The Canadian Pension Plan was top of the topics surrounding affordability for Albertan seniors during a campaign stop by the Alberta NDP’s leader in the northeast Calgary community of Marlborough on Monday.
Speaking to members of the media, and addressing the questions of seniors at the Marlborough Park Community Association, Rachel Notley described her party’s plans to give “seniors a better future in Alberta.”
At the heart of all of the platform promises made, was to keep the province’s hands off the Canadian Pension Plan.
“This really isn’t an indictment on AIMCO, though it’s an indictment of the fact that I don’t want CPP, belonging to anybody in this room, to be subject to the discretionary decisions of the Alberta cabinet,” said Notley.
“Pulling us out of CPP would create that level of uncertainty for all folks.
UCP leader Danielle Smith previously said on Global Calgary’s morning show on May 5, that her party would not be campaigning on the issue of pensions.
“They’re not in our campaign because I think we’ve got so many things that we have done that we’re excited about,” Smith said.
She said that the focus was on daycare and the expansion of healthcare in the province.
CPP would be an issue, she said, that her party would consult with Albertans on after the election.
UCP candidate for Calgary-Klein, Jeremy Nixon, responded to the NDP’s claims over CPP on Monday afternoon saying that “the UCP has been clear that no pension changes will ever occur unless Albertans choose to make changes through a public referendum.”
“The NDP’s insistence on saying otherwise is not only disturbing but flat-out false,” Nixon said.
Promises made for home care and more homes
Notley said that if elected, her government would also increase home care for approximately 20,000 Albertan seniors over four years, increasing the spend for the service by $100 million over that period for what was in Budget 2023.
“This is there so that seniors like all of you, all of you folks, can get the care you need to stay in your homes as long as possible,” Notley said.
“Things like snow shoveling, transportation, meals, minor medical oversight, and overall building more seniors housing in both independent and communal settings to give seniors more choice as they age.”
Under Budget 2023, the Government of Alberta is set to spend $903 million in 2023, $983 million in 2024, and $1.071 billion in 2025 on home care. The proposal would increase that spending to $928 million in 2023, $1.01 billion in 2024, and $1.10 billion in 2025.
Notley also promised that the province’s Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) would be expanded and that more communal and independent living housing would be built.
When asked for the cost of all of the promises made, Notley reiterated the spending promise of $100 million over Budget 2023 levels.
Specific details on the programs announced would be released later in the campaign, she said.