Alberta election Day 8: Notley visits Calgary while Kenney travels to Edmonton

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Alberta party leaders back on campaign trail
WATCH ABOVE: Three of Alberta's party leaders were scheduled to be in Calgary on Day 8 of the provincial election campaign. – Mar 26, 2019

Tuesday marks Day 8 of the Alberta election campaign and three of the four leaders of the province’s main political parties were in Calgary.

Here’s a closer look at the announcements made by each party leader.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley is promising to spend an additional $90 million a year on health to further reduce surgery wait times if the party is re-elected April 16.

Notley said the money would also go toward getting patients quicker care in emergency wards.

She forecasts almost 40,000 Albertans would get faster cancer, open-heart and cataract surgeries over the next three years.

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The NDP plan builds on work already done to reduce wait times, particularly for breast cancer surgery.

Notley said her government would continue to fund specialized EMS liaison teams to care for patients in emergency wards so that ambulance crews could return to the street faster.

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney has said he wouldn’t cut health budgets, but would look to reduce administrative overlap and explore private care options to improve wait times.

After Kenney’s Monday announcement that his government would proclaim the former Progressive Conservative government’s Education Act of 2014 to replace the NDP’s School Act, Notley said Tuesday that Kenney made a big mistake with “very cruel and hurtful consequences.”

“He is proposing once again to out LGBTQ kids in their schools who would join a GSA,” she said. “This matter has been settled. This debate has been had. And I would urge Mr. Kenney to talk to the experts, to the families and to the kids themselves who will tell you that GSAs, and the ability to join them with your privacy respected, saves lives.”

WATCH BELOW: A recap of Day 8 of the election campaign in Alberta.

Click to play video: 'Alberta election Day 8'
Alberta election Day 8

Notley also responded to the Alberta Party and UCP’s plans to cut the corporate tax rate.

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“This is one of the least efficient ways that a government can create economic activity, especially when it’s being introduced into an environment where we already have an overall tax advantage or relative to other jurisdictions,” she said.

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney

Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney says he will expand access to and education in the skilled trades if he becomes premier.

Kenney says apprenticeship learning has every bit as much value as an academic education, and skilled trades will be in more demand as the population ages.

He says a UCP government after the April 16 election would double the number of schools offering vocational training, increase courses to 1,000 from 500 and quadruple the number of students placed with employers.

Kenney says the UCP would also create a trades scholarship program and allow tradespeople to teach in a classroom without having to first complete a full education degree.

Alberta employment rules would be changed to enable junior high school students to work in co-op programs on job sites.

Kenney says provincial government projections predict that more than 3,000 skilled workers will retire each year from now until 2025.

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Alberta Liberal Party Leader David Khan

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan started his day by door-knocking in his Calgary-Mountain View constituency. He then headed to the party’s campaign headquarters in Calgary where he unveiled the Liberals’ platform on gender equity.

Khan said his party would end gender inequality in Alberta with a “bold plan” that will close the gender pay gap, combat violence against women and support women’s reproductive rights.

“An Alberta Liberal government would use Gender-Based Analysis Plus (“GBA+”) budgeting to ensure policies, programs and funding achieve equality of opportunity,” Khan said in a media release Tuesday.

“We will make pay equity legislation a top priority. Alberta is the only province in Canada without pay equity legislation. We will guarantee non-discrimination in employment with financial and administrative support for Human Rights Act complainants.”

WATCH BELOW: Alberta Liberal leader David Khan unveiled his party’s gender equity platform Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'Alberta Liberal Party unveils gender equity platform'
Alberta Liberal Party unveils gender equity platform
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Khan said the plan would also see an increase in funding for women’s shelters, although an exact dollar amount was not provided. The party would enact Clare’s Law, to allow police to disclose criminal records for potentially abusive partners. The UCP has also said it will introduce similar legislation.

The party’s gender equity platform also includes the implementation of mandatory sexual assault, harassment and consent training for all police officers and judges.

Making abortion more accessible, particularly in rural areas, is also part of the platform.

“We will also provide free birth control for those who do not have access. Access to birth control creates significant savings in health care, boosts the economy and improves health outcomes for women,” the party said.

“The Alberta Liberals will support trans health-care needs by funding medical procedures for transgender Albertans. We will end gatekeeping and fully fund hormone treatments.”

WATCH BELOW: Alberta political party leaders talk jobs and minimum wage on the campaign trail. 

Click to play video: 'Alberta political party leaders talk jobs and minimum wage on the campaign trail'
Alberta political party leaders talk jobs and minimum wage on the campaign trail

Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel

The Alberta Party unveiled its Jobs First plan, which the party said will create thousands of jobs and keep businesses in business. The plan would see the Alberta general corporate tax rate lowered from 12 per cent to 10 per cent. The rate will be rolled out in 0.5 per cent increments, the party said.

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The Alberta small business deduction will be doubled from $500,000 to $1,000,000, which the party said will help incentivize the growth and expansion of businesses. All other aspects of the small business deduction will remain the same, including the existing small business tax rate of two per cent.

The capital cost allowance in Alberta will be adjusted to 100 per cent for all new investment, which the party said will “supercharge private investment.”

The Alberta Party also said it will establish a business certainty guarantee on Day 1 of taking office. Under the guarantee, the party said businesses and investors can have confidence that the overall costs of doing business in Alberta will either stay the same or go down during the four-year term of an Alberta Party government.

Leader Stephen Mandel also said Tuesday that he would not touch the current $15 minimum wage.

“I think the ship has sailed on minimum wage. It’s $15 an hour. I think we need to realize how else can we help small business. Many other costs are incurring so I can work with them, which will not impact the wages but allow businesses to be more successful,” Mandel said.

WATCH BELOW: Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel said his party’s “Jobs First Plan” would cut corporate taxes from 12 to 10 per cent and create thousands of jobs.

Click to play video: 'Alberta Party unveils ‘Jobs First Plan’'
Alberta Party unveils ‘Jobs First Plan’

Corus Radio Decision Alberta coverage

With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News.


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