Parents’ votes up for grabs
Posted on March 26, 2019
Yesterday, the NDP unveiled what is likely to be their marquee promise for this election. Province-wide $25 childcare is a significant expansion of a current commitment to those families with young children. The NDP are critically aware that this is the sort of policy that galvanizes their base and mobilizes voters.
The NDP were extremely effective at mobilizing their base in the 2015 election and that turned out to make a difference. Union workers and school trustees arrived at polling stations around the province and cast votes for NDP candidates. Whether or not the NDP can mobilize these valuable groups at the same level as last time will be a major question on election day.
The UCP unveiled their education platform yesterday which attempts to appeal to both the mainstream population and the stalwart conservative base. For the mainstream audience, Jason Kenney resolved to end the discovery curriculum, a controversial way of teaching students. The discovery curriculum has been met with a significant amount of opposition from parents who either do not fully understand what it is or feel that it negatively impacts the academic performance of students.
It will be interesting to see how teachers react to Kenney’s proposal to eliminate the discovery teaching model as teachers have played an important role in the previous two Alberta elections (Redford in 2012 and Notley in 2015).
The proposed curriculum change was overshadowed in the media by a promise to pass a piece of old legislation which would reorganize the current school legislation. As a by-product of this change, schools would be required to follow the former Progressive Conservative government’s rules on gay-straight alliances. This is a change that directly appeals to the UCP’s conservative base.
The Calgary – Mountainview riding is quickly becoming one of the races to watch in this election. This riding has been the only stronghold of the Alberta Liberal Party since former party leader David Swann won the seat in 2004. With Dr. Swann’s retirement, the seat is now up for grabs. The new Alberta Liberal leader, David Khan is running in this riding along with provincial Minister of Justice Kathleen Ganley, who changed ridings this year, and Jeremy Wong, the replacement for former disgraced UCP candidate Caylan Ford.
It will be interesting to see how Alberta teachers react to Kenney’s proposal to eliminate the discovery teaching model as teachers have played an important part in the previous two elections.
Navigator’s top 5 news story daily picks
Alberta Election Day 7: Notley pledges big expansion of $25-per-day child care; Kenney says UCP would ‘put away failed teaching fads’, by Janet French, Clare Clancy, Emma Graney, and Craig Ellingson with the Edmonton Journal
- Rachel Notley has made her major announcement teased this past weekend: the NDP would offer a flagship, 25$-a-day child care plan, subsidizing all child care spaces in the province. Kenney announces that the UCP would bring back Grade 3 provincial achievement tests and introduce new standardized math testing.
Alberta Liberal leader defends lone Calgary stronghold, as UCP candidate steps down for white supremacist comments, by Trevor Howell and Andrew Jeffrey with the Star Calgary
- Discussed is the importance of the Calgary-Mountain View riding to David Khan and the Alberta Liberal Party. It goes on to mention how Khan’s competition in the region was disrupted when Caylan Ford resigned over controversial tweets.
UCP would roll back school protections for LGBTQ students, add new provincial exams, by Janet French with the Calgary Herald
- In an announcement from the UCP leader Jason Kenney on Monday, it was understood that if elected, his party would seek to replace Alberta’s School Act with the former Progressive Conservative Education Act. This would eliminate some legal protections for LGBTQ students and school staff.
School boards call on parties for funding commitment ahead of provincial election, by Ryan White with CTV News
- School board trustees across Alberta have united in an effort to see all political parties committing funds to educational initiatives. According to these trustees, an estimated 15,000 students will join the school system for the 2019/2020 school year, and they will all need funding.
Leong: In Alberta election, pipeline promises will be hard to keep, by Ricky Leong with the Calgary Sun
- Ricky Leong suggests that the pipeline-related promises made on the campaign trail will be much harder to execute on than they are to propose. Citing federal regulations, Leong suggests that there will be too many roadblocks along the way for parties to guarantee the delivery of their lofty pipelines promises.