Dear tumblr friends, a momentous thing has occurred which you may not be aware of.

The Province of Alberta has officially ushered in its first non-conservative government in 44 years, and it’s first New Democratic Party (NDP) government in history, dramatically shifting the Canadian political landscape.

Previously believed to be a stalwart right-wing conservative province, Alberta has, overnight, changed allegiances to the most viable left-wing political party on the horizon, with a stunning majority.

This is huge. This is a massive turnabout. This is Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas all voting democrat.

This is the start of some big, big changes. It’s an exciting day. The National Post called it a ‘Miracle on the Prairies’, and I’m inclined to agree.

“In a recent year-end interview, the Prime Minister once again closed the door on an inquiry into the 1,200 Indigenous women that have gone missing or been murdered over the last 30 years. In doing so, he also sent a clear message to Aboriginal people that their concerns are not a priority for this government.

“The Prime Minister’s comment, that an inquiry "isn’t high on our radar to be honest”, was callous. What will it take to convince this government that something must be done? What is their reason for ignoring the voices of thousands, including Rinelle Harper, the young victim of a brutal attack this fall?“

“In Canada, Aboriginal women are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-Aboriginal women. This is unacceptable, and the Prime Minister needs to accept that this violence is systemic and we need to deal with the root causes.

“I would ask that the Prime Minister to listen to the families of the Missing and Murdered, to First Nations and Aboriginal leaders, to provincial and municipal governments and do right by announcing an Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“Too many lives have already been lost, and too many continue to be at stake. It’s time for action and that includes an Inquiry.”

I’ve been talking to a lot of NDP supporters lately

And there’s a bunch of them who, even though they voted NDP in the last election, even though they plan to vote NDP again, when you ask them who they think is going to win, they say they think it will be the Liberals.

This is a problem. There are too many of us who are stuck in a third-place mentality, who have no faith in the voting masses, or in what working people can do when we come together.

Who’s the official opposition? Who was leading in the polls a couple of weeks ago? Who unseated 40+ years of Conservative rule in Alberta? Not the fucking Liberals.

The election is still a few months away, so I’m probably going to be saying this a lot more as we get closer to the date, but the attitude that we need to be taking towards the Liberal Party is fuck them. They have lost their status as the ruling party of Canada, and more than that, they are no longer relevant. With the country sliding into recession, the issues of the day are going to be focused on the struggle between bosses and the bankers, vs. the people. The Liberals may not be as aggressively awful as the Conservatives, but in the end they’ll be just as hard on average Canadians - it was the Liberals who implemented the harshest austerity the country had see under Chretien. There is only one party that was founded by labour, that has any kind of organic link to ordinary people, and that’s the NDP. We need to make that clear.

The Liberals have shown themselves to be weak-willed in their opposition to the Harper government, and Trudeau is inspiring no one. The only hope they have is convincing people that the NDP still isn’t a realistic option. The will push for people to vote strategically, and may even try to make deals with the NDP to not run against each other in certain ridings.

We can’t buy in to that kind of thinking. No good will come of propping them up. It’s entirely possible to decimate the Liberals and beat the Conservatives. The NDP can win this election on it’s own terms.

Just a friendly reminder to fellow Albertans: the Alberta General Elections are tomorrow (May 5th 2015) 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Please vote. It matters.

If you don’t know what your designated polling station is, this Elections Alberta site can tell you.

If you’re an Albertan post-secondary student living away from home but in-province you can choose to vote either in your permanent residence’s riding or in the one you’re currently living in.

  Forgot to get on the voting list? No problem! Here’s what you do:

Just go to your assigned polling station and bring either

one Canadian government-issued ID that has your picture on it, regardless of whether it’s locally, provincially, or federally issued (i.e. driver’s licence, identification card, passport, etc)


two pieces of ID of any kind, one of which must have your address on it. 

Keeping in mind that if you don’t use a government-issued ID one of your choices of ID has to have your address on it, your choice of ID to present* may include:

  • Library card
  • Utility bills of any kind (i.e. Phone, hydro, electric, cable, gas, etc)
  • Baptismal certificate 
  • Birth certificate
  • Alberta Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) card
  • Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) card
  • Alberta Health Services Identification Band (the wristband they put on patients when you go to the hospital)
  • Canadian Air Transportation Security Agency (CATSA) ID card
  • Canadian Blood Services card
  • Canadian Forces Civilian ID card
  • Canadian Forces ID card
  • Canadian Forces Health card
  • Confirmation Certificate
  • Employee/Staff card to wherever you work
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Hospital/Medical card
  • Citizenship card
  • Canadian Passport
  • Alberta Wildlife (WIN) card
  • Alberta Forestry ID card
  • Alberta Natural Resources (conservation) ID card
  • Alberta Service Dog Team ID card
  • Canadian Border Services Agency Nexus card
  • Canadian Border Services Agency Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card
  • Canadian Border Services Agency Canadian Passenger Accelerated Service System (CANPASS)
  • Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) ID card
  • Fishing, Trapping, or Hunting licence
  • Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence
  • Firearm Possession Only Licence
  • Marriage certificate
  • Membership card for a service club, fitness/health club, community organization, political party, or retail outlet card (ie. Cineplex Odeon Scene card) with your name on it.
  • SIN (Social Insurance Number) card
  • prescription bottle insert
  • Old Age Security card
  • Outdoors or Wildlife card/licence
  • Pleasure Craft Operator (PCOC card - Government of Canada
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) card
  • Métis Nation of Alberta membership card
  • Student ID card
  • Veteran’s Affairs Canada ID card
  • Attestation of Identity and Ordinary Residence for Tenant Elector (issued by an authorized representative of a property manager)
  • Attestation of Identity and Ordinary Residence issued by an authorized representative of a First Nations band or reserve
  • Attestation of Identity and Ordinary Residence for Incarcerated Elector (issued by the authorized representative of a correctional institution)
  • Attestation of Identity and Ordinary Residence for Homeless Elector (issued by an authorized representative of a facility that provides services for the homeless)
  • Attestation of Identity and Ordinary Residence for Elector in Long Term Care or Supportive Living Facility (issued by an authorized representative of a supportive living facility or treatment centre)
  • Attestation of Identity and Ordinary Residence for Post-Secondary Student Elector (issued by an authorized representative of a post-secondary institution
  • Vehicle registration, ownership, or insurance certificate
  • Government cheque or cheque stub
  • Income/property tax assessment notice
  • Insurance policy or coverage card
  • Residential lease or mortgage statement
  • Statement of government benefits (i.e. Employment Insurance, child tax benefit, social assistance, old-age security, disability support, etc)
  • Letter from a public curator, public guardian, or public trustee
  • bank/credit card statement or personal cheque
  • correspondence issued by a school, college, or university
  • Pension Plan statement of benefits, contributions, or participation

*List taken from pages 3-5 and 3-6 of the May 5th Alberta General Elections Elections Alberta guide for polling officials.

NDP would take from corporate executives, give to working poor, kids

Tom Mulcair issued a rallying cry to progressive voters Friday as he unveiled a proposal aimed at taking tax benefits from the rich and transferring them to the poor.

The NDP leader promised that a New Democrat government would scrap the employee stock options deduction, a benefit enjoyed primarily by corporate executives that’s worth more than $700 million each year.

That money would be redirected to low-income families by enhancing the working income tax benefit and the national child benefit supplement.

“This will be a dollar-for-dollar transfer in benefits from those who need it the least to those who need it the most,” Mulcair told some 800 participants at the annual progress summit organized by the Broadbent Institute, a social democratic think-tank.

Mulcair cast the proposal as a “substantial measure” to reduce the gap between rich and poor Canadians and “a major step forward to take millions of Canadians, particularly children, out of poverty and into the middle class.”

“The tremendous wealth that is being generated in this country today is landing into fewer and fewer hands,” he said, calling the income gap “fundamentally un-Canadian.”

Continue Reading.

This past week was one of the worst in Canada’s economic history. It was so bad that in one 24-hour period Canada lost 20,000 jobs. Between Wednesday evening and Thursday evening Sony announced it was closing 14 stores and eliminating 100 positions, energy companies Shell and Suncor announced 300 and 1,000 job cuts respectively, clothing retailer MEXX announced the closing of all of its Canadian stores causing another 1,800 job losses, and mega-retailer Target announced that it was closing its 133 stores and throwing 17,700 Canadians out of work. One economist noted that the Target announcement alone represented the second largest number of job losses caused by a single event behind the collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery in 1992.

So how on earth did we get here? From the start of Confederation until the last decade Canadians gradually built up a balanced national economy. Our Atlantic provinces developed the fishing, tourism, and shipbuilding industries. Quebec and Ontario were built upon the manufacturing, forestry, and financial services industries. Manitoba and Saskatchewan relied on agriculture, energy, and tourism. British Columbia’s economy grew primarily through forestry, mining, finance and trade. And then there is Alberta. Since the 1950’s Alberta has been dependent almost solely upon the prospects of the oil industry. These diverse regional economies made our national economy strong and stable since a decline in one or more industries or regions were usually offset by gains in others. This was the case for more than a century until Stephen Harper came to power.

—  NDP MP, John RaffertyConservative Policies Damaging Canada

Photo gallery: NDP leader Jack Layton loses battle with cancer
Jack Layton has lost his battle with cancer, dying Monday morning at his home, surrounded by those closest to him, his family said.

Layton had recently stepped down as federal NDP leader, but had expressed hope that he would return when Parliament resumed next month.

Photo: NDP leader Jack Layton serenades the media on the campaign plane, April 2, 2011. (Tobi Cohen/Postmedia News)
Mulcair Promises Proportional Representation If NDP Wins Next Election

If the NDP forms Canada’s next government, Thomas Mulcair says he’ll put an end to majority governments elected by a minority of the population.

In an op-ed published in Common Ground magazine this week, Mulcair promises that if the NDP has its way the next election will be the last in Canada’s history conducted with a first-past-the-post system.

“In the last election, Conservatives formed a majority government with only 39% of the vote,” Mulcair writes. “In our current first-past-the-post system, they govern as if they have the support of all Canadians, but the fact is 61% of voters wanted someone else in government.”

Continue Reading.

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CBC will be airing their biopic of late NDP leader Jack Layton, Jack, this coming Sunday at 8pm.
The NDP wants to implement a mixed proportional system

The NDP will use its time in the House of Commons Wednesday to turn the government’s attention to the need to implement a mixed proportional electoral system, in order to ensure that 2015 will be the last in the era of unfair elections.

“If the Conservatives and Liberals truly believe in democracy, they will vote with us. The current system in which a party can govern without a majority of votes has gone on long enough. We need to make every vote count,” said NDP Democratic Reform critic Craig Scott (Toronto – Danforth).

Last week, Murray Rankin (Victoria) and Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca) joined Scott as he presented the NDP’s plan to implement a mixed proportional electoral system by 2019 and ensure that 2015 will be the last unfair election. The motion tabled today aims to better reflect the diversity and political preferences of all Canadians, by adopting a system of proportional representation.  

The motion reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of the House: (a) the next federal election should be the last conducted under the current first-past-the-post electoral system which has repeatedly delivered a majority of seats to parties supported by a minority of voters, or under any other winner-take-all electoral system; and (b) a form of mixed-member proportional representation would be the best electoral system for Canada.