COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Proposals

Jason Kenney is not living up to his own personal responsibility as premier, which is to keep Albertans safe. He is sleepwalking into this second wave of the pandemic.

We all want to avoid closures, but Jason Kenney is failing to take action that will help keep Alberta’s economy open. That is why the Alberta NDP are calling for policies that will help deal with COVID-19 so we can keep Albertans safe and help get our economy on the right track. 

If you have ideas on how to keep Alberta safe and protect our economy please let us know. 

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Creation of an Independent COVID-19 Advisory Group

Alberta’s NDP Caucus is calling for the establishment of an independent COVID-19 advisory group to report data and provide advice to Albertans, following the revelation that Dr Deena Hinshaw’s relationship with Premier Jason Kenney has become a “bloody and excruciating campaign.”

Despite Alberta having the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country, Kenney announced only a grab-bag of half measures. He refused to implement a mask policy, leaving Alberta as still the only province in Canada without one.

Recordings of meetings among senior public health officials, released to CBC, shows that Dr. Hinshaw’s advice has been discarded by the Kenney government is ignoring public health advice and jeopardizing the health, safety, and economic security of Albertans. 

today I am calling on Jason Kenney to establish an independent advisory group of public health and scientific experts. In order to avoid politicization of their selection, these experts must have peer-reviewed credentials and they would report directly to the people of Alberta with the data that the government has refused to release and provide unfiltered - Rachel Notley

Small Businesses Need Supports Now

Alberta’s NDP and small business owners have called for a suite of support measures for struggling small businesses in light of new, last-minute COVID-19 measures announced by the UCP government last week.

Alberta’s NDP proposed seven measures to support businesses that are affected by the new restrictions, and to better prepare businesses for future measures that may come.

  1. Triple the funding for the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offered by the government to $600 million total, allowing for businesses to receive $10,000 each (up from $5,000) and lowering the qualifying threshold from 50 per cent revenue lost to 40 per cent revenue lost. 

    • The Government has Accepted this Proposal. 

  2. Match the incoming federal Emergency Rent Subsidy Lockdown Support up to 25 per cent to provide coverage to businesses forced to close as a result of COVID-19.

  3. Reinstate the commercial eviction ban that expired on Aug. 31 for six months to April 2021.

  4. Reinstate the ban on utility shutoffs for six months and institute a deferral of up to 6 months to April 2021. Also, amend legislation to authorize forgiveness on utility costs or reduced rates at a later date.

  5. Renew call for 50 per cent reduction on small business insurance and extend reduction to June 30, 2021.

  6. Provide government-backed low interest lines of credit of up to $30,000.

  7. Introduce a COVID-19 Risk Index that gives business the ability to plan for moving up or down a stage of the relaunch strategy.

For more information please review our action plan. 

COVID-19 Small Business Action Plan

Safe Schools, Successful Students- 15 Student Class Cap

In July, the Alberta NDP Opposition released a 15 point plan so Alberta schools can operate safely. In this report, we proposed a 15 student cap, and we have seen how important capping class sizes are. 

There has been tens of thousands of students and staff that have to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure in a classroom. Capping classroom would have reduced the risk of spread and have resulted with thousands less students needing to isolate. 

Check out our full Safe School, Successful Students Report: 

Safe School, Successful Students

Provide Paid Leave for Frontline Healthcare Workers

Alberta’s NDP and representatives for healthcare workers are calling for Premier Jason Kenney to follow through on his commitment and introduce sustained sick pay.

On July 6, Alberta Health Services revoked special paid leave, which provided Alberta nurses with paid leave on top of their collective bargaining agreement. Since then, many nurses have relied on their sick days and other bank days to cover their required isolations. 

We are calling on the provincial government to re-instate the special paid leave and expand it to all frontline workers so that frontline workers do not have to used their bank time or go without pay when they are required to isolate or are sick. 

The provincial government needs to reinstate the special paid leave. We cannot force our nurses and other frontline healthcare workers to sacrifice their banked days off to maintain their income while in isolation" Christina Gray

 

MANDATORY MASK POLICY FOR COVID-19 HOT SPOTS

The Alberta NDP is calling on Jason Kenney and the UCP government to implement a mandatory mask policy for all public indoor spaces in all regions on the enhanced list

There many communities are on the enhanced list that currently do not have mask policies in place. Implementing a provincial mask policy for all regions on the enhanced list can protect our healthcare system in rural areas and smaller communities. 

This UCP government has already gone out of their way to undermine health care in rural and remote parts of Alberta. I’m very concerned that if we don’t reduce cases quickly, these centres will be completely overrun. At the end of the day, it’s a fairly simple thing we can do. Masks reduce community spread and don’t hurt the economy- Rachel Notley

This type of mandatory mask policy brings us in line with other jurisdictions including Saskatchewan where Premier Scott Moe announced a mask mandate for all communities over 5,000.

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Hydrogen

Producing and exporting blue and green hydrogen will spur job creation and prosperity for Alberta going forward.

Geothermal

Geothermal development can create a unique opportunity to develop unused oil wells into a new clean energy source.

Affordable Childcare

We recognize affordable childcare for what it is - an economic driver.

Technology

Harnessing the work of companies and expanding the industry to position Alberta as leading player on the tech scene.

Post-Secondary Development

Timely and affordable access to skills training is needed for a diverse, future ready workforce in Alberta.

Supporting & Expanding Small Businesses

Albertans are risk takers and entrepreneurs. Our mission is to empower our fellow citizens to own their own future.

Internet & Future Connectivity

To secure our economic future we need to expand internet coverage across Alberta with next generation connectivity.

Healthcare Research & Innovation

We are a global leader in healthcare research and innovation. We need to harness that research to grow the economy.

Indigenous Economic Participation

Working with Indigenous communities to grow the economy and walk the path of real reconciliation.

Agricultural Innovation

Building the next generation of agricultural production to drive innovation, job creation, and capture market share.

Creative Industries

Harnessing our arts, culture, and entertainment sectors to grow the economy.

Green Tech

We have exceptional assets. We have great expertise. Alberta should be a global player, we need to decide our future.

Tourism Promotion

Let’s make it easier to enjoy Alberta. Alberta creates experiences of a lifetime and drives economic growth.

Lithium, Batteries & Energy Storage

Let’s position Alberta to benefit from the rapidly growing battery and energy storage industry.

Transportation

Know how. Scale. Innovation. Let’s make Alberta the leading large regional transportation hub in North America.

Manufacturing

Let’s build up manufacturing in Alberta to own the future of onshoring and grow sustainable jobs right here in Alberta.

Affordable Housing

Putting a roof over the heads of Albertans is key to building an economy that benefits all.

Bitumen Beyond Combustion

Bitumen can be manufactured into more than oil. There is an opportunity to diversify and support jobs in the oilsands.