Our NDP’s left­ier than yours is!

Calgary Sun - - COMMENT -

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!

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