March 31, 2019 1:38 pm
Updated: April 1, 2019 7:22 am

Alberta election Day 13: NDP unveils platform while Liberals talk health care

From left to right: NDP leader Rachel Notley, UCP leader Jason Kenney, Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

The Canadian Press
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On Day 13 of the Alberta election campaign, the NDP unveiled its election platform in Edmonton.

READ MORE: Alberta election — How, when, where to vote

NDP Leader Rachel Notley

NDP Leader Rachel Notley unveiled her party’s full election platform Sunday afternoon in Edmonton.

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley makes a stop at a community centre while campaigning for the upcoming election, in Edmonton Alta. on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Here’s a brief outline of some new commitments:

  • $81 million for farmers from the carbon tax to transition to lower energy and energy-efficient equipment
  • Hometown Alberta, a program to upgrade hockey arenas, swimming pools and recreation centres
  • Attainable Homes Alberta, a program to help families buy their first house through down payment assistance and access to modest mortgages
  • Launching a lawsuit against the manufacturers of opioid medication to recoup the costs of the opioid crisis in the province
  • A 10-year strategy to implement high-speed internet for every Albertan
  • Funding for security at places of worship that have experienced hate crimes
  • A pilot program for two storefront mental health clinics in Edmonton and Calgary

WATCH: The Alberta NDP released its platform Sunday. While it contained many programs that were previously announced, there were some new commitments. But the party is also making another issue a big deal. Julia Wong explains.

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United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney

One day after the United Conservative Party unveiled its full election platform and rallied with supporters in Calgary, there were no scheduled events for the party’s leader Jason Kenney.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney and UCP promise $714M budget surplus by 2023

Jason Nixon, the UCP’s house leader, responded to the NDP’s platform, saying they will run deeper deficits or hike taxes, and most likely will do both.

“They didn’t include the carbon tax in 2015, only to force one on Albertans months later,” Nixon told reporters in Edmontonon Sunday.

“So what will Albertans learn about a re-elected NDP’s plan after election day?”

Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel

Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel spent the day in his home riding of Edmonton-McClung.

On Sunday, the Alberta Party said if elected, it would regulate the massage therapy industry under the Health Professions Act.

The Alberta Party would establish a regulatory college of massage therapy in Alberta, consistent with that of the other health professions covered under the Health Professions Act. This would make Alberta the sixth provincial health agency in Canada to regulate massage therapy.

“This is about protecting Albertans and ensuring they receive top-in-class health care,” Mandel said in a statement. “Unregulated massage therapy exposes some of the weakest people of our province, to sexual predators, while in they are in their most vulnerable states.”

The party said that promise would implement 2009 recommendations put forth by former Health Minister Ron Liepert.

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan spent the day door-knocking in Calgary-Mountain View. Khan announced the party’s sustainable health care strategy at campaign headquarters in Calgary on Sunday afternoon, saying the party won’t spend more but will “spend more smartly.”

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan announces the party’s health care plan in Calgary on March 31, 2019.

Global News

The party has committed to building 2,200 new long-term beds over the next four years.

READ MORE: Alberta election Day 12: UCP unveils platform; Alberta Party talks eliminating carbon tax

“We will also invest another $150 million over the same period into home care and assisted living,” Khan said. “Many Albertans would be better served by long-term [beds] and home care instead of taking up acute care beds. Both are significantly less costly. Albertans will see the immediate benefits.

“The Alberta Liberals will commission a preventative health care task force. They will be tasked with evaluating preventative health care strategies that help reduce the long-term care costs without jeopardizing outcomes or access. We will initially invest $100 million towards expanding preventative care.”

In a press release, the Liberals said voters should be concerned with approaches laid out by other parties: the NDP is “failing on health care” while the UCP wants to “slash spending on health care.”

– With files from The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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