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Federal NDP leader slams Alberta’s Sovereignty Act, calls it ‘undemocratic’

Click to play video: 'NDP calls Alberta’s sovereignty act a ‘threat to our healthcare system’'
NDP calls Alberta’s sovereignty act a ‘threat to our healthcare system’
The NDP characterized the proposed Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act, put forward by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith Tuesday, as a potential "threat to our healthcare system" during question period on Wednesday, saying the Act would do "nothing to actually deal with the problem." "We have another serious threat to our healthcare system in the form of Danielle Smith's Sovereignty Act in Alberta," NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said – Nov 30, 2022

Federal New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh slammed Alberta’s proposed sovereignty bill on Thursday, calling it “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic.”

During an interview with Shaye Ganam on 770 CHQR and 630 CHED, Singh said the proposed Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act does not fix concerns Albertans care about.

Albertans are worried about affordability and their health care system, not a law that gives sweeping powers to the premier and cabinet, he said.

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“What (the bill) does is undemocratic. It takes away the transparency of decisions being made in the legislature openly for the public to see and allows laws to be made in backrooms secretly with cabinet,” Singh told Ganam on Thursday morning.

“This doesn’t respond to the needs of Canadians, needs of Albertans… People are worried about their health care and their cost of living.”

Singh’s comments come after Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act on Tuesday. The bill gives the premier and provincial cabinet the ability to fight back against what they call “unconstitutional federal intrusion” with majority support of the house.

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The bill has since faced fierce criticism from the Alberta NDP and local business associations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday Ottawa “is not looking for a fight” with Alberta over the proposed sovereignty bill, but added he will “not take anything off the table.”

Trudeau said the bill proposes “exceptional powers”, which has raised a lot of concerns in Alberta.

“We’re going to see how this plays out,” Trudeau told reporters.

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“I’m not going to take anything off the table, but I’m also not looking for a fight.”

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Singh did not answer questions about how Trudeau should deal with the Sovereignty Act, but instead said the prime minister find ways to stop Smith from “tearing apart” Alberta’s public health care system.

“I’d say we need to use the tools that we have at the federal level to protect the health care system. We need to make sure we’re using the Canada Health Act to protect Albertans and make sure Albertans get the care they need,” Singh said.

“The federal government needs to step up and do what it can to properly fund and resource health care services… We want to make sure health care is there for everybody.

“With Danielle Smith’s Sovereignty Act, it sounds like she’s trying to threaten that.”

770 CHQR reached out to Smith’s office with a request for comment.

–With files from Global News’ Emily Mertz and Rachel Gilmore.

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