June 14th, 2024

Phillips slams UCP ‘pylon’ budget

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on February 26, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Shannon Phillips is not impressed with the budget handed down Thursday by the provincial government.
The NDP MLA for Lethbridge West Friday reiterated in a phone interview a point she made earlier in the week to The Herald.
“A pylon could balance the budget,” said Phillips, citing the high price of oil.
The MLA said the budget failed Lethbridge on several fronts including no remedy for the doctor shortage in the city, no relief for rising electricity costs, the Highway 3 bridge replacement and no commitment to new schools.
“For Lethbridge, it is jaw-dropping that we got nothing in this budget. This is what happens when you elect Conservatives, our city gets nothing,” said Phillips.
She said the government is increasing property taxes which will put more pressure on Albertans already reeling from rising costs due to inflation.
The government “is not listening to anyone who lives in Lethbridge or southern Alberta,” said Phillips.
Despite a doctor shortage here, Phillips said there is no help for Lethbridge.
“There’s nothing in here for Lethbridge doctors. There’s nothing in here for the post secondary system, for encouraging value-added in agriculture, they have ended the investor tax credit and that was a very successful program for folks in Lethbridge and elsewhere. They slammed the door on economic diversification; their only real plan to diversity is to tear up the mountains and poison our water supply.”
Phillips said Lethbridge should not be part of a program to attract and retain family physicians in rural areas. The Alberta website says the government is earmarking $90 million per year to attract family physicians to practice in rural and remote communities.
“The fact is we need our own purpose-built attraction and retention for a city like ours where the problem is so acute. In our region, they have left 45,000 people without a doctor. That is an astonishing failure to deliver the absolute basics in terms of respect for our public healthcare system,” said the MLA.
The budget contains deep cuts to municipalities which will result in higher property taxes, she said, using policing grants as an example. Those grants are being held flat which means any pressures in growing cities will have to be paid by property taxes, the only other option being to cut police services, said the MLA.
The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College as well the Lethbridge economy are also impacted by the province’s spending on post-secondary education, said the MLA.
What she calls a “devastating amount of…cuts” is being seen in post-secondary education.
Seniors and AISH recipients are going to lose money because their benefits aren’t being indexed to inflation, she said.
“This is a budget that’s high on oil prices but low on help for ordinary people in terms of what people are worried about right now, which is cost of living, healthcare capacity, trust and transparency in government and a focus on diversification, jobs and the economy,” said Phillips.
“On every available score, it fails in that regard. A pylon could balance this budget. All they have to do is sit back and collect oil royalties from very, very high oil prices.”
“What they haven’t done is the part where they listen to Albertans and what’s actually on Albertans minds after two hard years of a pandemic which is their cost of living, jobs and the economy and the enormous constraints that are being felt in the healthcare system,” Phillips added.
“This was essentially their last chance before the election to level with the people of Lethbridge on what they were going to do for us. The answer is ‘nothing.’ They have achieved nothing, they continue to ignore us.”
Phillips said Kenney promised relief for utility bills but it’s only natural gas, not electricity. And that relief is for 2023 and is based on the price of gas increasing almost 50 per cent.
She said the UCP doesn’t reflect what ordinary Albertans on all sides of the political spectrum are looking for in terms of a plan to build Alberta after the pandemic.

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Phillips not happy. Gee…..what a surprise ! Amusing to see how our Mayor views the same budget in a far more positive light, but then he does not dwell in the dark as does the ” opposition”.

Suitable use of your beloved pylon analogy though…Pylons are orange, the NDP are orange, pylons are non-thinking plastic barriers , the NDP …well …draw your own conclusions.

Southern Albertan

“Budget 2022: petroleum prices are up and Alberta’s back on the fiscal rollercoaster”
Read on to see what else is wrong with this budget.


Fiscal responsibility works – Alberta is back to balance! 

We have stopped the NDP’s fiscal trainwreck of runaway spending.

“We will collect roughly $400 million more in annual corporate tax revenue at an eight per cent rate than the previous government did at 12 per cent — which speaks to the incredible investment climate we’ve restored in the last three years.”
blows the greedy corporation ranting.

Re: Letter wanting intervention on utilities. I sympathize as a fellow homeowner but the writer’s frustrations are aimed in the wrong direction. There are two main factors impacting the prices of utilities; the global market and carbon tax. The global part is demand for gas increased as virtue signalling entities like the EU, whose foolish green plan left them freezing in the winter, forcing them to buy gas supplies that were not planned for. Add in the general worldwide government meddling and anti-O&G virtue signalling that has made investment in that industry turn elsewhere, the shutting down of approved projects and more signalling to prevent any further infrastructure and you create a shortage driving up prices. Compounding that is the carbon taxes imposed by the feds (applied to all the stages of production delivery and use). Since the utility companies can only charge consumers the actual price they pay for the product, their profit and only method of recovering the carbon taxes they paid is to pass them onto us in fees. This impacts electricity costs as well due to using NG for generation. The NDP foolishly subsidized electricity rates by paying the difference out of our tax money, it wasn’t free. The answer to affordable utilities is the end to interfering in the free market and the end to carbon taxing. If you think its costly now do the math on a CT that is more than 5x what we have now. And Trudeau doesn’t care.
(The bills we are getting are way too much for the average family. Dipping into savings to pay for heat is a bit rich.)

from the Calgary Sun. We should all thank her and her friends of everything environment