Health & education are back and Toronto – we are here to help
Posted on March 27, 2019
Week two is quickly becoming social issues week on the campaign. Monday was childcare and education and Tuesday was all about healthcare. The NDP released their plan to reduce surgical wait times and increase emergency care through additional investment in Alberta’s health system. Healthcare used to be a hot-button issue in Alberta. During the 2015 election, polling showed that it was one of the top issues in the province and the NDP’s stance on healthcare is likely one of the reasons they won the election. In 2019, polling has shown that healthcare is no longer a top priority for Albertans – make of that what you will. In fact, healthcare, child care, and education are all low on the priority list this year. Despite this, the NDP is more than happy to press ahead with these kinds of policies because it appeals to their base and is unlikely to hurt their election chances. While many Albertans may not be enthusiastic about additional government spending, improvements to the education and health systems are typically welcome.
Despite being more than 2,700 kilometers from Alberta, Toronto has tried to make the election all about them. Toronto Councillor Mike Layton recently proposed that the City of Toronto sue Alberta oil and gas companies for their contributions to climate change. This could not have come at a better time for Jason Kenney and the UCP. The past few days have been challenging for the party, but this has given Kenney an opportunity to come out and bat for oil and gas companies – something he is more than willing to do. The UCP has pledged to unapologetically defend Alberta’s resource industry at any cost and they have been handed a perfect opportunity to do so.
Elections Alberta subtly made a major announcement yesterday regarding how Albertans will vote in this election. Each election, more and more Albertans take advantage of advance polling to cast their ballot ahead of election day. This ensures that their democratic voice is heard even if they are away on election day. Up until now, advance polling worked like regular polling on election day, voters would need to proceed to the designated polling station in their riding. This year, Elections Alberta has introduced new ‘vote anywhere’ ballots which will allow voters participating in advanced polling to vote at any polling station in the province. Once advance polling has concluded, the ‘vote anywhere’ ballots are collected and taken to a central counting station for tabulation. This is all a part of Elections Alberta’s push to make voting more convenient for Albertans and ensure as many people vote as possible.
Advance polling runs from April 9 through April 13.
Navigator’s top 5 news story daily picks
Braid: UCP health care policy invites return to PC-era chaos, by Don Braid with the Calgary Herald
- Don Braid warns that although health care has not been a major issue on the campaign trail thus far, it may reach more drastic heights when the “dire risks” of the UCP health promises sink in.
Alberta Teachers’ Association slams UCP education platform, by Janet French with the Edmonton Journal
- The Alberta Teachers’ Association claimed that the changes proposed by the UCP in a new education platform would create problems in K-12 education system by ignoring children with complex needs. The Teachers’ Association call the proposal “unnecessary and insulting.”
Toronto City Council ‘on notice’ over proposed oil lawsuit: Kenney, by Emma Graney with the Calgary Herald
- UCP Leader Jason Kenney is putting Toronto City Council on notice after becoming upset over a motion by Councillor Mike Layton to sue oil and gas companies over climate change. Kenney wrote Toronto Mayor John Tory, calling the motion “injurious to national unity.”
- Due to a new voting format, the announcement of the official results of the election will not be available until April 26, ten days after the election is held. This CBC article outlines the new format and why delays can be expected.
As Alberta election nears, political insider faces fines, alleges voter fraud in UCP leadership campaign, by Drew Anderson, Carolyn Dunn, Allison Dempster, Bryan Labby, Audrey Neveu with CBC News
- Hardyal (Happy) Mann, a Calgary political operative, was ruled to have made irregular political contributions to the Jeff Callaway campaign during the UCP leadership campaign in 2017. The Alberta Election Commissioner’s announcement points to Mann facing fines due to the alleged voter fraud. The story is still developing.