Home Canada Danielle Smith promises cheques, tax holiday, utility rebates

Danielle Smith promises cheques, tax holiday, utility rebates

by News Desk
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Edmonton –

Alberta’s premier is drowning in the state’s surplus to help those struggling with the rising cost of living with rebates, tax breaks and checks for families, seniors and the disabled.

Danielle Smith made the announcement Tuesday in a nine-minute pre-recorded speech that aired on the 6:00 p.m. news program.

She did not take questions from journalists, nor did she say how much the new initiative would cost the state Treasury Department.

Smith began his remarks by accusing the liberal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of causing inflation.

“The severity of this crisis is largely due to years of record spending and debt by Ottawa’s federal government, and a series of ongoing backlashes that are pushing up prices for fuel, electricity, heating, food and everything else. It’s caused by a combination with our energy policy, otherwise we’d have to live and raise our families,” Smith said.

“As a province, we cannot solve this inflation crisis on our own. However, with our strong financial position and balanced budget, we are making significant strides to ensure Alberta and its families can weather this storm. We can provide relief.”

Smith then outlined nine initiatives, some of which were previously announced. She called them “first steps” to provide inflation relief.

Inflation relief law:

  • $600 for each child under the age of 18 and each senior citizen over a period of 6 months to parents (household income less than $180,000)
  • $600 for 6 months for AISH, Income Support and PDD recipients
  • Suspend entire state fuel tax for at least six months
  • Index all local tax brackets back to 2022
  • Index AISH, PDD, Elderly Benefits, Alberta Child and Family Benefits and Income Assistance Program (Starting January)
  • Offer $200 per household as a consumer electricity bill rebate (January to April)
  • curb the surge in electricity bills in winter
  • Continuation of natural gas rebate program
  • Invest in food banks and transit passes for low-income people

“Better Health Care for Albertans”

Smith also spoke for a few minutes about ongoing efforts to improve Alberta’s healthcare system.

Last week, she replaced Dr. Deena Hinshaw as Chief Medical Officer for Health and laid off 11 board members at Alberta Health Services.

Dr. Mark Joffe will take over Hinshaw on an interim basis, and Dr. John Cowell will act as system administrator.

In his speech, Smith promised to increase medical staff in emergency rooms, make prescription filling more convenient, and expand non-hospital “alternative medicine” options.

She also hopes to reduce the number of ambulances waiting to transfer patients to facilities, by using “specialized surgery centers” and “underutilized” rural hospitals and operating rooms. , promises to complete more surgeries and reduce wait times.

Health Care Action Plan:

  • Reduce time in the emergency waiting room
  • Improve ambulance response time
  • Reduce waiting time for surgery

“Of course, this will take time and patience, but I am confident it will bring better healthcare to the people of Alberta when and where they need it most,” Smith said.

On Friday, one of Smith’s dismissed board members said: scathing open letter accused her of abusive and divisive attacks mixed with “distorted” anti-scientific beliefs.

“[Albertans]are entitled to a governance based on principle, respecting dignity and encouraging public confidence,” wrote Tony D’Agnone.

“The current Prime Minister is defying all these aspirations as he spews outlandish accusations against the Alberta Health Service and its precious workforce.”

“Bureaucracy and vote-buying black holes”

Smith also provided a brief update on her proposed sovereignty law, calling it “Alberta sovereignty within uniform Canadian law” on Tuesday.

The controversial bill she promised while running for United Conservative Party leader was called “dangerous and damaging” on Friday by the heads of Treaty 6, 7 and 8 who have vowed to fight the act. It was

UCP’s MLAs also spoke out against the action in the leadership race, with former party leader Jason Kenny calling it “cockamey” and “Alberta’s suicidal act” in his final days in office.

Smith, however, backed the idea, saying it would bring the country “more united than ever before”.

“Canada is our home and Canadians are family. But the federal government’s treatment of the provinces, especially Alberta, is unacceptable,” the Prime Minister said in his speech.

“The government of Ottawa deliberately and systematically seeks to control and regulate all aspects of the state’s economic, resource and social programs. , pouring into a black hole of bureaucracy and voting-purchase arrangements elsewhere in the country.”

Smith also referenced the recent criticism she faced.

When a Chiefs panel was asked by CTV News Edmonton about claiming to have indigenous ancestry last week, the indigenous room burst into laughter.

And on Monday, Smith was slammed by the NDP in a 2021 video in which she suggested Albertans pay their own money to see a doctor.

“I am far from perfect and I know I make mistakes…I am no longer a talk show host or a media commentator.”

“When I am wrong or make a mistake, I try to follow the example of my late dear friend Prime Minister Ralph Klein. Admit it, learn from it and get back to work. That is Alberta. because of the way of

“We didn’t buy it”: NDP

Smith’s promise on Tuesday was nothing more than a false promise and the undoing of a “bad” UCP decision, NDP leader Rachel Notley said shortly after the announcement.

“A decision that has cost Alberta more than $2 billion to date. We don’t buy it. Neither should you.” Notley said in her own speech Streamed live from Calgary.

“Many people don’t remember, but six months before the last election, the UCP voted to increase interests in fragile Alberta, but broke that promise within weeks of taking office. .

Notley argues that Smith’s 2021 medical comments are evidence that she believes Albertans should pay for their medical bills “out of their own pocket.”

“The Alberta NDP Government is committed to ending the chaos. We will rebuild public health care so that communities will always have access to nurses, doctors or paramedics when they need it.” she said.

The NDP has pledged to reverse cuts to programs such as AISH, Elderly Benefits, Child and Family Benefits, and Income Assistance. Notley also pledged to help Alberta cut gas, food and school fees.

University of Calgary political scientist Lisa Young said Smith’s plan has something for everyone.

“I think retroactive de-indexing of income tax rates means everyone ends up getting a little bit richer, and high-income earners will really benefit,” Young said.

“If state gas taxes were eliminated, certainly drivers would benefit. So it’s broad and targeted. It’s certainly going to be a lot of money, but it’s going to help the affordability crisis. I will have her say that I am taking action for her.”

With the UCP trailing the NDP in several polls, Young said it wouldn’t be surprising for Smith to make the announcement ahead of the spring election.

Using files from CTV News Calgary Michael Franklin and The Canadian Press

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