Economic Well-Being for All Albertans
Albertans want to be free from financial stress, save a small nest egg, have a reliable way to get to work, afford to heat our homes… and to have a home. All Albertans need these basics. Economic security is a foundation on which we can build Alberta’s Future.
Our ideas for Alberta’s Future are built around five principles:
- Jobs for Albertans
- Equity and inclusion of all Albertans
- Diversification as a priority
- Strong services growing a strong economy
- Rejecting ANY race to the bottom
These principles recognize that for our economy to grow, all Albertans need to be able to participate and contribute. COVID-19 has also reminded us of how connected we are, our physical and mental health are the basis of a thriving economy, and that some of us are more vulnerable to a financial hit like losing a job or having to quit to care for a loved one.
In Alberta, we made good progress between 2015 and 2019 to cut poverty, but there was more work to do. Together we cut child poverty rates in half. Each of the policies below supported children’s and families’ economic security and helped cut child poverty in half. The UCP has, however, reduced funding, cut entirely, or significantly limited access to each of the initiatives below:
- Early Learning and Child Care Centres provide $25-a-day child care for children up to age six. Approximately 7,300 spaces at 122 licensed centres across the province.
- Alberta's minimum wage increased up to $15 per hour on Oct. 1, 2018. In 2015, Alberta’s minimum wage was tied for the lowest in Canada.
- The School Nutrition Program gave 30,000 students in select elementary schools across the province a daily meal, helping them learn and develop skills toward lifelong healthy nutrition.
- Alberta's affordable housing strategy invested $1.2 billion towards affordable housing, giving tenants the tools they need to be successful and encourages them to improve their financial circumstances.
- An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities increased financial supports for Albertans receiving AISH, Income Support and seniors benefits starting Jan. 1, 2019.
We have the opportunity now, especially as we plan for a full recovery from COVID-19, to take action to build Alberta’s future for everyone. To do so, we want to hear from all Albertans.
Thanks to the hard work of community advocates, policy research, and governments - including Indigenous communities and municipalities across the province - we have a pretty good understanding of the approaches that can work to reduce poverty and income inequality, and increase economic resilience, participation, and equality.
Over the coming months, we will engage with people experiencing financial hardship and poverty, and with community and provincial organizations to understand and identify the best approaches and tools for Alberta. There will be different approaches for different communities, and people, and moments in time.
Major areas of work will include:
- Access to good jobs and training and wages
- Better housing from basic rentals to affording a first home
- Well connected and affordable transportation
- Income supports
- Accessible and affordable daycare
- Medical, dental, and mental health and addictions supports
- Implement Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in all areas including - child welfare, education, health, equity in legal system, and youth programs
- Anti-racism programs
These are only broad themes. We need to hear from Albertans.
Join Alberta’s NDP for a initial conversation on Economic Well-Being For All Albertans on June 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Those with lived experience of poverty are particularly encouraged to participate.