Members of the Alberta NDP were in Airdrie on Monday, March 6 to talk about the 2023 provincial budget and Alberta's energy sector. 

Alberta NDP Energy Critic Kathleen Ganley talked about how Danielle Smith presented her first and hopefully her last budget. The budget itself is more of a smokescreen than anything else. 

"When will we hear about her plans to put Albertan's pensions at risk? After the budget. When will we hear about the risky and costly Alberta police force? After the election." 

Ganley also talked about Smith's plans on handing out $20 billion in royalty credits to private companies to clean up wells they are already legally obligated to clean up as a condition of their drilling license. 

"Danielle Smith lobbied for this royalty program before she became Premier; she advocated for it during the UCP leadership race, and she also swapped out a UCP Energy Minister who opposed it." 

The Premier is pushing this idea despite criticism from Scotiabank, rural municipalities of Alberta, economists, experts and people across the province explained Ganley. 

NDP Candidate for Airdrie-East, Dan Nelles then spoke about the budget and if the UCP was reelected how Airdrie will be affected by it. 

"Airdrie residents are left wondering what this premier has in store for their future. If Danielle Smith forces through her Alberta police force plan, Airdrie residents could face an additional $3,000 on their property tax bills over the six-year transition. If Danielle Smith withdraws Alberta from the Canada Pension Plan, countless Airdrie seniors can say goodbye to their retirement security." 

According to Nelles, unfunded end-of-life liabilities in Alberta's energy sector are one of the biggest policy failures of every conservative government since the 1970s. 

"She has a plan for yet another UCP corporate handout to encourage her friends and insiders to do something that they're already legally obligated to do." 

Nelles went on to talk about the lack of support for Airdrie's health care and the lack of help. 

"We all know that if you call 9-1-1 in Airdrie, an ambulance may not arrive. Documents obtained by the Alberta NDP last year showed that ambulances in Airdrie, Chestermere Cochrane and Strathmore have been dispatched to Calgary more than 30,000 times in just three years." 

Nelles even called out the Airdrie MLAs Angela Pitt and Peter Guthrie. 

"It's a shame that while Airdrie residents face these chronic issues, their MLAs Angela Pitt and Peter Guthrie have got nothing to say. In fact, instead of looking out for Airdrie's interests, Peter Guthrie, the UCP Energy Minister, is one of the biggest cheerleaders for Danielle Smith's plot to handle $20 billion to her friends and insiders." 

With the election coming up just around the corner, Nelles did mention Airdronians and Albertans have a choice to make. 

"The people of Airdrie and across Alberta can elect representatives and may who put their interests first. They can elect an Alberta NDP government led by Rachel Notley that will deliver better health care, better support for education, actual schools, and so much more." 

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