2023 Alberta Election Platforms

May 25, 2023
By: cpawsstaff

Leading up to the 2023 Alberta Provincial Election on May 29th, we have gone through party platforms and pulled out commitments related to key conservation and environment issues in Alberta. Coal, land-use planning, protected areas, wildlife management, water conservation, recreation management, forest management, and resource development are issues we have kept an eye on during this election period. In addition to publicly highlighting and providing context to these issues, we have sent letters detailing these issues to the United Conservative Party (UCP), the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Alberta Party, the Liberal Party, and the Green Party.* Platform commitments based on what has been provided from each party’s website has been compiled for you below based on area of concern. 

* From these letters, we have only received a response from the NDP (as of May 25th, 2023). The response we received from that correspondence will be italicized
. 

Where to Find Each Party’s Platform Commitments

Commitments on Coal Policy 

United Conservative Party 

No mention of coal policy in platform 

New Democratic Party

We will protect our mountains by law, and pass the Eastern Slopes Protection Act, which will ban coal mining projects in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas 

Alberta Party 

No mention of coal policy in platform 

Liberal Party 

No mention of coal policy in platform 

Green Party 

End immediately coal exploration in Alberta and particularly in the Eastern Slopes to protect our watershed from selenium contamination 

Commitments on Land Use Planning 

United Conservative Party 

  • Bringing stakeholders together to develop an integrated and streamlined Crown Lands recreation and conservation policy that expands Albertans’ ability to enjoy our province’s beauty, in a responsible way that protects our natural spaces for generations to come 
  • Enabling the expansion of trails, campsites, and other opportunities on public lands by entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations 

New Democratic Party

  • Support employment, land management, and environmental monitoring programs with Indigenous Nations and communities by investing $5 million over three years 
  • Engage Albertans & Indigenous peoples to assess current regional & land-use planning activities for effectiveness given emerging environmental pressures & cumulative effects 
  • Advance solutions identified in the Truth & Reconciliation Report 
  • Work with Indigenous Communities to ensure their spiritual and cultural connection to land continues to be constitutionally recognized & legally protected 
  • Will engage not-for-profit & private landholders to conservate headwaters, grasslands & river valleys 
  • Support conservation on Crown lands & activities including land trust partnerships with ranchers 

Alberta Party 

Crop and animal sciences supports for yield improvement, climate resistance, technology innovation & sustainability initiatives like irrigation and land management improvements  

Liberal Party 

Funding all watershed councils to develop land-use planning documents mention of coal policy in platform 

Green Party 

  • Promote urban density and sustainable land use 
  • Subsidies for sustainable farming practices (e.g. methane reduction feed, eco-agriculture, organic farming) 
  • Eliminate RSTAR (Liability Management Incentive Program), enforcement of polluter pay law & implementation of stronger regulations for right balance between responsible resource development & environmental protection 

Commitments on Parks & Protected Areas

United Conservative Party 

  • Implement a Tourism Strategy with goal of doubling tourism spending in AB to $20 billion by 2030 
  • Adding an additional $5 million for K-country trail improvements in 2024 
  • Building more campgrounds and trails across Alberta 
  • Develop more than 900 new campsites and several new locations for comfort camping over the next 10 years 

New Democratic Party

  • Improve access to Alberta Parks & services
    • Cancel K-Pass 
    • Fund infrastructure for new trails, campsites, etc. (additional $40 million in parks and public land infrastructure totaling $250 million over 3 years)
  • Strengthen & guard AB’s parks system 
    • Updated Parks Act to prevent delisting & selling parks 
    • $5 million over 3 years to support employment, land management, & environmental monitoring programs with Indigenous Nations & communities 
    • Increase matching funds for the AB Land Trust Grant Program ($25 million over 3 years) to provide incentive to farmers ranchers, landowners, & others to conserve more land & headwaters 

Alberta Party 

No mention of protected areas in platform 

Liberal Party 

Expand protected areas to cover 30% of Alberta by 2030 and 50% by 2050

Green Party 

  • Make provincial parks accessible by removing user fees, such as the controversial park pass in Kananaskis County for day-use activities 
  • Make Indigenous communities active partners in preserving and protecting watersheds, natural environments, and prime agriculture lands 

Commitments on Wildlife Management

United Conservative Party 

No mention of wildlife in platform 

New Democratic Party

No mention of wildlife in platform 

Alberta Party 

No mention of protected areas in platform 

Liberal Party 

No mention of wildlife in platform 

Green Party 

  • Enforce and strengthen regulations protecting natural areas and wildlife corridors, and support restoration of degraded habitats 
  • Restrict the use of pesticides and herbicides that harm pollinators, including bees and butterflies, which are essential to the reproduction of many plants 
  • Identify, monitor, and act on expert recommendations to conserve the habitats of keystone species such as wolves and grizzlies 

Commitments on Water Conservation

United Conservative Party 

No mention of water on platform website 

New Democratic Party

No mention of water on platform website

  • Create Alberta Water Stewardship Group for Eastern Slopes  
  • To advise on regional planning, water allocation decisions 
  • Include Indigenous membership & support communication with Indigenous rights holders 

 

Alberta Party 

No mention of water on platform website 

Liberal Party 

  • Greater scrutiny of projects with large impacts on water usage.  
  • Reducing the amount of freshwater used in fracking.  
  • Implementing mandatory baseline groundwater testing where hydraulic fracturing has been used.  
  • Opposing interbasin water transfers in all but the most extreme circumstances 
  • Greater transparency in reporting of contamination incidents such as the recent toxic tailings pond releases 
  • Better monitoring of water quality downstream of industry 

Green Party 

  • Guarantee water resources remain in public hands, rather than privatized for corporate gain 
  • Strengthen regulation of the fossil fuel and agricultural industries to prevent contamination and hold polluters accountable 
  • Prioritize remediation of contaminated sources, especially in Indigenous communities which are disproportionately affected 

Commitments on Recreation Management

Party 

Platform 

United Conservative Party 

Developing the Crown land recreation & conservation strategy (mentioned in Land Use Planning section) 

New Democratic Party

  • Improve access to Alberta Parks & services 
    • Cancel K-Pass 
    • Fund infrastructure for new trails, campsites, etc. (additional $40 million in parks and public land infrastructure totaling $250 million over 3 years) 

Alberta Party 

No mention of recreation in platform 

Liberal Party 

No mention of recreation in platform 

Green Party 

No mention of recreation in platform 

Commitments on Forest Management

United Conservative Party 

Expand the Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit to forestry and other areas, develop programs similar to the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program for more capital-intensive technologies, and expand the Feeder Assistance Loan Guarantee to $3 million. These measures will help to continue to attract major investments to the province, further helping grow and diversify Alberta’s economy and attract and create jobs  

New Democratic Party

No mention of forestry in platform 

Alberta Party 

No mention of forestry in platform 

Liberal Party 

No mention of forestry in platform 

Green Party 

  • Enhance prescribed burning, an effective way of reducing fuel loads and controlling wildfire spreads, using Indigenous traditional knowledge to guide and enhance our application of enhanced burning 
  • Promote safer forest harvesting, regulating practices better to require removal of leftover debris 

Commitments on Responsible Resource Development

United Conservative Party 

  • Committed to continuing to set own ‘made in Alberta’ policies to managed environment & natural resources while focusing on unique needs of Albertans & industries 
  • Double the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) loan capacity to $2 billion and further expand the types of projects that are eligible 

New Democratic Party

  • Improve AB’s Environmental Regulatory System  
  • Environmental regulatory assurance, oversight, & monitoring across government 

Alberta Party 

  • Increasing the annual minimum spending targets for site reclamation activities, increasing the number of jobs for oil & gas professionals 
  • Enforcing existing Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) “due diligence” for inactive wellsite cleanup with a “shared responsibility” approach 
  • Providing tax incentives to encourage innovative practices that reduce environmental impacts or create opportunities to drive down costs 

Liberal Party 

Make sure polluters pay and the well sites are cleaned up on the industry’s dime rather than on the taxpayers.

Green Party 

  • No new approvals for oil, gas, or coal projects across Alberta and institute a ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) 
  • Enforce regulations to make polluters clean up the messes they create and pay sizable fines, and resolve the harm done to the health and safety of Albertans and the environment by the incapable AER 
  • Replace the privately incorporated and industry-captive AER with review boards that work in the public interest and are truly independent from the industries they’re regulating 
  • Scrap the RStar giveaway 
  • Follow the example of Peter Lougheed and increase royalties in resource development 
  • Introduce a cap on excess profits from resource development and distribute the benefits of oil and gas industry profits more evenly, fund mitigation of its harms, and ensure all Albertans enjoy a good standard of living 
  • Create government-funded programs to put unemployed riggers and idle equipment to work cleaning up the legacy infrastructure left behind by the energy industry 
  • Require the full consent of impacted Indigenous communities in development and natural resource projects, and subject projects to revenue-sharing and co-management with these communities 

Commitments on Energy and Climate Change 

United Conservative Party 

  • Work to axe the carbon tax altogether 
  • Continue to cultivate a hydrogen economy based on Hydrogen roadmap 

New Democratic Party

No additional commitments in the platform 

Alberta Party 

  • Repatriating the carbon tax and replacing it with a ‘Made in Alberta’ cost of carbon aligned with the royalty framework tied to production rates 
  • Expanding and enhancing federal incentives for energy efficiency measures of heating and cooling to low-carbon solutions (like ground source heat pumps or hydrogen for space heating) and renovating existing provincial government buildings to increase energy efficiency 
  • Supporting investments to make Alberta a leader in alternate energy technology like low emissions hydrogen, ethanol/Biomass fuels, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, small scale nuclear power (Small Modular Reactor – SMR), and other emerging low carbon energy sources 
  • Promote incentives for greenhouses to leverage new forms of Green Energy production being simultaneously developed in Alberta (e.g., geothermal in old well bores, solar, wind) to diversify the energy market and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Modernize the transmission grid and remove barriers to inhibit renewable energy source expansion 
  • Work with the province’s electrical power distributors to establish a deadline for installing bi-directional smart meters for all connections to the power grid. 

Liberal Party 

  • Support creation of ‘Made in Alberta’ carbon tax 
  • Creating a business and regulatory environment that allows renewable energy to grow and thrive. We will invest in research that helps make these projects more economical and promote greater competition in energy supply to help drive costs down for consumers 

Green Party 

  • In line with the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reach peak emissions by 2025 and reduce to 60% of 2019 levels by 2034  
  • Decarbonize electricity production by replacing coal and gas power plants with low carbon sources like solar, wind, and green hydrogen 
  • Promote active and public transportation alternatives while continuing the transition from internal combustion engines to electric equivalents 
  • Mandate sustainable construction and fund retrofits to improve the energy efficiency of existing building stock 
  • Expand Level 3 charging for electric vehicles (EVs) into rural Alberta, tourist destinations, and provincial parks 
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