Posted on March 29, 2019
Yesterday, we discussed the importance of the rural vote to both the UCP and more specifically the NDP. Today, the topic is all about the urban vote, specifically, in Calgary.
The City of Calgary alone contains more than a quarter of Alberta’s 87 electoral districts. While Calgary was still affected by the 2015 orange wave, ten seats went to other parties including the Progressive Conservatives, the Alberta Party, and the Alberta Liberals. The trend of Calgary being more conservative than Edmonton has carried into this election as well. While polling has indicated that the NDP still have a strong foothold in Edmonton, Calgary appears to be headed in a very blue direction. This explains why both the UCP and the NDP have spent so much time in Calgary over the last week and a half. Premier Notley even chose to announce the start of the campaign in Calgary rather than her own riding of Edmonton – Strathcona. This election will be won or lost in Alberta’s cities, and the party that controls Calgary will be the party that forms the next government.
The Alberta Liberal Party unveiled a bold tax plan yesterday – bold for Alberta that is. Alberta remains the only province in Canada that does not have some form of a provincial sales tax. Proposing a sales tax in Alberta has been viewed as political suicide for decades and no government has been brave enough to suggest implementing one. The Alberta Liberal’s tax plan contains significant cuts to personal income tax rates and raises the tax-free rate to just over $57,000. In exchange for reduced personal taxes, Albertans would be forced to pay a sales tax. While Albertans would likely end up paying a similar amount of money every year in tax, government revenues would no longer be reliant on income tax, which is dramatically affected by the state of the economy.
Details on the alleged kamikaze campaign during the UCP leadership race in 2017 continue to surface. Yesterday, the provincial Elections Commissioner leveled additional fines on former members of the Jeff Callaway campaign and the RCMP continues to investigate allegations of voter fraud and inappropriate campaign donations. The UCP have announced that they are working with the RCMP during the investigation and maintain that the Kenney campaign was run within the rules.
Navigator’s top 5 news story daily picks
Kenney and Notley spar over ‘opioid crisis’ as UCP announces health-care platform, by Sammy Hudes with the Calgary Herald
- While NDP Leader Rachel Notley proclaimed Thursday that safe drug-use sites “have saved hundreds of lives,” her UCP opponent Jason Kenney said that as premier, he’d launch a study to determine if current sites are situated properly to meet their goal of harm reduction without causing crime and social disorder in surrounding neighbourhoods.
UCP confirms it is in contact with RCMP over leadership voter fraud allegations, by Drew Anderson with CBC News
- The UCP says it has reached out to the RCMP to offer assistance while the Mounties investigate the ‘kamikaze’ campaign. The UCP executive director Janice Harrington shared a statement, originally published in Maclean’s, which expressed the party’s desire to fully cooperate with authorities.
NDP promises 70 new and modernized schools, 1,000 new teachers and staff, by Janet French with the Edmonton Journal
- Rachel Notley has said she, with an election win, would commit to spending $1.3 billion to construct and modernize 70 more schools during the next five years. This would add an estimated 600 new teaching and support staff positions for the 15,000 more students expected to arrive in Alberta schools by the fall.
Corbella: Greg Clark shines a light on NDP’s biggest scandal, by Licia Corbella with the Calgary Herald
- This article discusses how Greg Clark, the Alberta Party incumbent in the Calgary-Elbow riding, has identified the NDP government’s “single biggest scandal” as its meddling with Alberta’s electricity system that led to mass resignation of all but one member from the electricity balancing pool.
Alberta election: What promises has the Liberal Party made?, by Global News
- This global news article provides a chronological and categorical list of the promises made by the Alberta Liberal Party. Among them, the most recent promise made comes in the spending, tax, and economy categories, when the Liberals proposed that they would increase the tax free limit to eliminate personal income tax for many Albertans, lower the corporate income tax rate, and implement a revenue-neutral sales tax.