Premier Rachel Notley spoke before more than 140 New Democrat Party (NDP) members last Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre during the party’s first provincial council meeting since being made the governing party during the last provincial election.
The gathering saw more than half of the party’s elected MLAs in attendance including Red Deer North and South MLAs Kim Schreiner and Barb Miller.
Notley stated the meeting was an exciting one for the party as it would be the first of its kind since the election and was a chance for members to talk about experiences from the election as well as discuss issues facing the province and party currently and in the future.
“This was an overnight victory that we as the NDP have been working for in Alberta for 83 years,” said the Premier during her address adding few people know the NDP began as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Calgary in 1932.
“Let’s never forget the principles that inspired four generations of New Democrats to work so incredibly hard for the chance that we now have before us,” she said.
“Let us never forget that our founders didn’t do all of that work because they were hungry for power, they did that work because they were hungry for change, fairness, and justice and they determined no citizen of this province would ever go hungry.”
Notley told party members of the grassroot principles their founders had built the party on stating the founders’ dreams envisioned an Alberta where there was equality between women and men, where aboriginal people were always respected, where the corrupt influence of money and private power could be removed from democracy so the legislature served people instead of wallets and that the largest and most profitable corporations in the economy would give back and pay their fair share of taxes to support public services.
She added the founders dreamed of an Alberta where the governing party would build, nurture and protect a universal comprehensive public medicare program and public education program that would make it be possible for any student to go to college or university if their abilities and their own dreams took them there no matter how wealthy or poor their parents may be.
“Our founders dreamed we would look after each other better and neighbours and as fellow citizens, as a society of friends including looking after the poorest of the poor and children who need care, and those on our streets who need a helping hand,” she said.
“They dreamed we would be good stewards of our air, land and water – they dreamed the people of Alberta would get a fair return from our own natural resources and they dreamed that everyone on the job would get paid a fair wage.”
Notley said she was thrilled to be in Red Deer and added she felt both MLA Miller and Schreiner were both ‘very dynamic women’.
“I know the people of Red Deer have put their faith in the NDP to represent them fairly and with passion and I know that both Barb and Kim will do that.”