We’ve heard the concerns of tens of thousands of workers across the province – and there has never been more at stake.
That’s why we’ve created a new Report Card from Workers.
Our election report card compares how the two major parties, the Alberta New Democratic Party and the United Conservative Party, measure up on the priorities of working Albertans.
Based on their election platforms and public statements, we’ve assigned the parties a passing grade ✅ or a fail ❌ on each issue.
Here’s how their commitments stacked up when compared to the priorities of workers:
Cost of Living/wages:
Q: Will you tie minimum wages to inflation and prioritize affordability for workers ahead of corporate profits?
✅NDP: The Alberta NDP will index the minimum wage to inflation and have a plan to create 47,000 good-paying jobs.1 They will reverse costs added by the UCP such as seniors driving tests2 and increases to provincial parks fees, as well as recap utility3 and insurance rates, reduce tuition, and increase the affordable housing supply.4 Additionally, they will immediately increase income support for seniors and those unable to be in the workforce.5
❌UCP: The United Conservative Party is giving big handouts to big corporations and handing over billions of public dollars to the controversial Rstar program6 while working-class Albertans struggle to make ends meet. Their campaign commitments on tax rates7 will not make up for all the increased costs they put onto Albertans, such as increased income taxes,8 park fees,9 and tuition.10 They only offered temporary insufficient rebates11 after removing caps on utility12 and insurance rates13 which caused rates to go up drastically.
Q: What will you do to attract and retain health care workers to rebuild our publicly funded and delivered health-care system?
✅NDP: The Alberta NDP have committed to recruiting, retaining and respecting workers in our publicly-funded and delivered health system.14 They also will create family health teams15 to ensure every Albertan has access to a family doctor and a multidisciplinary health team.
❌UCP: The United Conservative party consistently signals they want to privatize health care in the province, from selling hospitals16 to paying out of pocket for emergency room visits.17 They have already privatized lab services18 leading to longer wait times19 for crucial health information.
Q: Will you commit to diversifying Alberta’s economy with a focus on outcomes for workers?
✅NDP: The Alberta NDP have a plan to attract $20 billion in private-sector capital investment and will introduce an Alberta’s Future Tax Credit20 — to spur investment in cleantech, carbon materials, critical minerals processing, and advanced manufacturing. The Alberta Industrial Heartland Association endorsed Rachel Notley’s approach to economic development and diversification.21
❌UCP: The instability in the UCP government and their leader have created doubt that Alberta is a stable and safe investing environment. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce raised concerns about Danielle Smith’s potential to harm Alberta businesses22 and the former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge warned that uncertainty caused by Danielle Smith creates economic damage.23
Q: Will you commit to keeping Albertans’ pensions in the CPP?
✅NDP: The Alberta NDP committed unequivocally to keeping Alberta in the CPP,24 expanding private sector workplace pensions, and returning to a joint-governance model for public pensions.
❌UCP: Public statements from Danielle Smith continue to confirm her party intends to remove Albertans from the CPP.25 She wants to hide this issue from voters until after the election.26 The UCP has kept their report examining the costs and benefits of a provincial pension plan hidden from Albertans.27
Q: Will you remove barriers to workers’ rights to join a union and improve protections to health and safety on the job?
✅NDP: The Alberta NDP will bring back single-step certification to remove barriers for workers to join a union by reversing the UCP’s legislative changes that rolled back workers’ rights. They will also end companies’ ability to undermine union workers by creating a non-union entity to avoid the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement (double breasting).28 They will strengthen occupational health and safety and increase overtime and holiday pay by reversing the UCP’s removal of these employer obligations. The NDP is proud to represent working Albertans and have a history of doing so.
❌UCP: The United Conservative Party has eroded workers’ rights at every opportunity: they have reduced overtime pay29 and employer responsibilities to injured workers,30 weakened workplace health and safety,31 and rolled back wages for young workers from $15 an hour to $13 an hour.32 They have also made it harder to join a union, brought in bargaining mandates in the public sector to keep wages low, and are in favour of allowing contract flipping and double breasting. The UCP criticises the NDP for having working-class values and being in favour of workers having access to unions, calling into question their credibility on workers’ rights.
Q: Will you commit to public education funding that keeps up with enrollment growth and staffing needs?
✅ NDP: The Alberta NDP will hire thousands more educational support staff and teachers34 to backfill shortages in our public education system. The party also recognizes that wages are a key factor in attracting and retaining educational support staff and commits to fair bargaining in good faith with workers.
❌UCP: During their tenure as government the UCP brought Alberta down to the lowest per-student funding in the country and laid off 20,000 support staff.35 The party’s education strategy is focused on providing “school choice,36” which means diverting tax dollars away from public schools to pay for private centres that don’t have to follow the curriculum and aren’t accessible for all children.
Education – Post Secondary:
Q: Will you make quality post-secondary education more affordable?
✅ NDP: The Alberta NDP has committed to freezing tuition at 2022-23 levels and reversing the latest proposed tuition increases across the province.37 They also support and will fund state-of-the-art union training facilities in the trades, prioritizing strong wages, apprenticeships and health and safety of workers.
❌UCP: The UCP cut $700 million from universities and colleges with no plans to reinstate these funds.38 While the federal government provided some relief by freezing student loan interest rates,39 the UCP increased them in 2019 – and is only promising to reduce them now after raising them in the first place.40
6 ‘Corporate welfare and misguided’: Criticism continues about Alberta’s proposed oil well cleanup incentive: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/corporate-welfare-and-misguided-criticism-continues-about-alberta-s-proposed-oil-well-cleanup-incentive-1.6272416
11 Cash-strapped Albertans may be stuck repaying $200M cap on regulated rates, says report: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/uofc-report-electricity-consequences-alberta-1.6795650
12 UCP scraps electricity price cap, some will see $7 bill increase this month: https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/ucp-scraps-electricity-price-cap-some-will-see-7-bill-increase-this-month-1.4711822
13Alberta’s auto insurance rates most expensive in Canada: new report: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/albertas-auto-insurance-rates-most-expensive-in-canada-new-report
16 ‘Deeply concerning’: Smith suggests privatizing major Alberta hospitals in 2021 video: https://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/smith-suggests-privatizing-major-alberta-hospitals-in-2021-video
17 Nathan Neudorf on video: https://twitter.com/albertaNDP/status/1656692796273872896
18 AHS finalizes DynaLIFE privatization of community lab services: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/ahs-finalizes-dynalife-privatization-of-community-lab-services
19 Long waits for blood work leave Calgarians on edge after community labs privatized: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/blood-work-long-waits-after-labs-privatized-1.6803825
21 Alberta Industrial Heartland Association endorses NDP economic plan: https://www.sherwoodparknews.com/news/local-news/alberta-industrial-heartland-association-endorses-ndp-economic-plan
22 Alberta sovereignty act damaging to business: Calgary Chamber of Commerce https://globalnews.ca/news/9315203/alberta-sovereignty-act-business-calgary/
23 Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge warns of economic damage from Alberta sovereignty act https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/former-bank-of-canada-governor-david-dodge-warns-of-economic-damage-from-alberta-sovereignty-act
25 Made-in-Alberta pension plan isn’t resonating with voters: poll: https://calgaryherald.com/news/made-in-alberta-pension-plan-isnt-catching-fire-with-voters-poll
26 Smith says sovereignty act, RCMP replacement and pension plan not in UCP campaign: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/smith-says-sovereignty-act-rcmp-replacement-and-pension-plan-not-in-ucp-campaign
27 Prospect of a standalone pension plan in Alberta should be on voters’ minds: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-prospect-of-a-standalone-pension-plan-in-alberta-should-be-on-voters/
28 Notley promises end to ‘double breasting’ in Alberta in slew of labour pitches: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/notley-promises-end-to-double-breasting-in-alberta-in-slew-of-labour-pitches
31 Labour group, Opposition blast UCP changes to workplace health and safety committees: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/labour-group-opposition-blast-ucp-changes-to-workplace-health-and-safety-committees
32 Lower minimum wage for Alberta youth takes effect: https://globalnews.ca/news/5434502/lower-minimum-wage-alberta-youth/
33 Opinion: Alberta is calling but workers want labour loophole fixed: https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-alberta-is-calling-but-workers-want-labour-loophole-closed-first
38 UCP budget freezes K-12 education funding, cuts post secondaries: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/ucp-budget-freezes-k-12-education-funding-cuts-post-secondaries
39 Federal student loan interest to be permanently eliminated: fiscal update: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/fiscal-update-2022-ottawa-to-permanently-eliminate-student-loan-interest
40 UCP to cap post-secondary tuition growth at two per cent beginning in 2024-25: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/ucp-to-cap-post-secondary-tuition-growth-at-two-per-cent-beginning-in-2024-25