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    Categories: Provincial Election

Where the parties stand on key issues

PC PLATFORM

Health

Focus on regional decision-making by establishing eight to 10 operating districts

Improve safety standards with more monitoring, auditing and ensuring compliance

Review largest hospitals to improve efficiencies through acute-care hospital benchmarking

Reduce wait times by investing in additional continuing-care spaces, expanding some emergency departments and allow health-care professionals to do more

Education

Invest in early childhood development and add three new Parent Link Centres

Support student success through curriculum and grading changes, lowering diploma exam weighting, and more dual-credit partnerships

Invest in teachers by preserving front-line positions and investing in more training

Improve post-secondary access with enhanced financial aid and long-term funding

Finances

Balance budget by 2017 with a combination of reduced government expenses, raised revenues and using the contingency fund

Bring public service costs in line with the national average by cutting costs in all ministries

Gradually increase taxes on individuals in the highest tax bracket; royalty rates and corporate taxes rates will remain unchanged

NDP PLATFORM

Health

Ensure a stable and secure budget for health-care services, reverse PC cuts and reverse the health-care levy

Create 2,000 long-term care beds over four years to improve care and reduce congestion

Eliminate health infrastructure backlog by repairing facilities and constructing new ones needed

Education

Reverse cuts and ensure stable, predictable funding for school boards, colleges and universities

Invest to reduce class sizes in the K-12 system, reduce school fees, and build the new schools needed to reduce class sizes and improve learning conditions

Phase in all-day kindergarten and a school lunch program for elementary students

Tuition freeze for post-secondary students

Finances

Balance the budget by 2018

Increase corporate tax rates from 10 per cent to 12 per cent

Albertans earning more than $125,000 will pay progressively higher taxes, up to 15 per cent on income of more than $300,000

Roll back increases to user fees, reverse cuts to charitable donation tax credit

WILDROSE PLATFORM

Health

Create a patient-centred health care funding model, allowing funding to follow the patient to the provider of their choice

Reduce wait times by reducing bureaucracy and implementing a wait-time guarantee that would allow Albertans to get necessary surgeries elsewhere if wait times are too long

Gradually decentralize decision-making and allow patients easier access to their health records

Education

Build schools on time and on budget, approving new schools and modernizations in a consistent, transparent way, and empower local school boards

Get back to basics with curriculum and grading, developing a provincial standard for letter or percentage grades in grades five through 12

Eliminate mandatory school fees, protect a parent’s choice of schools, ensure adequate funding for special needs students, and support a bully-free experience for all students

Finances

Balance the budget by 2017 without new taxes or cuts to front line services, investing half of all surpluses into the Heritage Fund

Cut waste in the government by reducing the number and pay of managers and shrinking cabinet

Negotiate a new equalization program to keep more money in Alberta

Implement tax incentives to stimulate research and investment without government interference

LIBERAL PLATFORM

Health

Lower surgery and emergency room wait times and improve access to primary care by investing in multi-disciplinary medical teams

Reduce administrative costs and prioritize resources for front-line workers

Invest in mental health and addictions with early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation

Create more long-term care beds to free up hospital space

Education

Build every school on the priority list

Phase out school fees, including transportation costs

Hire more teachers, reduce class sizes, and build schools as community hubs

Reduce tuition fees for post-secondary students, and ease student debt by providing more grants and bursaries

Finances

Introduce a progressive personal income tax system that reduces tax on the first $50,000 earned to 9.5 per cent and up to 15 per cent on amounts of more than $250,000

Raise corporate tax rate to 12 per cent, and eliminate taxes on small businesses

Redirect remaining Carbon Capture and Storage funding to front-line government services

Reverse the cuts to the charitable donation tax credit

ALBERTA PARTY PLATFORM

Health

Reverse cuts to healthcare and guarantee funding that matches population growth and inflation

Reduce costs by investing in long-term care beds to free up acute care space, and reduce costs in acute care system by investing in preventative care

Invest in critical health infrastructure projects

Improve access to mental health and addiction treatment

Education

Reverse cuts to education and guarantee per-student funding to match growth and inflation, while phasing out school fees

Invest in new schools to keep pace with population growth and reduce subsidies to private schools that do not serve the public interest

Cap tuition increase to the rate of inflation and reduce student debt by increasing access to needs-based grants

Finances

Balance the budget over six years

Replace the flat tax with a progressive personal income tax system and raise the corporate tax rate by one per cent, while phasing out small-business taxes

Mandate 50 per cent of resource revenues are saved in the Heritage Fund, and mandate 100 per cent of surpluses are used to pay down debt or invested in the Heritage Fund

– Compiled from information available on the five parties’ websites.

Doug Neuman: