Alberta’s premier has some choice words for a new NDP policy document that made waves at the party’s national convention last weekend in Edmonton.
Among them: naïve, ill-considered and tone-deaf.
The so-called Leap Manifesto has not been adopted as party policy. Far from it, actually. But Rachel Notley told the West Block’s Vassy Kapelos this weekend that the manifesto’s stances on pipelines (no new ones should be built) and the oil patch (it needs to be phased out) could be disastrous for her province.
“We do not believe that it was a particularly thoughtful document. We believe that it was naïve,” Notley said. “We believe that it was ill-considered and, quite frankly, very tone-deaf to the economic realities that are being experienced in Alberta.”
The manifesto “doesn’t actually reflect NDP values,” she added, because it fails to understand the importance of ensuring economic security and stability for working people.
Notley said she’s confident that the document will not form the policy base for the federal NDP’s next platform. Asked if her provincial party would need to distance itself from the federal New Democrats if that were to happen, Notley said she’s sure it won’t become an issue.
A tough budget
The NDP premier also discussed her party’s recent provincial budget, saying that she recognizes that running historically high deficits will put Alberta in a tough fiscal spot down the line. But for now, it’s the only way to re-orient a struggling economy with deep ties to the energy sector.
“Our plan is to invest in Albertans and to invest in the Albertan economy, to work towards repositioning our economy and to growing it,” Notley said. “And then as that happens, we’ll be able to deal with the fiscal difficulties that you quite rightly identify, are something that we’re going to have to address.”
Meanwhile, said Notley, every penny of revenue from Alberta’s new carbon tax (or “carbon levy”) will be reinvested directly back into programs that support a transition to a lower-emission economy and energy diversification efforts.
“In terms of the details, the projections and the details around the emissions reductions that we’ll see through the climate change levy … we’ll be releasing those in more detail as we move forward with the legislation that will be coming later in this session,” she said.
Watch the full interview with Rachel Notley above.
WATCH: Stephen Lewis and his son, Avi Lewis, discuss the Leap Manifesto with Tom Clark