Program for the 2015 Provincial Election
A Viable Alternative for Albertans
Albertans don't have to rely on the parties of big business. The programme the Communist Party - Alberta proposes is based on viable alternatives, putting people and nature before corporate profit.
The wealthy corporations and individuals have received tax break after royalty reduction after tax reduction over the years of Conservative rule. Conservative governments have failed to charge normal royalties on resources, and they have cut corporate taxes again and again, as well as replaced progressive income tax with a flat tax favouring the rich. At the same time ordinary Albertans have seen fees, utility charges and local property taxes increase more rapidly than inflation. The Alberta advantage has benefited the rich and corporations while middle and lower income Albertans have struggled to keep up.
We now face lower fossil fuel revenue and the Premier has forgotten the generous treatment given the corporate sector. He talks of a possible a sales tax or medicare premium and 'sharing the pain.' He refuses to talk about 'sharing the gain.' He has ignored raising revenue from corporate Alberta while cutting public schools, hospitals and senior's care.
Corporations vs. Albertans
For over forty years the Conservatives have worked in the interest of provincial and transnational corporations. The goal has been to generate as much profit as quickly as possible for their corporate sponsors. Premier Prentice, himself a corporate broad member, is their political servant. The long-term interest of ordinary Albertans for a clean and safe environment, and for the needs of the sick and old are ignored as corporate Alberta refuses to contribute.
The Conservatives operate a 'take the money and run' economy. Raw bitumen (or logs or agriculture products for that matter) is shipped out, along with processing jobs and corporate profit. So much oil is being shipped that Alberta crude is being sold at a discount of up 25% when it in arrives in the American mid-West. Billions are lost to Albertans because the Government holds leases, licenses and royalties so low that companies are willing to ship oil at below world prices.
The inheritance all Albertans should share is being squandered. Action is needed urgently to develop processing of our own raw materials to provide needed employment for Albertans while keeping resources in the ground. By exploiting resources at a measured rate we may well help save our planet and provide stable, family, friendly employment.
Nature and People’s Needs – not Corporate Greed!
The Communist Party – Alberta’s Proposal for an Alternative Agenda
This platform gives a twelve-point set of policies for fundamental change, on the provincial level. In this election and after, Communists in Alberta will campaign for a radical alternative agenda that can curb corporate power and put people and nature before corporate profits and war. We fight for working people and, ultimately, for people’s power – for socialism.
1. Quality, Affordable Social Housing – housing is a human right
Lower rents and establish meaningful rent control;
Provide better social support for people with disabilities to remain in their homes;
Massively expand public, not-for-profit housing;
Establish a vigorous programme of co-op housing and demand the federal government assume and significantly increase its funding responsibility for social housing;
Create a provincial land bank for affordable housing;
Ban foreclosures, evictions and utility cut-offs because of job loss;
Ban all forms of discrimination in housing including for Aboriginal peoples, women, immigrants, people with disabilities and youth;
Expand funding for women's crisis centers and transition houses;
Lower utility rates and implement ecology pricing for utilities that rewards conservation;
2. Universal, quality health care – publicly funded and delivered
Restore and expand public funding to health care;
Ban private clinics and two-tier health care, enforcing the Canada Health Act in Alberta;
Build new, publicly owned, not-for-profit, quality senior's, mental health and long term care facilities;
Guarantee a full time job offer to every Albertan graduate in Nursing and the allied health professions.
Stop and reverse all P3 (Public, Private Partnerships) in Alberta health care delivery and the privatizing of public services, i. e. laundry, food, cleaning, within the public health system. Restore employment with dignity to these badly paid workers;
Establish a publicly owned pharmaceutical [remove 'drug', duplicate word] manufacturer to work in collaboration with the Alberta university Departments of Pharmacology; Expand medicare in Alberta to include dental care, pharmacare, eye care and health promotion;
Stop the “war on drugs” and treat addiction as a medical problem, not a criminal act.
Increase support for home care.
3. Universal, quality, accessible, affordable, public childcare program
Establish a publicly financed and administered quality, non-profit child care system based on the Quebec model, with Alberta-wide regulations;
4. Free, accessible public secondary and post-secondary education
Put a compulsory cap on classes size in public schools and enforce it;
Ensure ample resources, including smaller class sizes, for special needs students. Ensure that teachers are prepared to meet the special students' needs.
End all user fees for public education and massively expand public funding;
Travel within a school division is not to be charged to parents, including to and from school by public transit, as well as for field trips etc.
End subsidies, including tax deductions, for private schools. Redirect the money saved to public education;
Guarantee a full time job offer to every Alberta graduating from teacher education training even if some of the including positions are as assistant teachers;
End post-secondary student loans for tuition at profit making private schools. Replace student loans with a system of grants;
End post-secondary tuition fees. Access to post-secondary institutions on the basis of merit, not ability to pay;
Stop exploiting international students. No additional fees for international students;
Expand public funding for amateur sports, recreation and democratic culture and arts for youth and students.
5. Workers' incomes, workers' rights
Double the minimum wage and index it to inflation and introduce a guaranteed annual income for all Albertans – a living wage; Reduce the work week to 32 hours, with no loss in pay or services, and eliminate compulsory overtime.
Enact fair wage, full pay and employment equity legislation;
Enforce protection for foreign workers from employer, contractor and agent abuse and call on the federal government to replace the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme with a path to citizenship for all migrant and non-status workers;
Strengthen provincial labor laws including repealing all barriers to unionization, institute card-check, ban scabbing and strike breaking, and instituting compulsory arbitration on first contracts within a three month time limit;
Bring all workers, including farm and domestic workers, under the Labour Act; Significantly raise pensions and reduce the [ delete mandatory] retirement age to 60;
Raise social assistance and disability above the poverty line;
Guarantee job retraining for those workers displaced by technological change.
Keep Albertan workers safe -- establish Mandatory Joint Work site Health and Safety Committees, heavy fines for employers with unsafe work sites, and significantly increasing resources for inspectors and prosecutions;
6. Tax the greedy, not the needy
Enact progressive tax reform based on ability to pay!
Raise royalties on natural resources to at least average world rates and double the corporate tax rate.
End tax loopholes and shelters; collect deferred corporate taxes and prosecute corporate tax evaders;
Eliminate taxes on incomes under $35,000/yr.
7. For a safe, healthy and sustainable environment
Enforce strict environmental regulations, including pollution and emission standards and banning clear cutting, using heavy fines including criminal charges for corporate executives found responsible. Nationalize or close the worst offending companies.
Draw up new environmental standards and testing/enforcement protocols based on scientific standards;
Adopt emergency legislation to slash greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs through renewable energy and conservation programs, and phase out coal-fired nuclear energy plants with jobs guaranteed for workers at equivalent wages and benefits;
Ban industrial development in Alberta’s parks;
Make Alberta a voice for peace, disarmament and global sustainability;
8. Create jobs by diversifying the economy, expanding public ownership
Move away from dependence on resource extraction to valued added processing using our resources as feed stocks and to give us a competitive advantage;
Bring the energy industry under public control, and use public ownership to diversify into resource processing;
Halt new development of the Althabasca bituminous “tar” sands, phasing-out these operations with jobs guaranteed for workers at equivalent wages and benefits;
Guarantee an apprentice position for all Albertans who successfully complete the necessary education at a public trade school. Require companies to take on their fair share of apprentices;
Enact public auto insurance for Albertans.
Use public ownership to diversify our economy into green technologies including alternative , renewable energy.
9. Expand democratic rights and guarantee full equality for all Albertans
Make Alberta a voice to recognize the rights of Aboriginal peoples, including First Nations and the Métis, to sovereignty and self-determination in a new Canadian Constitution;
Respect existing Aboriginal treaty rights as well as self-government / self-determination, environmental protection, and economic development including indigenous land rights;
Full human rights protection to LGBTI* people banning all discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including full rights for transgendered rights persons;
End violence against women and launch a provincial public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women;
Strengthen and enforce employment equity programs for women, Aboriginal peoples, racialized communities and persons with disabilities;
Strengthen laws and enforcement against hate crimes and neofascist groups;
Put Alberta’s prisons and the RCMP under increased civilian community oversight including meaningful representation for the Aboriginal and racialized communities. Ban “racial profiling.” Reduce police weaponry
10. A new financial deal for Alberta’s cities
Deliver stable statutory transfers to cover the real costs of city services.
Substantially expand urban mass transit, reducing then eliminating fees;
Universal, publicly owned, free, municipal Wi-Fi service in cities over 50,000
Return privatized utilities to public ownership.
11. Support Alberta’s family farms
Extend provincial marketing boards to provide stable markets for crops and livestock through single-desk selling at fair prices set by the cost of production
Set price controls on staple foods for Northern Albertan communities; Support organic farming that reduces the use of antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides and other potentially harmful farm inputs, and ban “terminator” seeds in Alberta;
Require labeling of genetically-modified food products, and reduce the scale of the GMO food system.
12. Make every vote count – democratic electoral reform
Get the money out of provincial and municipal politics through strict campaign spending limits and public funding of election information;
Enact proportional representation and the right to recall MLAs; Guarantee equal treatment for all registered political parties;
Lower Alberta’s voting age to 16.
Conduct comprehensive enumeration before every election.
Remove restrictions on the right of unions to donate to political parties; enforce the ban on corporate donations.