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Aileen Burke says NDP represents real change

aileen burke

Aileen Burke is the New Democrat candidate in the Livingstone-Macleod riding.

Aileen Burke is buoyed by the rising popularity of her party as she knocks on doors and stages events across the Livingstone-Macleod riding.
Recent polls have Burke’s New Democrats in the lead in Alberta or at worst, tied with the Wildrose Party, as the May 5 provincial election approaches.
“It’s encouraging, but polls are polls,” Burke said. “You can’t put a lot of weight into a poll, but we can put weight into people we are talking to at doors and the number of signs that have been requested and that kind of thing.”
“The reception at doorsteps has been phenomenal, which is super-encouraging. Just the hype around this election is encouraging.”
Burke, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, served two years as chief financial officer for the Lethbridge East NDP provincial association and on the Lethbridge federal NDP board for three years.
This is not Burke’s first time as a candidate, having had her name on two previous ballots.
Burke was the New Democrat in the 2014 federal Macleod by-election won by Conservative John Barlow, and also ran for Lethbridge Public School Board in 2013.
Burke is a board member for the Lethbridge Housing Association and a member of the Read-On initiative in Lethbridge.
“I have a penchant for social justice, fairness, equality,” Burke said of what drew her to the New Democrats. “The NDP has always had a platform tailored to the people I feel have been left out.”
Burke has worked with disabled people and as a teacher’s aide, twice losing jobs to budget cuts mandated by a conservative gvoernment’s budget.
“It’s a natural fit,” Burke said of supporting the New Democrats. “They have a platform that very much fits who I am as a person and fits my priorities and passions in life.”
In the short time she has been on the campaign trail, Burke has heard people’s concerns on local issues that include power transmission lines, grizzly bears, the Castle Wilderness Area and education budget cuts.
“Our education platform is very cohesive,” Bruke said. “We’ve already committed to reversing the cuts proposed by the PCs, we’ve already committed to ensuring there is funding for every new student who comes into the schools, rather than basing it on projected enrollment from the last year.”
The New Democrats also have policies for reducing class sizes, build new schools, hire more teachers, reduce school fees, phase in full-day Kindergarten and funding teacher’s aides.
“Our education platform, I’m proud to say, is phenomenal,” Burke said.
Burke has also heard from people about the budget tabled by the Progressive Conservative government prior to the election announcement.
Livingstone-Macleod residents have conflicting points of view, with some people saying corporate tax hikes are not high enough, with others maintaining the proposed tax hikes are not enough.
“Our party is looking at raising taxes further,” Burke said, explaining the New Democrats would have people who earn more than $125,000 being taxed at a slightly higher rate, and a corporate tax increase to 12 per cent, from 10 per cent.
The New Democrats counter concerns that tax hikes would result in lost jobs with a job creation program and plans to diversify the economy to create new positions.
“We have had studies produced recently that say modest tax increases will not kill our economy,” Burke said of asking those who can afford it, to pay slightly higher taxes. “Our diversification and job creation programs are very well thought-out plans to counteract any type of job loss we may potentially see but all science and statistics indicate we won’t see any of that.”
The New Democrats have a platform with the four core pillars of education, health care, job creation and open and honest accountability in government.
Burke said her party is the clear choice for Albertans in this election.
The NDP has a comprehensive plan for health care and education, as well as an economic plan.
“I know a lot of people equate NDP to crash and burn the economy, but this time around our economic platform is so well thought-out and detailed that nobody could argue that point,” Burke said.
Burke also has confidence in New Democrat leader Rachel Notley, and believes that is partly responsible for the party’s rise in the polls.
“She’s phenomenal,” Burke said. “She’s honest and personable and absolutely accountable. She knows her stuff and isn’t afraid to fight for what she knows is right.”
Burke is hopeful that more voters in Livingstone-Macleod will embrace her and the New Democrats on May 5.
“I think I’m the only candidate that truly represents a change in Livingstone-Macleod and the province. And from what I’m hearing, the change that is wanted is represented by the NDP and by me.”

1 Comments For This Post

  1. George Sinclair Says:

    Where in Fort Macleod is the NDP, few signs, no phone calls, no door to door, I was impressed by the leader in the debate and I expected some, any, movement, the so called orange wave, instead zero zero zero. seems to me getting up off their duff might be a good start. George