Media releases | November 23, 2004

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta, a new political advocacy organization, unveiled today an Ipsos-Reid poll that shows that public interest issues are very important to a vast majority of Albertans and they want the government to make them a top priority.

The first question of the poll asked Albertans to personally rate issues facing Alberta. Healthcare (98%), Public Education (97%), the Environment (98%), and Infrastructure (91%) were all listed as very or somewhat important to Albertans."The results speak for themselves. All politicians need to listen to the majority of Albertans and commit to make public interest issues a priority," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta.

The majority of Albertans (53%) say that public services provided by the Alberta government have gotten worse in the past 10 years. Only 19% said they had improved.

"Given the incredible wealth of this province, it's very disturbing that the majority of Albertans now feel that our public services have gotten worse in the past 10 years. The Alberta government is currently spending $500,000 on an unscientific PR exercise, when what they should be doing is explaining to people what their vision is for improving public services and the environment," says Moore-Kilgannon.

According to the poll, the overwhelming majority of Albertans want the government to provide more funding to public services such as education, health care, and social services (93%), enhance programs to protect the environment (87%), and provide more support to cities and towns to improve municipal services (85%). This is compared to only 32% of Albertans who said tax cuts and additional financial support to corporations should be a top or medium priority for the government.

"Let's not be confused by the constant calls for tax cuts from the lobbyists of large corporations. Albertans want excellent public services, a healthy environment and strong communities. If we are going to improve things in Alberta, we will need to demonstrate the support around the province from everyone who wants to advocate for a better Alberta for all," says Moore-Kilgannon.

The poll was conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of Public Interest Alberta between August 19 and 24, 2004. It is based on a randomly selected sample of 800 Albertans and is considered accurate to within 3.5%, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been hand the entire adult Alberta population been polled.

- 30 -