EDMONTON - Today, NDP Leader Rachel Notley announced her plan to end political interference in Alberta's infrastructure priorities list and protect frontline public services from Jim Prentice's cuts.
"Albertans depend on our schools and hospitals for the high-quality education and health care that matters most to families," said Notley. "But for years, the PCs put their own political interests at the top of the infrastructure list. It's time to end the political games that too often decide when and where shovels hit the ground."
Last year, the Ethics Commissioner found that Jim Prentice's hand-picked and unelected Minister of Education used his office for "blatant political opportunism," awarding modular classrooms to help his election campaign - and Jim Prentice remained silent. It's just the latest example of how the PCs put their best interests ahead of Alberta's families.
Today, Notley announced that the NDP will create a public Infrastructure Sunshine List to show how school and hospital projects are prioritized. She also addressed Jim Prentice's promise to freeze salaries and hiring in schools and hospitals.
"Setting the right priorities isn't just about infrastructure. It's about delivering the public services that matter most to Alberta's families," said Notley. "Jim Prentice actually thinks he can build this province by cutting it down. He could not be more wrong."
INFRASTRUCTURE SUNSHINE LIST
Rachel Notley and the NDP will introduce an Infrastructure Sunshine List to restore transparency and public trust to the prioritization of new schools and hospitals.
- The NDP will introduce a public Infrastructure Sunshine List and end political interference in the prioritization of schools and hospitals.
- The List will indicate how projects are prioritized, including the standards used to make the decisions, and will identify when and how changes are made to those priorities.
- Publishing an Infrastructure Sunshine List will ensure that decisions about new schools and hospitals are made with public oversight and full transparency.
- In October 2014, Gordon Dirks, the unelected Minister of Education hand-picked by Jim Prentice, announced two modular classrooms for a school in Calgary. The decision was announced on October 22, 2014, just days before the by-election in which he was standing as the PC candidate. The decision was posted on his candidate website.
- The Ethics Commissioner ruled that the actions of the Minister of Education amounted to “blatant political opportunism.”
- After the Commissioner’s statement, Jim Prentice remained silent.
- Previously, the Edmonton Journal’s investigation of hospital prioritizations found that 18 hospitals had their ratings changed. As a result, New Democrats asked the Auditor General to investigate. The Auditor General is conducting an audit of the government’s capital planning in 2015-16.