The Week in Review: March 22, 2019
Posted on March 22, 2019
Campaign Highlights: Week 1
The first week of the election was a tale of two very different campaigns, with both major parties unveiling their overarching campaign narratives. Jason Kenney and the UCP spent the first week trying to frame the election as a referendum on four years of failed NDP fiscal policy and an opportunity for the province to hit a reset on a struggling economy. Rachel Notley and the NDP focused their first week of the campaign on questions surrounding the 2017 UCP leadership race and concerns regarding Jason Kenney and UCP candidates’ positions on a variety of social issues.
Where the candidates campaigned this week was almost as informative to political watchers as the content of the leaders’ messages. The UCP appears to be focusing their resources on suburban Edmonton, where UCP victories could translate into a large provincial majority, while the NDP appear to be playing defence and trying to hold onto Calgary-area ridings they picked up in 2015.
This Week’s Announcements
This week saw a flurry of announcements, with the parties’ policy commitments designed to reinforce each campaign’s narrative.
- March 19th: Rachel Notley kicked off the campaign at a rally in Calgary.
- March 20th: Notley announced that a re-elected government would double incentives for petrochemical and upgrading projects from $3.6 billion to $7 billion over the next ten years. She then concluded day two on the campaign trail at a rally in Lethbridge.
- March 20th: NDP MLA Sarah Hoffman unveiled a new ad focused on twenty-year-old comments Jason Kenney made about same-sex spousal rights.
- March 21st: Rachel Notley began her day in Lethbridge by announcing that the NDP will build 2,000 additional long-term care beds for seniors.
- March 22nd. While in Calgary, Premier Notley announced new anti-flood infrastructure for the city. She also held a rallyin Calgary-North East.
- March 19th: Jason Kenney kicked off the campaign at an event at Total Energy Services in Leduc. Later in the night, he held a rally in Edmonton.
- March 20th: On day two of the campaign, Jason Kenney held an announcement about the carbon tax, an issue that will be key in the campaign. Kenney re-iterated his promise to scrap the carbon tax, and his plan to make his first bill the Carbon Tax Repeal Act.
- March 21st: In Calgary, Kenney announced his plan to defend Alberta by opposing Bill C-69.
- Later in the evening, he also held a campaign rally in Calgary-North East.
- March 22nd. Jason Kenney announced his party’s strategy to combat anti-oilsands campaigns in Alberta.
Alberta Party Announcements
- March 19th: Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel kicked off his campaign with a rally in Edmonton.
- March 20th: The Alberta Party announced that if elected they will invest nearly $1 billion in childcare through a child care voucher system.
- March 21st: Sticking to the theme of education, Stephen Mandel announced that his government would double the number of educational assistants in K-12 classrooms.
- March 22nd: The Alberta Party announcedthat they intend to expand dental coverage for children to include annual dental checkups. The party also announced that they intend to consult with municipalities about adding fluoride to the drinking water.
Alberta Liberal Party Announcements
- March 19th: Liberal Party leader David Khan kicked off the campaign with a rally in his constituency of Calgary-Mountain View.
- March 20th: Khan pledged to reduce class sizes and boost support for inclusive education.
- March 21st: Khan announced an indigenous policy platform to promote understanding and healing alongside Alberta Liberal Party candidates.
This week, the dominant news story was the media frenzy surrounding Jeff Callaway’s alleged “Kamikaze” leadership campaign. Additional election coverage tended to focus on the “horse race” of who’s up/who’s down and analysis of key swing ridings.
- Jen Gerson – What really happened inside the Alberta UCP’s ‘kamikaze’ campaign
- Kim Trynacity – 10 ridings to watch in Alberta’s election campaign
- Gary Mason – Alberta braces for a vicious, bruising election
- Bill Kaufman – UCP retains huge lead over NDP in crucial Calgary battleground