Rachel Notley: 'We reject the politics of austerity' - Macleans.ca

Rachel Notley: ‘We reject the politics of austerity’

Alberta’s premier gave a defiant speech to delegates at the NDP convention in Calgary

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks at the Alberta NDP convention in Calgary, Saturday, June 11, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks at the Alberta NDP convention in Calgary, Saturday, June 11, 2016. (Mike Ridewood, CP)

CALGARY — Alberta’s premier gave a defiant speech to delegates at the NDP convention in Calgary Saturday saying her government will continue to reject the “politics of austerity.”

It’s the first time the NDP has met since Premier Rachel Notley rolled to victory in Alberta just over a year ago.

“This is the elected team that is bringing progressive change to Alberta,” said Notley.

“This is a government that is kickin’ it, and taking names.”

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the precursor to the NDP, was founded in the southern Alberta city.

“Let’s remember, to begin, that the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was founded right here in Calgary on August 1st, 1932,” she said.

It has been a tumultuous first year for the New Democrats, who have had to deal with plummeting oil prices that, along with the cost of delivering election promises, have left the government with an expected $10.1-billion deficit.

Notley outlined her government’s achievements over the past year in a 40 minute speech and promised not to abandon Albertans in need.

“The new government of Alberta – this NDP government — hasn’t responded to a price shock by making things worse,” Notley said.

“We’re protecting core services instead of slashing them. And we’re not downloading this economic shock onto families,” she added.

“In short, like more and more of the world, we reject the politics of austerity.”

The province will stay the course over the next three years and later told reporters she will not be making any adjustments to win favour with certain parts of the electorate, Notley said.

“I think at this point in government it’s really important to move forward on what you talk to people that you would run on and to not be sort of course changing all over place in some effort to do some sort of hyper-sophisticated reach out for an election that’s three years away.”

She also reiterated her plans to raise Alberta’s minimum wage to $15 an hour before the next election.

“And I want to hear the opposition promise they’ll take it away – that they’ll roll back the minimum wage to where it used to be – the lowest in the country,” she said.

“And then we’ll see what the people of Alberta think about that.”

Notley also expressed her pride in her government’s plan to bring in a carbon tax and its battle against climate change.

“We have to step up and be a big part of the solution to one of the world’s biggest problems – climate change,” she said.

Notley discussed the importance of Alberta finding ways of getting its oil and natural gas to market but never used the word pipeline in her speech. Afterward she said that wasn’t intentional and she will continue to argue on behalf of Alberta’s resource industry to anyone who will listen.

More than 900 delegates attended the speech. Notley received more than 20 standing ovations during her speech.

Her popularity carried over to a mandatory leadership vote where she received 97.8 per cent support.

“I think that we’re good,” said Notley with a laugh.

“I’m very pleased and very honoured to have gotten that level of support.”

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Rachel Notley: ‘We reject the politics of austerity’

  1. Typical NDP. Tax everyone productive to within an inch of their financial life, promise the proceeds to all the takers, and then blame the ensuing fiscal meltdown on fiscal conservatives.
    Prentice wasn’t right about too many things, but he was right about one. For Notley, math are hard.

    • C’mon Wild Bill……not even YOU believe that one. LOL

      • Gee Em, you seem to believe that Rachel needs to “step up and be a part of the solution to one of the world’s biggest problems’- climate change” and yet Canada only contributes less than 2 percent to the problem. Why exactly should Rachel be a leader in climate change solutions when the US is the biggest oil producer in the world and has its own tarsands and is selling record amounts of coal to China? Why also are parts of our country buying oil from despot countries via oil tankers? Why is okay to consume but not produce? Why is it okay to buy from Saudi Arabia and Venezueala and Nigeria? Why is okay to dump raw sewage in the Saint Lawrence? Why is it okay to be an environmental offender as long as you are not from Alberta? Let’s talk carbon capture now that it is in the news. Wasn’t that Brad Wall’s plan? Suddenly it is a negotiable solution because it comes from someone else.

        • The only thing you missed was the kitchen sink! LOL

          But like the Putney Swope comment below….you have bad data

          Please don’t post such rubbish on here.

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