Leading up to the Alberta provincial election, AIR 106.1 FM and Discover Airdrie have asked candidates in the ridings of Airdrie-East and Airdrie-Cochrane, a series of questions about topics impacting our ridings.
Each weekday leading up to April 16th we will be posting their written responses to our AIR 106.1 Candidate Question of the Day.
The order in which the candidates responses appear has been chosen at random and will rotate each day. The first answers are for Airdrie-East candidates, the second batch are the Airdrie-Cochrane candidates.
A link will be provided with each response taking you back to the party’s website for more information on their platforms and policies.
The AIR 106.1 Candidate Question of the Day for Thursday April 11th, 2019 is as follows:
Rocky View Schools have seen tremendous growth in the student population, but the infrastructure has not necessarily kept up with that pace. What is your party's plan to address the issue?
Rick Northey – Freedom Conservative Party
“The FCP believes in local decision making and fair funding. School boards should be allowed to come up with their own plans for capital projects based on population and growth. The provincial government should prioritize new schools for the areas that need them most.”
Jeff Olson – Alberta Independence Party
“As an independent nation the $40 billion that is currently sent to Ottawa would amount to approx $36 million dollars that stays here in Alberta for each of the 87 ridings. This $36 million dollars will go towards what each of the ridings sees fit for schools and infrastructure. Keep in mind that all these dollar numbers are based on 86% of the oil prices back in February and March at $50/barrel and the current pipelines we have. With a more robust economy combined with higher oil prices and more pipelines this number will increase dramatically for the nation of Alberta.”
Roxie Baez Zamora – NDP
“Investing in education and supporting our students has been a top priority for Rachel Notley, and we will continue to build and modernize schools to ensure kids have safe, strong, well funded classrooms. We will also continue to fund enrollment growth every year so the 15,000 new students entering our schools every year have the support they need to succeed.”
Richard Herdman – Independent
“Alberta Education needs restructuring and review relative to cities and towns building ...cities require tax revenue and are not at the table in linking those plans with Alberta Education ....planning process needs restructuring”
Alex Luterbach – Alberta Party
“Rocky View Schools has indicated that the need for new schools has reached crisis level. They estimate that Airdrie will require a new school every single year in order to keep up with our population growth. I will make sure that the building of schools in Airdrie will be a top priority, as a new mom this issue hits close to home, and I will stand up to ensure our city has enough schools and enough resources to make sure our children are set up for success.
The UCP is currently pledging to put a freeze on all spending, which in a city like ours this would have a huge negative impact on the quality of education that our children receive. We need a government that is committed to investing in our children, as they only get one chance to get an education. Failing to invest in schools now is only going to make it harder to ensure a bright future for all of Alberta.”
Angela Pitt – United Conservative Party
Rockyview schools is the largest school district outside of Calgary and Edmonton public and Catholic and needs at least 2 new schools announced every year to keep up with growth. Unfortunately, under the NDP, RVS was not a priority and no new schools were announced. A United Conservative government will prioritize spending for new school builds, work with the school board and get some much needed schools built here in Airdrie and area. Our kids deserve it.
Matthew Morrisey – Freedom Conservative Party
“The FCP is committed to equally funding all certified public, private, separate, and home schooled students. Once this happens it will allow parents more choice in their school. By equally funding private school students, it opens up spaces in those schools that were only accessible by the more wealthy Albertans, as well giving stay at home parents the ability to offer home school students equal education opportunities as their public school counterparts.”
Danielle Cameron – Alberta Independence Party
“We project a 15 billion dollar surplus per year on a balanced budget with no cuts to services or social programs. With a 15 billion/year surplus, the people and stakeholders will decide which services and/or programs can be better. Schools will get additional funding to reduce classroom sizes, hire teachers and resource workers. We will ensure student funding goes with the student when students transfer schools. Each student gets $12,500 per year currently.
We will ensure 100 percent funding for ALL schools public/private who meet the common sense ‘Oath of Rights and Freedoms’.”
Steve Durrell - NDP
“Over the last 4 years, Rachel has built or modernized over 200 schools with another 20 committed to this year. That includes 5 new schools in Airdrie and 2 in Cochrane. We will continue to build schools and hire teachers and staff for them to keep pace with growth. It makes no sense to build the schools if you don't fund enrollment for the new kids, which is why we are committed to funding enrollment.”
Vern Raincock – Alberta Party
“The Alberta party will ensure that a sustainable funding formula will be set for school boards by the end of 2019 so local needs can be prioritized and met in a timely manner. The Alberta party announced the provision of additional teachers assistants as well as our Children First Plan.
An Alberta Party government will double the number of educational assistants in Alberta’s K- 12 classrooms with a major boost in funding for inclusive education. This means more support in the classroom so every child can have an enhanced learning experience.
Far more lower and middle-income families will receive financial support to cover the costs of licensed child care through a new voucher program. The voucher can be used at any licensed child care and will provide a subsidy of up to 100% of the costs of a child care cost (up to established regional maximums). The voucher will “follow the child”, putting decision-making in the hands of families rather than the government. This accommodates differences in childcare costs between care providers. Children up to age 6 will be covered. The subsidy will be income-tested using a sliding scale calculation.”
Peter Guthrie – United Conservative Party
“A strong education system is fundamental to the UCP because it is the backbone of a strong economy. The first thing a UCP government will do is order an immediate audit of class sizes to determine what happened to previous funding dedicated to class size reduction. It is astonishing how the NDP put money forward to fix a problem and then it was never fixed. An audit will not only identify why this happened, but give recommendations on how to fix it. This will give a UCP government a good plan forward to deal with the school infrastructure issue.
We will continue to build new schools to keep up with the expected growth as our economy turns around. But when we build those new schools we will do so in a way that prepares for the future, not student amounts from the past. We will make these decisions judiciously to ensure the backbone of our economy is supported.”