MLA Discusses Referendum Questions with Constituents

MLA Discusses Referendum Questions with Constituents

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk

For the second consecutive week, I have some positive economic news to share with you. The good news keeps rolling in when it comes to our Alberta Recovery Plan. First, I want to touch on the two referendum questions our government wants input from Albertans on, equalization, and daylight savings time.

I will start with daylight savings time because that question is not discussed as much as equalization and my office has received some inquiries on that so I would like to explain that the best I can. If you vote no on the DST question, you are telling our government you are okay changing your clocks twice a year. However, if you vote yes, the message is you would like to see our province stay on DST all year round. To put it in the simplest of terms, a “yes” vote means you would like Alberta and Saskatchewan to be on the same time zone all year. Our government will not make this decision unilaterally. Part of our election platform is putting more power in your hands.

When it comes to Canada’s equalization system, Albertans have been frustrated by the formula for many years, but now more than ever it’s important we make our voices heard. Alberta is fighting for economic recovery after years of low commodity prices and disastrous economic policies, and we are starting to see some very positive signs of growth. But the Equalization system continues to disproportionately pull money out of provinces like Alberta to send to provinces like Quebec – a province that has collected more than $80 billion in Equalization since 2015, despite running multiple budget surpluses. During this same time, Alberta has collected zero dollars from the system, despite facing steep economic challenges. Quebec collects our money, balances their budget, and opposes pipelines that would benefit Alberta. Make your voice heard on October 18.

We also continue to see stronger evidence that the Alberta Recovery Plan is working. According to Statistics Canada, 19,600 jobs were added in September. Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer told us last week that this means all jobs lost due to the pandemic have been recovered. The momentum is real!