Alberta votes 2023: Here's where the two major parties stand on the issues

May 25 2023, 9:35 pm

Election Day in Alberta is just around the corner, and here’s what you need to know.

Alberta’s two major political parties, the Alberta NDP, led by Rachel Notley, and Danielle Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP), are in a tight race to see who will form our next provincial government.

To make things easy, we’ve broken down their platform promises into five crucial categories to help you make a decision: healthcare, education, crime, the environment, and affordability/cost of living.


NDP: The NDP’s plan for healthcare involves improving access to family doctors, expanding healthcare infrastructure, and addressing staff shortages in the healthcare system through recruitment and retention strategies.

This includes a promise to build new hospitals, including the South Edmonton Hospital, Red Deer Hospital, Calgary Cancer Centre, Grand Prairie Hospital, and Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Other promises include:

  • Universal access to free prescription contraception in Alberta. The plan would cover oral hormone pills, contraceptive injections, copper and hormonal intrauterine devices, subdermal implants, and Plan B.
  • Providing funding for clinics to hire 4,000 allied health professionals and establish 40 new family health clinics
  • Extending clinic hours to provide medical care on people’s schedules
  • Offering signing bonuses to attract doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.
  • Creating 10,000 more post-secondary spaces for healthcare education.
  • Launching a large national and international healthcare recruitment campaign with incentives to attract doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals, and incentives to work in rural areas
  • Recruiting more internationally trained health providers and international medical graduates (IMGs).
  • Create pathways to practice for IMGs and double the number of residency spaces available.
  • Streamline the international credentialing process and eliminate bi-annual language exams for IMGs.
  • Establish a Healthcare Recruitment and Retention Advisory Council.

UCP: The UCP’s plan involves enhancing healthcare for women and children by expanding newborn screening, providing support for children with complex needs, improving women’s healthcare access, supporting women’s health research and advocacy, and ensuring access to publicly funded healthcare without out-of-pocket expenses.

Promises include:

  • Expanding newborn screening to include testing for five additional diseases and conditions.
  • Allocating $5 million for testing and educational support for children with autism and other complex needs.
  • Investing $10 million to develop a province-wide midwives strategy.
  • Increase the number of obstetrics doctors, including in rural and mid-sized cities.
  • Reducing pressure on obstetrics, emergency rooms, and primary care, particularly in rural areas.
  • Promising not to delist any currently covered health services.
  • Providing a $10 million legacy grant to the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation.
  • Committing to no out-of-pocket expenses for seeing a family doctor or receiving necessary medical treatment.
  • Supporting research into cervical cancer, heart disease, and other women’s health matters.
  • Focusing on “advancing and innovating Alberta’s healthcare system.”


NDP: The NDP aims to address the teacher shortage, provide targeted funding and infrastructure improvements in education, support apprenticeship programs, and alleviate the financial burden on students by freezing tuition at 2022-23 levels, cancelling the latest round of tuition hikes, and capping any future increases to inflation.

Other promises include:

UCP: The UCP’s plan aims to help high school students prepare for well-paying jobs in high-demand fields. This will include funding for Career and Technology and expanding Mobile CTS/Career and Technology Foundation programs in rural school boards.

Other promises include:

  • Plans to implement measures recommended by the Career Education Task Force.
  • Partner with industry and youth organizations to organize career fairs focused on tech, manufacturing, construction, trades, energy, and health sectors.
  • Teacher training opportunities will be developed and funded for career and technology studies.
  • Increase access to off-campus education opportunities.

Public safety

NDP: The Alberta NDP opposes a UCP idea to eliminate the RCMP and replace it with a provincial police force. Their plan includes hiring an additional 150 police officers in major cities across the province in addition to 150 social workers, mental health workers, addiction counsellors, and community navigators to enhance safety and provide support.

Other promises include:

  • The RCMP will be retained, and specialized Rural Crime Reduction Units will be established to combat crime and organized crime in rural communities with an initial investment of $10 million.
  • Civilian oversight and community liaisons will be supported to ensure accountability and community involvement.
  • They will invest in better policing and stronger communities by restoring $32 million in municipal police funding.
  • More probation officers will be hired, and investment will be made in post-release programs to prevent repeat offences.
  • Resources will be allocated to enhance existing teams, such as 911/211 co-location, Indigenous teams, and trauma-informed outreach.
  • Civilian oversight and community liaisons will be supported to ensure accountability and community involvement.
  • Partnerships with ethnic and multicultural communities and social welfare service providers will be strengthened to prevent crime.
  • Wrap-around supports will be provided, addressing areas such as health, mental health, housing, harm reduction, addictions treatment, and employment to address the root causes of crime.
  • Long-term agreements with municipalities will be established to support stable and predictable police funding, integrated police-community service teams, Indigenous partnerships, and provincial accountability for services like affordable housing.

UCP: The UCP plans to address public safety concerns through its Safe Streets Action Plan. This includes a promise to add 100 police officers in Calgary and Edmonton to address crime issues in downtown areas and public transit and extend the downtown sheriff redeployment program.

Other promises include:

  • Use ankle bracelet monitoring for violent and/or sexual offenders on bail.
  • Establish a 24/7 electronic monitoring program for possible violent re-offenders on bail, and expand the use of sheriffs in the 24/7 bail monitoring process.
  • Allocate $10 million for women’s shelters and $10 million for sexual assault counselling/centers over the next four years.
  • Increase the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) funding to address gang violence, expand the Cyber Crime Unit and Provincial DNA lab, and monitor scrap metal dealers and gang connections.
  • Form specialized Sheriff-led teams to combat fentanyl and illegal gun trafficking.
  • Increase support for Internet and Child Exploitation (ICE) teams.
  • Inform the public about Clare’s Law, enabling individuals to learn about their partner’s history of domestic assault or sex crimes.
  • Fund an engagement team for education and outreach.


NDP: According to the NDP’s platform, the party promises to protect the Rocky Mountains by law by passing the Eastern Slopes Protection Act, which will ban coal mining projects in the Rockies and surrounding areas. The party also aims to set targets for reducing emissions and achieving net zero by 2050 by implementing incentives for technologies like hydrogen hubs, CCUS, and energy storage.

UCP: The UCP does not have any new policy plans regarding the environment in its platform, but a section on its website touts actions the party has taken while in government. This includes initiatives including caribou recovery, carbon capture, and other emissions reduction strategies through “Made in Alberta” policies to manage Alberta’s environment and natural resources.

Cost of living

NDP: The NDP promises to address affordability and provide financial relief to Albertans by freezing personal income tax, capping auto insurance rates, cutting utility rates, accelerating the implementation of $10/day childcare, and increasing benefits immediately for Albertans receiving AISH to adjust for the cost of living and indexing to inflation.

The party also promises to introduce a Kids’ Activity Tax Credit of $500 annually for children’s recreational activities.

UCP: The UCP plans to address affordability by promising not to increase personal income taxes if re-elected and will cut taxes by creating a new 8% bracket on income under $60,000. Additionally, the UCP would ensure all Albertans have access to $10/day childcare by 2026. They also promise to create 11,063 childcare spaces across Alberta.

Election Day in Alberta is Monday, May 29.

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