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.
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.
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 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.