Edmonton

NDP opposition holding town halls to prepare shadow budget

Alberta NDP MLAs are going on the road for the consultations they say the United Conservative government isn’t doing in advance of the fall budget.

Leader Rachel Notley demands government immediately release MacKinnon report

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley said her caucus will prepare a shadow budget with input from the public. (Dave Bajer/CBC )

Alberta NDP MLAs are going on the road for the consultations they say the United Conservative government isn't doing in advance of the fall budget.

Official Opposition Leader Rachel Notley said Tuesday her caucus is preparing a shadow budget to counter the government's budget, which is expected by the end of October.

NDP MLAs will hold six town halls in cities across the province in September and October to hear what the public thinks. 

Notley said the town halls are not a gimmick, especially if the UCP is planning cuts to government services. 

"I think it's reasonable for us to be able to point to a different path that Albertans could ask their government to follow," she said.

"You must be both propositional as well as oppositional. And that's not a gimmick. That's just us doing our job." 

A panel appointed by the government in May to examine Alberta's finances is expected to file its report on Thursday. 

Premier Jason Kenney has promised the public will see the report in early September.

Notley demanded he release it immediately. "There is no good reason to delay the release of that report," she said. 

She said the panel, chaired by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, has met in secret and hasn't asked the public for input.

Albertans need to see the report before the budget is set in stone so they can provide feedback, Notley added.