Affordability Tops Albertans’ Concerns

Affordable Housing

With Albertans looking for relief from escalating inflation, United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership candidates have pitched an assortment of remedies to help make life more affordable. 

Rajan Sawhney has proposed handing out inflation relief cheques and reducing taxes for small businesses. Brian Jean would like to reduce transmission and distribution charges on electricity bills. Danielle Smith has said that she would look at ways to ease the rising costs of gas, diesel, and electricity. 

Travis Toews favours making fuel and natural gas relief permanent, replacing the two-step driver’s license with a one-step license, introducing a $2,000 tax credit per child and inflation-proofing personal taxes and benefits. 

“The best way to help with affordability is to ensure Alberta attracts job-creators so we can all earn a good living,” Toews said. “Alberta now has a low unemployment rate and is poised for the biggest GDP rebound of any province in Canada. I’m committed to keeping our recovery on track. But I know too many Albertans are not yet benefitting from this turnaround and need help making ends meet.”

Inflation is currently so high on the list of electoral priorities that it has replaced healthcare, the economy, and issues related to the energy sector as the primary problem most Albertans want their politicians to fix. 

Affordability will likely remain top of mind until the May 2023 provincial election. The winner of the UCP leadership contest will have to confront NDP leader Rachel Notley, who is making affordability one of her key issues.

Inflation in Canada has been surging for many months now, and as a consequence, the Bank of Canada has been steadily increasing interest rates to curb demand. While Alberta’s inflation rate of 7.1% is lower than other provinces, because of gas relief measures undertaken by the Government, it is far beyond the Bank’s 2-3% target rate. 

Jurisdictions around the world are contending with soaring inflation as a result of generous federal monetary policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain bottlenecks, and high energy prices as a result of soaring demand and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Some, but not all, candidates in the UCP leadership race have a plan for abortion:

Danielle Smith Examination of rising costs of gas, diesel, and electricity
Brian Jean Examination of transmission and distribution charges on electricity bills
Rajan SawhneyInflation relief cheques and tax reductions for small businesses
Travis ToewsMaking the fuel and natural gas relief payments permanent, switching to a one-step drivers’ license system, introducing a $2,000 tax credit per child 
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