Tags: Building Strong Communities , Investing in Alberta’s Future , Protecting the Environment , Providing Leadership & Accountability , Supporting Families

Posted on Jul 6, 2016

MLA Marg McCuaig-Boyd recaps a year in the legislature

Alberta Legislature Building

Written by Marg McCuaig-Boyd, MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley. First published in Fairview Post on July 6, 2016.

Now that the Assembly stands adjourned for the summer it is time to update the good people of the Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley constituency on our Government‘s successes this past year. 

The first bill we passed banned big money from politics. 

Our Premier wanted to make sure our political system was no longer for sale. We have been proactive in taking some important first steps in reducing poverty and inequality in this province. 

We introduced a new child benefit that will be helping almost 400,000 Alberta children rise out of poverty with direct help to their families and as a response to so many hardworking families who are forced to choose between groceries and rent this government has also made a commitment to phase in a $15.00 minimum wage. 

In our first budget we threw out a very regressive flat tax and introduced a modern, fair, Canadian- style progressive income tax in its place. 

A fair tax system that asks those who have benefited the most to pay their fair share. We also introduced corporate taxes at rates similar to those charged in other provinces.

Albertans have the right to belong to unions, should they so choose, as well as bargaining collectively so our government restored full, constitutionally-guaranteed labour rights in a new, modern essential services bill. This government has been working hard to ensure that every Albertan has the right to basic health and safety protection on the job and has the right to refuse work that is unsafe. 

All Albertan’s have the right to be covered by worker’s compensation. Every Albertan deserves the peace of mind that if they are injured on the job they can keep their house, feed their families and keep their dignity including those who are employed on farms and ranches. 

Minister McLean has banned predatory lending in Alberta. 

Vulnerable people should not be preyed upon by loan sharks, legal or otherwise. These loans can cost up to 600% a year.

Alberta‘s vulnerable and LGBTQ students can now look forward to being able to study in a safe and welcoming environment. They can count on our support. 

With the downturn in the commodity prices Minister Joe Ceci‘s budget was careful not to slash any core services. 

We are making major investments in the infrastructure creating tens of thousands of jobs. We are investing in small business and communities while preserving public sector jobs. Instead of austerity in these tough times we are using every tool available to help people absorb this brutal price shock in the oil market, and to promote prosperity, diversification and jobs. As Minister of Energy, I’m proud of the work we have done alongside leaders in our energy industry to make the industry more competitive and emerge from the global downturn stronger. 

We undertook a review of one of the most important pieces of public policy in all of Alberta - our royalty framework - and made changes that won the broad support of industry, investors and Albertans. No government in recent history was able to accomplish a review like this with the same kind of broad support. 

More importantly, this new royalty framework will make industry more competitive, create jobs, and place our entire province on a stronger footing. 

We also launched our petrochemical diversification program, which will lay the groundwork to attract new energy investment in Alberta, investment that will create new value-chains, create thousands of energy jobs, and help to diversify our energy sector. 

Our Climate Leadership plan has also been a game changer. 

Not only are we doing the right thing for the health of our families and our environment, but I have heard from major pipeline companies and investors that the work we are doing to change our province’s reputation is making the national pipeline conversation much easier. 

When not working to drive forward those priorities, I have had hundreds of meetings with hard working members of our energy sector, and I know I’ll have hundreds more. 

We are committed to working with this key industry to make sure we are positioned to hit the ground running when prices return.