In 2019, every UCP candidate campaigned on a platform that included a commitment to introduce recall legislation that would strengthen democracy and accountability in our province. It was a platform that garnered support from the overwhelming majority of Albertans, particularly in rural communities like ours, who gave us a mandate to empower citizens.
Citizens must have the democratic ability to hold their elected leaders to account, not just during elections but throughout their entire term. With the introduction of Bill 52, the Recall Act, I am pleased to say that Alberta’s government is fulfilling a major platform commitment.
If passed, the Recall Act will grant Albertans the ability to hold their MLAs, mayors, councillors, and school board trustees accountable by allowing voters to petition for their removal if they fail to provide the representation their constituents deserve.
As the Chair of the Democratic Accountability Committee (DAC), I am proud to have played a key role in the drafting and introduction of the Recall Act. DAC’s review of citizen’s initiatives and recall legislation involved a series of public meetings that included informative presentations from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, University College London Independent Commission on Referendums, Mount Royal University, and nine private citizens.
These meetings with experts, stakeholders, and concerned grassroots Albertans were vital to ensuring the Recall Act would fulfill our platform commitment and properly address the legitimate concerns of voters.
I was proud to see that after its introduction; the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Alberta spokesperson Franco Terrazzano called our recall legislation “a big win for government accountability in Alberta.”
One of the reasons I put my name forward to be MLA for Cardston-Siksika was because I was frustrated with the direction our previous NDP government was taking Alberta, and I understand that voters shouldn’t have to wait for four-year election cycles to be completed before their urgent democratic concerns can be addressed. Alberta’s government campaigned on the promise of introducing recall legislation so Albertans could hold their elected officials accountable. Promise made, promise kept.
Cardston-Siksika MLA Joseph Schow