Kathleen Ganley Commits to Building Rural Economies, Rural Communities

"Our ideas can change hearts and minds and I commit that we will take a real, concrete offer to Albertans in 2027 — that’s how we win. "

Alberta NDP Leadership candidate Kathleen Ganley is releasing a series of key commitments to support building rural economies and communities after consulting with New Democrats while traveling across the province.

“When we work together, we win together,” Ganley said. “We need a strategy to win all 87 ridings. We need to build a bridge into certain areas of rural Alberta where we’ve struggled historically.

“The values of rural Albertans — good jobs, affordable living, reliable public healthcare, good schools — these are NDP values and we need to take a real, concrete offer on what matters to rural Albertans in the next election. We also have to get out there, engage, listen, and do the hard work. That’s how we will beat Danielle Smith and form the next Alberta NDP government, a government that is ready to lead this province for decades to come.”

An 87-Seat Strategy

“We must be competitive in all 87 ridings. In order to build a party that can govern this province for the long term we need to make inroads in all communities – big cities, mid-sized cities, and rural communities. We do that by listening and understanding what is important to people, then telling them how our values, ideas, and vision can be the answer. We must also be humble, understand that we don’t have all the answers and that local people understand their communities better than we do and can provide advice here.

We build a party that can govern for a decade — we build it on the backs of the incredible gains we have made through the work of thousands of dedicated volunteers, we build it by recognizing the strength of our team and what it can do, and we build it by recognizing the mistakes of the past.  We don’t win just by attacking Danielle Smith — we must do something much more brave — share our ideas, our story, then stand behind it.”

Ganley has committed to an Election Planning Committee that she would chair. Members of that committee would visit every riding in the coming months. She has also committed to a Members Charter that would help ensure local voices were heard, and that caucuses, including the rural caucus had regular meetings with the leader and all elected MLAs. Ganley would also ensure that all MLAs are out in rural areas supporting local constituencies regularly. 

“We must build a movement in all 87 ridings, we want to make sure that people feel like they are part of something.”


Rural Economic Development

Team Ganley would restore provincial funding to Rural Economic Development Associations — these organizations do incredible work attracting new investment, working with local businesses and municipalities to create opportunity and economic activity. Unfortunately, none of this seems to be a priority for the UCP so they cut their funding.

We would also look into ways to provide low-interest loans to small businesses as they are the backbones of the communities, and provide a lot of benefit in both economic development and local vibrancy.

“I am also focused on cutting people’s costs and raising their wages,” Ganley said. “Like all communities, rural communities would benefit from low- and middle-income people have more money in their pockets. The evidence is clear these folks are more likely to spend the money in the local community, driving a resilient economy.

Team Ganley would also make sure that communities remain connected both physically and digitally. This means investing in inter community transit, and developing a rural broadband strategy that is focused on service delivery, not overseas profits.

“Rural economies and rural communities are deeply intertwined, ensuring good quality of life and access to amenities, as well as strong local communities is critical to attracting talent, creating business ecosystems, and growing local economies,” Ganley said. “That is part of building an economy that works for everyone.” 


“Agriculture is a critical part of our economy, but it is also relevant to our communities, our identities and critical for our future,” Ganley said. “We need to ensure we are creating the right ecosystem to encourage agri-food and agri-tech investment. We also must ensure that families have the ability to stay on the farm, and that young people who want to go into farming have the opportunity to do so.”

Team Ganley is committed to working with community innovators to ensure we have the right programs, the right talent, and the right investment environment to make agriculture an even bigger part of our economy. 

Key commitments include

  • Expand the existing Agriculture Financial Services Corporation Young Farmer Program to support young farmers to create purchasing power for land, equipment and first year production;

  • Looking at ways to support families through succession planning to keep farms in the family;

  • Use local producers to provide secure, safe food for universal school nutrition program where possible;

  • Examine how to bring down cost including looking into ways to reduce the cost of insurance for agriculture producers, reduce the cost of loan interest;

  • Examine ways to do value-added processing here in Alberta, and how to encourage growth in new and emerging agrifood technology;



“Every Albertan deserves access to world class healthcare when they need it,” Ganley said. “Right now, we hear too many stories of women driving on the highway in labour, and families having to spend countless hours on the highway to access care if they can get it at all.”

Team Ganley has committed to investing in primary care, making sure we train, recruit, recognize, and retain family doctors – but also that we have family doctors working in teams and are utilizing other professionals like nurse practitioners and physician assistants. She has also committed to investment in both long term care and home care to ensure that albertans can get the care they need.

“Investing in primary care, long term care, and home care will help get people the care they need, but it also means that those people aren’t in the urgent care system, so people can access those systems.”

In addition, Team Ganley will:

  • Develop a program to help offset the costs of education for healthcare professionals who will practice in rural settings;

  • Support nurse practitioners and rural students entering medical professions and staying in rural communities;

  • Work with communities to ensure Albertans have access to an ambulance when they need one;

  • Commit to building a new hospital in Sherwood Park;

  • Demand the immediate construction of Red Deer Hospital expansion with cardiac catheterization unit;

  • Construction of a Cardiac Catheterization Lab at the Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge;

  • Expand mental health services in rural communities;

  • Keep laboratory services public and restore the plan for a large, centralized laboratory;

  • Fund public long-term care in rural communities and set standards of care that must be met by rural long-term care providers.


“Education is fundamental to our communities and to our economy,” Ganley said. “Public education is the great equalizer, it allows every student to succeed based on effort and ability, rather than their parents’ bank balance. Making sure every kid has the chance to grow up and give back to their communities in the best way possible is our responsibility, but also the greatest gift we give ourselves. We don’t know what we miss out on when we deprive children of an education — that child could have cured a form of cancer or contributed to the fight against global warming.”

Team Ganley is committed to growing education and:

  • Funding all students and fund complexity to ensure kids are set up for success in all communities;

  • Replacing and modernizing schools in rural communities to ensure every student has a safe place to learn;

  • Reinvesting in the Alberta Distance Learning Centre;

  • Keeping Athabasca University operating as a primary employer in Athabasca;

  • Expanding dual credit/advanced placement programs in rural schools;

  • Examining ways to ensure that rural students have the educational opportunities to set them up for post secondary success;


Energy, Resources, and Environment

“We must protect our natural spaces, biodiversity, water, communities, and health,” Ganley said. “We can do this and have a thriving economy. In many ways, our natural environment and the strength of our communities are fundamental to our long term economic prosperity. At the end of the day the economy is about people, and if we prioritize the interest of overseas billionaires over the health of our communities and our citizens we will be left with nothing. 

“As our population grows it is the role of government to ensure we are setting priorities and protecting the long term interests of our people and our communities. That means we must protect the air, land, and water. We must ensure that companies that are profiting off our abundant natural resources are doing their share and cleaning up after themselves.

“We must combat climate change, we can do this and grow our economy. Our children cannot play outside in the summer because the air is filled with smoke, and we are about to experience a record drought. We must also invest in protecting our communities from fire and other weather events - this isn’t just a costs in dollars and cents, these are people’s lives, their histories, and their sense of safety. 

Team Ganley commits to the following:

  • Puting an end to Danielle Smith’s $20-billion RStar program

  • Launching an inquiry into orphan and inactive wells

  • Overhauling the Alberta Energy Regulator so it protects Albertans’ interests;

  • Holding oil companies responsible for lease payments and municipal taxes

  • Putting an end to price-gouging on utility bills for homeowners and small businesses

  • Banning coal mining in the Eastern Slopes.

  • Developing programs to encourage the exploration of geothermal and the roll it can play;

  • Working with experts to develop a climate plan that will drive economic investment and take real action on climate change - check it out here: link

  • Investing in fireproofing and other climate change adaptation funding;

  • Developing and investing in proper wildfire management to protect communities;

  • Working with experts to incentive solar installation on homes, farm buildings, and in communities;

  • Working with experts to create a water strategy that prioritizes human needs and agriculture first, and ensures we are protecting our water and our ecosystem; 

  • Creating a comprehensive land use system for preserving our natural environment for generations to come, ensuring that we protect biodiversity, sensitive areas and headwaters, and recreational opportunities for all even as our population expands;

Rural Social Issues

“Strong communities mean strong economies and happier people — everyone deserves to feel safe and included, and everyone has something to contribute,” Ganley said. “The UCP cut all investment in affordable housing five years ago, they cut programs that support people, and we see the effect around us every day in our communities. 

“It will take a long time to rebuild from the damage that was done by the collapse in the price of oil, followed by the UCP, and the pandemic - but when I look around me I see people dedicated to making their communities better every day.”

Team Ganley commits to:

  • Restoring rural bus service;

  • Improving rural broadband as a public utility, possibly delivered by local and co-op groups, rather than multinational corporations who pay dividends to shareholders;

  • Keeping the RCMP;

  • Expanding rural crime reduction teams and reduce crime in the most cost effective way - investment in affordable housing in every community;

  • Collaborating with municipalities to generate affordable housing (rental and purchase), including co-ops and seniors housing;

  • Expanding mental health service and all forms of addictions treatment;

  • Developing and sustaining respectful connection with Indigenous First Nations and Métis Nations;

  • Working with communities to ensure all communities have community meeting spaces, recreational opportunities, support for arts and outdoor even programming;

“This is just the start,” Ganley said. “Of course, we will consult broadly with Albertans in all 87 ridings. Our ideas can change hearts and minds and I commit that we will take a real, concrete offer to Albertans in 2027 — that’s how we win. 

More details on many of Ganley’s policy commitments can be found at TeamGanley.ca/Policies