Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith
Credits: IAN KUCERAK/QMI AGENCY
EDMONTON - Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith touted government transparency and accountability Monday, unveiling the last part of her five-pledge platform during an Alberta election campaign stop in Edmonton.
The proposed Alberta Accountability Act allows MLAs a free vote on every proposed law and gives voters the right to recall MLAs who put the interests of themselves or their party above the interests of their constituents.
It would also set fixed provincial and Senate election dates and allow for voter-initiated referenda (with 500,000 petition signatures within a six-month window) to empower Albertans on important issues.
"Albertans expect their government to respect their hard-earned tax-dollars, be open and accountable for how they make decisions, and to make the legislature a place where Albertans' voices are heard. The Alberta Accountability Act will do exactly that," Smith said.
Smith said she would roll back the 30% increase in salary for cabinet ministers that Premier Alison Redford supported, prohibit MLAs from setting their own salaries in the future, and require the public disclosure of minister and MLA expenses.
Smith said she believes the proposed MLA pay set by Canadian Taxpayers Federation of $125,000 with no tax-free allowances sounds fair to the Wildrose.
Smith said the act would open up government by changing freedom of information laws to make it easier for citizens to access government documents and information, and create protection for whistleblowers in government who alert MLAs and media to waste and mismanagement
"After 40 years in power, Alison Redford's PC Party has succumbed to a culture of corruption and entitlement," said Smith.
"In recent years, Albertans have witnessed bullying and intimidation of school boards, municipalities, doctors and hospital staff, massive cabinet pay raises awarded behind closed doors, million-dollar severance payoffs for retiring ministers, health care queue-jumping by insiders, vote-buying and influence-peddling by leadership contenders, extra pay for do-nothing committee jobs, and illegal donations to the PC Party from municipalities, universities, and other public agencies that receive government funding.
"The fifth component of our Wildrose Pledge to Albertans, the Alberta Accountability Act, will restore democracy, ethics, and accountability to government."