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April 11, 2017

NDP must outline cost of new Crown corporation

The NDP government must outline the cost of the new Crown corporation it committed to creating in the new Canada Free Trade Agreement, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The agreement explicitly states: “Alberta gives notice of its intention to create a Crown corporation which will be responsible for all infrastructure procurement by the provincial government and which will be subject to the Crown corporation procurement thresholds.” (p.74)

“The NDP has served its notice of intent to take Alberta back to the 1980s and create this new Crown corporation,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Now they need to explain where the money is going to come from to pay for it – and what this will all mean for Alberta taxpayers at a time when families are already struggling to make ends meet.”

The NDP avoided answering Wildrose Shadow Minister for Economic Development and Trade Prasad Panda’s questions in the Legislature Monday, seemingly because they were completely unaware of what was in the agreement they signed. NDP Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said, “There are many great mysteries to this place, one of them is where that honourable member got the information that we’re setting up a Crown corporation.”

Panda said Premier Rachel Notley needs to show leadership and stop dodging accountability on this issue.

“Either the government is signing agreements without reading them first, or some bureaucrat has done an end run around the Cabinet. I don’t know which is worse,” Panda said. “We saw this happen before with Power Purchase Agreements. This government acts in isolation without thinking or asking questions – and taxpayers are usually left holding the bag for their mistakes.”