickly veered off course when one CEO questioned why he must pay more and another appeared to claim that corporate donations to children’s hospitals and charities would halt if the corporate tax rate was increased.” Dave – what is your prediction?

    Reply
  8. 66muds99

    One of the most disgusting fear mongering displays I’ve ever seen. If you don’t vote the way I want, I will stop supporting children and hospitals? Wow, just wow.

    Reply
  9. Southern girl

    I’ve been a die hard PC supporter for over 30 years. I’ve never cast a ballot for another party. Until this year. Orange crush it is. I don’t trust the Wild Rose and I am confident Rachel Notley can hold her own. I know the experts and the pollsters think they have the south but from what I’m hearing they will be in for a surprise. We maybe hicks in the sticks but these hicks have brains.

    Reply
  10. Fluffy the Cat

    Vote PC or the we’ll shoot the puppy! Or something like, that seems to be the words emanating from the dying gasps of the PCAA. It is simultaneously hilarious and pathetic. I think I can sum it up by saying Alberta PC’s have finally “jumped the shark”.

    Reply
  11. Mike

    The NDP momentum is awesome! How can anyone seriously expect real change voting for Conservatives who destroy everything they build?

    As for those CEO’s, did they actually expect us to be impressed with the threat of withdrawing support from sick children?

    The NDP will not serve a corporate agenda! Nuff’ Said.

    Reply
  12. Brian Dell

    No mention of BC, Dave? I think there’s a reason for that, namely, that under the NDP in Alberta we’d have a higher corporate tax rate (we’d also have a higher corporate tax rate than Ontario or Quebec) . BC residents earning between $30K and $75K a year already pay less income tax.

    The fear mongering makes for more sense this time than 3 years ago. The fear mongering then was attributed to some obscure Wildrose candidate who didn’t have the remotest chance of getting elected, never mind ever serving in cabinet. Meanwhile, we’ve currently got Rod Loyala who is almost guaranteed to be elected in Edmonton Ellerslie praising Hugo Chavez who went to great lengths to undermine the rule of law in Venezuela and whose like minded successor has turned the country into an economic basket case. These guys are ideological extremists, and its going to effect everyone’s paycheque, unlike some guy who’ll never get within a mile of political influence going off about the gays.

    Reply
  13. Kylie

    If anyone can name one major, positive contribution that the PC’s have given us…ever, then have at it.
    They squandered decades of revenues that should have been invested and diversified into some other platform for us to have a stable, profitable foundation. They have cut funding for any dept that would allow us to remain a competitive province/population and they gave free passes to the 1%. These people don’t care and are not working in our best interests. It’s about time that Albertans wake up and kick their butts to the curb. NDP all the way.

    Reply
  14. Peter

    Brian wrote: “BC residents earning between $30K and $75K a year already pay less income tax.”

    Brian, this is totally and utterly false and you know it. Alberta’s income tax rates are 10% for that income range. In BC, it is 5.06% on the first $37,869 of taxable income, and then 7.7% on the next $37,871. (total 12.76%).

    “Hugo Chavez who went to great lengths to undermine the rule of law in Venezuela and whose like minded successor has turned the country into an economic basket case. ”

    Venezuela is the most developed country in South America and has consistently had the highest economic growth rates in the continent. Since Chavez took office, Venezuela drastically reduced poverty by 70%. Comparing Chavez’s government in Venezuela to the NDP in Canada is just asinine.

    If you think Chavez undermined the rule of law in Venezuela, you should see how the PC government undermines the rule of law in Alberta: http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/

    But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of desperate fear mongering.

    Reply
  15. Jim

    Jean’s position in favour of actually-fixed-elections shows us that he’s more about gotchas and pandering than he is about good policy. We may have been miffed when Prentice told us the election date was fixed, and then changed it, but that doesn’t mean that fixed election dates are themselves a good idea. In the American system fixed dates are ok, but in our parliamentary system they don’t make a lot sense.

    Reply
  16. Watson Smith

    Kylie, we can all name quite a few PC contributions, we just can’t name many in the last 10 years which is why we are ready to drop them.

    Reply
  17. Watson Smith

    Peter, actually Brian is correct, you can’t add the percentages together, that’s what you pay on that piece of income. Based on average rate you actually pay less in BC up to about $110,000 income.

    You pay less in the territories (all 3) up to about $150,000, less in Ontario to about $140,000 and less in the maritimes up to about $50,000 average. The Alberta advantage is very much for the better off with the current flat tax system.

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html

    Reply
  18. Chad

    Peter wrote “Brian, this is totally and utterly false and you know it. Alberta’s income tax rates are 10% for that income range. In BC, it is 5.06% on the first $37,869 of taxable income, and then 7.7% on the next $37,871. (total 12.76%).”

    Peter – it is clear that you stated the facts of the case, however, your interpretation of those same facts is completely wrong.

    In BC (if your numbers are correct), a person would pay provincial tax of $1,916 on the first $37,869 of income (37,869 * 5.06%) and $2,916 on the next $37,871 (37,871 * 7.7%) which is total tax of $4,832 or 6.38%. In Alberta, the same person would pay $7,574 (75,740 of income * 10% tax).

    It is somewhat scary to me that one of the major issues in this election is the institution of a progressive tax system and that progressive taxes are commonly misunderstood.

    Reply
  19. Chris

    How tone deaf can the PCs get? These five CEOs who personally, and through their companies, donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the PCs and in return receive tens of millions of dollars of government contracts.

    This Saturday I received three calls from my local PC MLA in 90 minutes, from three different live operators. And that was in addition to two robo-calls from the main provincial PC party. Holy desperation, Batman.

    An ABC minority can’t come soon enough.

    Reply
  20. Tom shaw

    I agree with 66muds 99, how dare those goofs try to scare us into voting for the PCs party!there just scared because now they won’t be in bed with there buddy’s anymore!you guys are entitled to your opinions,but you shouldn’t be doing it in front of theBIG corporations that you represent!SHAME on you all,what a bunch of whiners,Bo ho. Bo ho bo ho!you guys are nothing but thiefs with a license to steel!you guys should all be FIRED for that STUNT!!!!!!!!!!!’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Know wonder why OUR HERITAGE TRUST FUND IS SUCKED DRY FROM THIEFS LIKE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instead of using that money for the people of Alberta you guys sucked it dry!!i hope you bigwigs all rot in !!!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *