In May of 2015, the New Democrat Party kicked out a forty-year Tory dynasty in Alberta to become our current provincial government. Now that the dust has had some time to settle, it’s worth checking in to see what they’ve done.
Introduced by Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, Bill 1 banned corporate and union donations to provincial political parties in Alberta.
Bill 3 reversed funding cuts made to education, health care, and human services by the PC government before the May 5, 2015 election.
Bill 6 introduced occupational health and safety and mandatory Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for employees of farming operations. Alberta is currently the only province in Canada without OH&S laws and employment standards coverage for farm and ranch workers. Amid protests by farmers and ranchers, the government introduced amendments to exempt farm and ranch owners and their families from the bill.
That last one still blows my mind. Who the hell would object to increased safety regulations and a reduction in loss of life and limb?
Bill 7 amended the Alberta Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression as expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination.
Bill 204 amended the Residential Tenancies Act to allow victims of domestic violence to end their housing leases early and without penalty in order to leave unsafe home environments. Lethbridge-East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick bravely stood in the legislature to share a powerful story about her personal experiences with domestic violence.