Stephen Mandel announced this morning an Alberta Party government would immediately move to keep more of Albertans’ money within the province, to help fund schools, hospitals and other provincial services, and to reduce the power imbalance between Alberta and Ottawa. An Alberta Party government commits to fighting to ensure Albertans receive the same treatment from the federal government as Quebec.
“Every year Albertans send billions of dollars to Ottawa that aren’t spent on Albertans, but instead given away to other provinces. In return, we receive rejection, scorn and attacks on our industries and our way of life. We see that with a hijacked coastline, and an unfair equalization program, and refusals to consider pipelines like Energy East.”
As the only provincial party not beholden to federal counterparts, the Alberta Party will stand up to Ottawa where the NDP and Jason Kenney have failed and continue to fail.
“Albertans are tired of being taken for granted by Ottawa and others. The NDP have been in cahoots with the Trudeau government and failed us. Jason Kenney failed us when he was in Ottawa for nearly 20 years. The Alberta Party is going to take decisive action to keep more of Albertans’ money here in Alberta, so it can be used for schools, hospitals, and other key services for our province.”
An Alberta Party government would take a series of actions to move key finances back under direct provincial control, and secure fairer treatment for Albertans from Ottawa. Immediate Actions to Keep Albertans’ Money in Alberta:
Keep Alberta Personal Income Taxes in Alberta
- An Alberta Party government will immediately stop sending personal taxes to Ottawa by terminating the current Tax Collection Agreement with the Government of Canada. This will mean that Albertans’ provincial personal income taxes will go directly where they are supposed to go: to their provincial government.
- The move will put approximately $11 billion back under direct Alberta control , which can pay for schools, hospitals and other provincial services for Albertans.
- It will also give the provincial government more tax policy flexibility, enabling it to pursue creative tax credits and incentives.
Currently, the federal government collects Alberta personal income taxes from Albertans, and then sends them to the Alberta government through a series of 48 installment payments. In the meantime, the federal government collects interest on the money.
- The arrangement creates a power imbalance between the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada, because at any given time Ottawa is holding on to Albertans’ taxes and could stop the flow of money.
Establish the Alberta Pension Plan
- An Alberta Party government would bring Alberta’s portion of the Canada Pension Plan under provincial control, creating an Alberta Pension Plan. The Alberta Party government would immediately give notice under section 3 of the Canada Pension Plan that Alberta intends to be a “province providing a comprehensive pension plan.”
- This would bring billions of dollars of Albertans’ pension contributions under direct Alberta control. Establishment of the Alberta Pension Plan would move over $30 billion in assets to AIMCo. These additional funds will create an estimated 300 high quality jobs here in Alberta and further establish Alberta as a leader in investment management.
- The Alberta Pension Plan will provide Albertans with higher benefits for lower premiums. With the youngest population in Canada, Albertans would see greater benefits from the Alberta Pension Plan as they would not be subject to CPP premium increases for the large numbers of retirees in Ontario, Quebec, and the rest of Canada.
- Alberta would essentially follow the approach of Quebec in taking provincial control. Instead of participating in the Canada Pension Plan, Quebecers contribute to the Quebec Pension Plan.
Fair Treatment of Provinces: Alberta Gets What Quebec Gets
- In relations with the federal government, an Alberta Party government will expect and exercise the same authorities as the Province of Quebec. “Whatever Quebec gets, Alberta also gets.” This position is consistent with the principle that all provinces are equal and deserve equal treatment by the federal government.
- The Government of Quebec currently administers the federal GST and remits it to the federal government. An Alberta Party government would immediately move to have Alberta obtain this same authority and privilege. Quebec is attempting to obtain an arrangement to collect all federal personal and corporate income taxes, and remit them to the federal government. (The reverse of what happens now.) This proposal is supported by Andrew Scheer’s federal Conservative Party and the federal NDP. An Alberta Party government will expect and exercise the same authority if Quebec is successful.
- Alberta does not have a single CRA Tax Centre. Moving the collection of all taxes Albertans pay to the control of the Alberta government would mean those taxes are collected by Albertans rather than employees in the rest of Canada. This will create approximately 4,000 new positions into Alberta.
Securing Fair Treatment for Albertans and Alberta Industries
An Alberta Party government will create clear expectations for the Government of Canada in regards to the fair treatment of Albertans. This includes the following:
- The TransMountain pipeline must be approved by the federal Cabinet.
- If necessary, the federal government shall invoke the “declaratory power” over the TransMountain pipeline, to provide legal certainty and end the ability of the Government of British Columbia and BC municipal governments to interfere with a federally-approved project of national interest.
- In their current form, Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 shall die on the Order Paper and not proceed. Similar versions of those pieces of legislation shall not be entertained. If these laws are passed, an Alberta Party Government will proceed with the necessary constitutional challenges to have them struck down.
- A process shall be started for amending the equalization formula so that it is more fair for Albertans and other net-contributing provinces in Confederation.
- Additional pipelines that are required for Alberta’s energy industry shall be supported, recognizing that these projects are nation-building and essential for advancing not only Alberta’s economy but the prosperity of the entire country.