Our NDP’s leftier than yours is!
You know you’re really far left when you are further left than the new NDP government in B.C., and Alberta’s Notley government is even further left than the new Horgan government in Victoria.
Sure, sure, Rachel Notley and her crew say good things about building pipelines, while B.C. Premier John Horgan and his gang are adamantly opposed. So on that point, our New Democrats sound less radical than B.C.’s.
But given that Notley’s positive pipeline talk (plus billions in carbon taxes and environmental spending) has gotten just as many pipeline projects started (i.e. NONE) as Horgan’s anti-pipe bombast, I would say the two NDP governments are tied on this issue.
And the two seem tied on other environmental issues, too.
Notley is shutting all of Alberta’s coal-fired power plants a decade early at a cost of nearly $4 billion to taxpayers and electricity customers, without a meaningful plan for what hundreds of coal workers and a handful of mining towns are supposed to do to survive.
Meanwhile, the Horgan government is rushing to cancel the Site C dam, an $8.8-billion megaproject in northeast B.C. that currently employs 2,400 mostly skilled workers during construction and could provide cheap, emissions-free power for a generation.
However, on two fundamental issues with widespread impacts on their respective economies — minimum wage and public debt — our New Dems blow away B.C.’s New Dems in the race to out-lefty one another.
On Oct. 1, Alberta’s minimum wage will rise to $13.60 an hour. At the current $12.20, it’s already the highest minimum wage of any province. (When it reaches $13.60, it will also surpass the minimums in all three territories, too.)
Even after a 50-cent rise on Thursday, B.C.’s minimum hourly pay will still be just $11.35, which means by the beginning of next month, Alberta’s minimum will be a full 20% higher than NDP B.C.’s.
But here’s the proof our NDP are even wackier than their colleagues on the Left Coast.
The B.C. NDP campaigned in their recent provincial election on raising their minimum to $15 by 2020, but since being sworn in they have backed away from that pledge out of fear that such a dramatic, rapid increase would cost jobs and end up hurting poor British Columbians more than it helps. Not our NDP! Nope. Our dogmatic, zealous, ideological New Democrats are continuing, full steam ahead.
Even the Ontario Liberal provincial government, who our New Democrats have emulated on so many clueless economic and environmental initiatives, appear to be softening their stance to go to $15 an hour because they were told by their own independent financial accountability office that going from their current $11.40 to $15 would cost 50,000 jobs.
The Ontario calculations also showed that only onequarter of the benefit of a higher minimum wage goes to low-income households. Most benefits go to students working part-time and indirectly to union workers, whose unions negotiate higher wages to keep them well-above minimum.
On accumulated debt, too, our NDP make B.C.’s NDP look positively hard-right.
In a revised budget released on Monday, the new B.C. government said it would accumulate an extra $6.9 billion in total provincial debt by 2020 — three budget years from now. That’s the same amount of new debt the Alberta NDP will rack up in the first eight months of this fiscal year. Eight months versus 36 months.
And the Notley government gets bonus lefty points for that fact that it inherited a government that was already spending more than B.C. and now spends almost $2,700 more per capita per year.
WINNER!!! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! Alberta NDP!