Alberta Election Week in Review: March 29, 2019
Posted on March 29, 2019
What’s Old is New Again
This week, the UCP and NDP both dusted off tried and true policy commitments designed to excite their respective bases. Jason Kenney announced that a UCP government would reinstate a seven-year-old Progressive Conservative bill that would eliminate measures enacted by the NDP in 2015 that his opponents say help support LGBTQ students and Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). Kenney argued that the bill would continue to protect LGBTQ students while also respecting the religious freedoms of independent schools.
Rachel Notley committed to expanding the province’s $25-a-day childcare pilot to 62,000 daycare spots across the province at a cost of $1.5 billion over five years. In the 2015 election, the NDP committed to moving towards a $25-a-day plan “as finances permit.” Childcare is an issue that excites the NDP base and will help win over key urban and suburban voters that swept the NDP to victory in 2015.
Both sets of policy announcements indicate that the parties are still focused on ensuring that their bases are solidified and excited before pushing to expand their support with undecided and leaning voters.
This Week’s Announcements
All parties significantly increased the volume of announcements in week two of the campaign, giving candidates a wide variety of discussion points to talk with voters about at the doorstep.
- March 25: The NDP began week two of the campaign with Premier Notley announcing an extension to the $25-a-day child care plan.
- March 26: Premier Notley announced the NDP’s $90 million per year plan to reduce surgical wait times and increase emergency care.
- March 27: Rachel Notley was in Fort McMurray, where she announced $1.35 billion to create a second route out of the city after the devastating forest fire in 2016 where residents of the area were forced to evacuate through a single choked highway.
- March 25: Jason Kenney started off week two of the campaign by outlining the UCP education platform in Calgary. This included increased funding while seeking efficiencies, ending the focus on discovery learning and a plan to repeal the NDP GSA bill and replace it with a Progressive Conservative bill from 2015.
- March 26: Jason Kenney was in Lac St. Ann, where he announced a plan to encourage more people to enter the trades.
- March 27: On Wednesday, Jason Kenney released his plan to tackle rural crime.
Alberta Party Announcements
- March 25: Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel tweeted that if elected the Alberta Party would have a gender balanced cabinet.
- March 26: Mandel announced his party’s jobs plan on Tuesday, outlining a plan to create 65,000 jobs across the province by 2026.
- March 27: Stephen Mandel announced the Alberta Party’s plan to develop more refining and petrochemical processing in Alberta.
Alberta Liberal Party Announcements
- March 25: David Khan began week two of the campaign by unveiling the Alberta Liberal carbon tax policy, which included creating a revenue-neutral carbon tax.
- March 26: Khan announced that if elected he would use Gender-Based Analysis Plus budgeting to ensure policies and funding achieve equality of opportunity.
- March 27: David Khan announced the Alberta Liberal Party’s policy platform for urban municipalities.
- March 28: The Liberal Party released their finance platform and became the first party to advocate for a sales tax.
This week’s top media story was Jason Kenney’s announcement about GSAs, which received significant media attention and widespread condemnation on social media.
- Stephanie Dubois – Election fact-checker: The meme effect
- Licia Corbella – Brad Wall says Notley broke Alberta’s brand but Kenney can fix it
- Jason Markusoff – If Rachel Notley can’t win Alberta’s ‘905,’ the NDP loses Alberta