7 days down, only 21 to go, until Alberta’s April 16th provincial election.
As new candidates have stepped up over the past week we have added them to our easy-to-use “Get to know your candidates” resource.
Continue sharing this valuable resource to ensure others have all the information they need at their fingertips to get to know their candidates!
The extra steps to truly make a difference
The next 21 days are a critical window of opportunity to make an even bigger impact.
When you get to know a candidate and want to support them, then take the extra steps to help them win.
Volunteer. Just a few hours of your time helps boost your preferred candidate's chances of becoming one of the 87 lawmakers who will help set the direction of our province. Remember, you can also volunteer for strong candidates who do not live in your area.
Statistics show that volunteers matter, especially in close races in many of Alberta’s urban areas.
- Donate. Help your preferred candidate reach more constituents with their message.
There are many perks to volunteering for a candidate:
- Allows your candidate to get to know you personally, forming a better understanding of you and your values, priorities and concerns.
- Allows you to build a network with like-minded people in your area, potentially leading to other opportunities.
- Developing a rapport with your candidate will potentially give you a more significant voice on the direction of your representative’s votes in the legislature after the election.
Our “Get to know your candidates” resource includes contact information for as many candidates as possible to help you reach out and offer your support.
Party platforms and announcements
Numerous platforms and announcements related to education have been released by different political parties, listed below in alphabetical order by party name.
- Revise the Alberta education curriculum so that our students will receive the highest levels of academic, and practical skills, that are offered on the planet
- Eliminate the mandatory gay-straight alliance clubs in Alberta schools. Also, will eliminate the NDP directive that parents must not be told of their child’s sexual behaviour
- Uphold and support the ability of parents to have their child educated in the manner they think best for their child, through a public, Catholic, private, chart, or home school program. We will not amalgamate the Catholic and Public School systems
- Deliver best-in-class kindergarten, primary and secondary education. Source: Position Statements, https://www.albertaparty.ca/position_statements
- Require children to have up-to-date immunizations in order to attend a publicly-funded school. Source: https://www.albertaparty.ca/vaccinations
- Double the number of educational assistants in Alberta’s K- 12 classrooms with a major boost in funding for inclusive education. This means more support in the classroom so every child can have an enhanced learning experience. Source: https://www.albertaparty.ca/edu-assistants
Alberta Independence Party
Main points include:
- Ensure student funding goes with the student
- 100 percent funding for ALL schools public/private who meet the common sense “Oath of rights and Freedoms”
- Ensure that the ability for a private school to build a school board rests on the institutions ability to attract students and gain appropriate size of enrollment per municipality or community
- Ensure a grading system that incorporates early detection models. Parents will be notified of learning issues immediately and course restructuring made available
- Ensure a life management course (extra curricular) not administered by teachers but by professionals
- Ensure ALL Public, Private and Home Schooling Students will have a core curriculum to follow
- Ensure parents and educators continue on in an open relationship of mutual trust and permissions of the parents
Source: https://albertaindependence.ca/what-we-believe/ which includes more in-depth details for some of the main points above
Alberta Liberal Party
- Scrap class size guidelines in favour of class size caps with a necessary boost in funding
- Boost efforts for true inclusion of special needs students
- Provide more funding for teachers aides to support students with special needs [and] fund the creation of robust IEPs (Individualized Education Plans)
Freedom Conservative Party
- Equally fund all students at certified public, private and separate schools in Alberta and guarantee funding for homeschooling
- Pass a Parent’s Bill of Rights to guarantee choice and control over education
- Cancel the NDP’s new curriculum and replace it with a measured learning targets allowing school boards to set their own curriculums
- Respect the right of private educational institutions to practice their own religious or cultural belief without discrimination
Green Party of Alberta
- Amend the Alberta School Act so as to prevent the funding of any school the purpose of which is to serve only certain racial, ethnic or religious groups.
- Hold a provincial referendum on whether separate school boards in the province should be disbanded and combined with the public system.
- Reduce public funding for private schools from 70% (the current level) to 50%, which was the level of funding first introduced by the Lougheed government.
New Democratic Party
- “Education is so important and our government will continue fighting to improve our classrooms, update our curriculum and support our teachers”, video from Rachel Notley available here: https://twitter.com/RachelNotley/status/1110029468297420800
- NOTE: The NDP website does not appear to include any sections on “platform”, “position statements” or “policy”, as of the publication date of this blog article
United Conservative Party
Main points include:
- Maintain or increase education funding while seeking greater efficiency
- Continue to build new schools
- End the focus on so-called “discovery” or “inquiry” learning
- Pause the NDP’s curriculum review, and broaden consultations
- Reform student assessment so that students, parents and teachers can clearly identify areas of strength and weakness
- Require clear, understandable report cards
- Focus on excellence in outcomes
- Support safe schools that protect students against discrimination and bullying
- Proclaim the Education Act (2014), taking effect on September 1, 2019 (NOTE: This change would also mean the elimination of legislation brought in through the NDP's Bill 24)
- Affirm parental choice through a Choice in Education Act
- Reduce paperwork burdens
- Review and implement selected recommendations from the Task Force for Teaching Excellence
- Review the current funding formula to ensure that rural schools have adequate resources to deliver programs in an equitable way
Source: https://www.albertastrongandfree.ca/better-education-brighter-future/ which includes a video of education platform announcement, along with in-depth details for each of the main points above
Recent escalation of rhetoric
We cannot ignore the escalation in media headlines over the last 24-36 hours, precipitated by the release of the UCP education platform yesterday.
In their platform, the UCP stated their intention to proclaim the Education Act in order to replace the School Act.
One of the consequences of this change would be the elimination of all changes enacted by the passage of Bill 24, which were not written into the Education Act. Sections brought into effect through Bill 10 would remain, as Bill 10 amended both the Education Act and the School Act.
The allegations are that this is a step backward for the safety of sexual and gender minority youth in Alberta schools.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
We have heard this superficial fear-mongering for years and PCE has worked diligently to ensure the true impact of this unconstitutional legislation is understood, especially as it isolates and endangers children, undermines the parent-child bond and strips school autonomy.
We need you to ensure that as many candidates as possible in your area understand these issues and their importance to you.
We welcome you to copy and paste the sample message below, using the contact information in our "Getting to know your candidates" resource to communicate with your candidates:
There have been many recent media headlines regarding GSAs.
It is important you are aware of how current laws in Alberta surrounding GSAs isolate and endanger children, undermine the parent-child bond and strip school autonomy.
As a voter living in your constituency, I encourage you to review the resource links below and let me know where you stand on this issue, specifically answering the question:
Will you support amending education legislation to ensure that sections brought in through the passage of Bill 24 are removed?
1. Corbella: Some alarming revelations about two GSAs at Alberta Court of Appeal
2. Poorly written law leaves kids at risk: A Lethbridge Herald PCE column
3. VIDEO: Prioritize safety, not secrets
4. PCE Toolkit: Know how new laws impact Alberta schools & how to respond
5. GSAs, More than Pizza and Peer Support
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your voting constituent