Instead of accepting even more cutbacks, Public Interest Alberta is urging citizens to use the opportunity of this important election to advocate for these priorities for change, which will result in stronger community services supported by more equitable taxation policies.
Edmonton (16 April 2015) — In the wake of Alberta's provincial budget, Public Interest Alberta has released a report, A Just and Fair Alberta: Priorities for Change, that is designed to serve as a key resource for individuals and organizations in Alberta's current 2015 election.
Public Interest Alberta's task forces and partner organizations have worked to identify the top three priorities in each of nine areas:
- revenue reform
- health care
- K-12 education
- post-secondary education
- early childhood education and care
- human services and poverty
The proposal also includes a range of suggested actions for individuals to engage in during the election campaign, in order to advocate effectively for these changes.
Province has not managed revenue well to counter fluctuations in oil prices
The report says, "The latest provincial budget will only make matters worse with serious cuts to many public services. This results from an ongoing failure to make necessary investments in our public services, in favour of extreme low-tax policies that further advantage wealthy individuals and corporate interests."
"Alberta’s over-reliance on revenues from energy resources has contributed to the problem of our inadequate tax base, which becomes starkly evident whenever energy prices fall. In recent decades, our government has reacted to declines in resource revenue by cutting budgets and services — policies which have made the situation worse. They have stubbornly refused to consider a far better alternative: raising government revenues in fair and equitable ways, and properly supporting our valued public services," the report continues.
"These misguided policies have led to four growing deficits in our province: an infrastructure deficit, a public services deficit, an environmental deficit, and a democratic deficit. We need wise policies to address these deficits in the interest of all Albertans."
PIA urges the public to advocate for positive change during election
Public Interest Alberta is encouraging the public to get involved in the current provincial election to ensure the important issues like education, health care and revenue reform are addressed by all parties and candidates.
- Email each party to tell them you support investing more in public services, building good jobs and reforming the revenue system.
- Email your candidate with the same message and tell them their position will influence your vote.
- On the doorstep, or at candidates' debates, tell candidates how important it is to support these issues.
- Volunteer for a candidate whose values and beliefs match your own.
- Check out organizations who are putting forward similar ideas for more information.
- Encourage others to use their votes to support candidates who are committed to acting on the issues.
Public Interest Alberta A Just and Fair Alberta: Priorities for Change
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE