Are Alberta’s NDP benefiting Albertans?

It’s almost six months since Rachel Notley and her NDP government took office. I thought it was time to rate their performance. True to her word, she has implemented several of her campaign promises. Will Albertans benefit?

It’s almost six months since Rachel Notley and her NDP government took office. I thought it was time to rate their performance. True to her word, she has implemented several of her campaign promises. Will Albertans benefit?

It took Rachel little time to introduce new minimum wage legislation. That’s good news if you’re earning minimum wage. The new legislation says that your employer must pay you a minimum of $15 an hour.

The government of Alberta has no business in determining what an employer pays their employees. If I understand this correctly, minimum wage was never intended to provide financial independence. Minimum wage is for employees entering the workforce for the first time or employees who are leaving the workforce as full-time workers but are interested in part-time work. Minimum wage earners are a very small percentage of the workforce. Yet all of us will be adversely affected by this 50 per cent wage hike.

As with her minimum wage legislation, Rachel wasted no time increasing taxes to corporations and high-income earners. Alberta, Canada’s economic driver, is fighting for its very survival. Budgets are being slashed and the fallout leaves hundreds and thousands with reduced wages or no job at all.

Before our government has the right to request 20 per cent more in taxes, they need to look in the mirror. Rachel suggests that she received a mandate six months ago for increased taxation. She is well aware that her party won the election because Jim Prentice unwittingly suggested that Albertans were to blame for Alberta’s current state of affairs. Taxes kill economies.

Last year provided the new government with a$ 500 million surplus and Rachel quickly reversed the Tory cuts to health and education. Our current systems are unsustainable. It’s time to rethink and reshape the way we do things. The oil industry will have to reinvent itself and so will health and education. Most assume that oil will rebound quickly as it has in the past. Low-priced oil is here for the long haul. A government keen on spending its way through this downturn leaves massive debt for our future generations.

Our new government is taking us down the wrong path. I believe Rachel has the best intentions in mind, but best intentions are not necessarily the right ones. Alberta needs to prepare for some very tough times. Albertans require a savvy government that can think outside the box. Increasing the minimum wage benefits only a few and negatively impacts everyone. Increased taxation and increased spending in an economy that is shrinking makes no sense at all.

Jerry Van Hemert

Red Deer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read