Problems facing Albertans — health care, affordability and building an economy for the future — will not be solved with the proposed sovereignty act which will only create economic uncertainty, says NDP finance critic Shannon Phillips.
“We cannot solve those problems without ensuring that we have a stable business climate. We cannot attract investment this way. We cannot expect companies to want to come here and do business here and create jobs here in that kind of environment,” said Phillips while speaking to reporters in Red Deer on Wednesday.
“Danielle Smith is bad the economy.”
Introduced on Tuesday, Smith’s UCP government says the legislation, called Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act, will be used to fight federal laws or policies that negatively affect Alberta’s interests in areas of provincial jurisdiction, including private property, natural resources, agriculture, firearms, regulation of the economy and delivery of heath, education and other social programs.
Currently, Central Albertans are waiting for construction to begin on the massive $1.8-billion expansion of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. But Phillips said companies from outside Alberta might not want to bid on projects because of the business and investment uncertainty the act will cause.
“If there’s no established rules to the game because they can be overwritten by a capricious premier, who has given herself dictatorial powers through the sovereignty act, then businesses will just take a pass.”
Phillips said the proposed act has already put a chill on investment.
“There’s a reason why investors from around the world, and across the country, around the continent, like Alberta and other jurisdictions like us. It is better to do with business in a place where you know what the rules are. What we have done with the introduction of the sovereignty act is slam the door on all of those folks.
“Let’s make no mistake what the sovereignty act does. It gives Danielle Smith the power to overturn anything.”
On Wednesday, the province clarified that its proposed act would not permit cabinet to unilaterally amend legislation without those amendments being authorized by the legislative assembly.