September 1st, 2015 marked one hundred days since the NDP formed government. One hundred days ago the cabinet was sworn in on the steps of the legislature, in front of thousands of Albertans who had voted for change.
So much can happen in one hundred days and so much of it is thanks to your tireless support over the course of a historic election. Those campaign promises you worked so hard to share with neighbours and friends, they have formed our government’s mandate. Three of them formed our first pieces of legislation:
- We promised to ban union and corporate donations - which we did with the (unanimous!) passing of An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta.
- We promised to increase corporate taxes and to ask wealthy Albertans to contribute just a little bit more - which we did with the passing of An Act to Restore Fairness to Public Revenue.
- We promised to restore funding to our health and education systems - which we did with the passing of the Interim Supply Act.
In addition to that, in the last one hundred days we struck two critical panels that will provide our government with recommendations that will help guide our next four years of policy. The Climate Leadership Discussions are looking at how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Royal Review panel is also talking to Albertans as they review the province’s royalty structure.
We have struck a more collegial tone within the legislature on issues of democracy and health: for instance, we struck an all-party committee to review ethics in the legislature and asked MLAs Dr. David Swann and Danielle Larivee to co-lead a review of the province’s mental health services.
We have stood for justice. Refusing to save money on the backs of our children, we restored $100 million in education funding. And, in the legislature I stood before my colleagues and Indigenous leaders to publicly apologize that the Alberta government did not stand up against residential schools. It was an emotional day for me as I added our voice to the call for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.
It is early days and while there is so much left to do, we are committed to thoughtful planning. For instance, we are taking our time during a very difficult economic downturn, to get this budget right. And, very shortly, we expect a report from former Bank of Canada governor, David Dodge, on a five-year infrastructure plan that takes the politics out of building our roads, hospitals and schools.
In one hundred days we have fulfilled a number of critical election promises that we made to Albertans. And, we have set a path that will lead us to fulfilling many more.
Thank you for your trust in me and in our government.
Thank you for your patience as this last hundred days has been a transition for everyone.
Thank you for your support. Our shared values keep me energized for the next many hundreds of days.
Leader of Alberta's New Democrats