Wednesday March 27, 2019

News

After Jason Kenney made the education announcement that would kill Bill 24 for the overzealous faction of his supporters on Monday, a rally to support Gay Straight Alliances was scheduled in Edmonton tonight at 6:00. There is also a rally planned in Calgary on Thursday night at 6:15 pm.

A former candidate for the UCP in Calgary-Falconridge has been fined $9,000 for his role in Jeff Callaway’s Kamikaze Campaign for the UCP leadership race in 2017. Happy Mann also alleged Jason Kenney was involved in voter fraud, or personation in that race.

Policy

Alberta Liberals said they would work closely to shift some responsibilities from the province to municipal levels. David Khan said they would move Edmonton and Calgary to a more autonomous position and then work with smaller municipalities to transfer more decision-making power to them.

Rachel Notley was in Fort McMurray where she rolled out plans for an additional highway exit out of the city as well as an expansion for some of the heavy load transit routes. The plan comes with a price tag of almost $1.5 billion dollars.

Interestingly, a number of conservatives have been asking how these promises will be paid for. Personally, it’s escaped my notice that they are asking the same about every other Party’s platform, but there is a new rumour catching on outside of political circles: that the NDP will put in a sales tax if re-elected.

I love messaging and narratives and this one has been primed for about two years. Remember hearing how the NDP didn’t campaign on a carbon tax in 2015? Well, that was the prime. If you don’t hear the NDP campaigning on a sales tax, there’s no reason to believe they won’t implement one anyway.

Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel announced the Party’s Jobs First Plan. While corporate taxes would see a small decrease back to 10%, Mandel said minimum wage would stay at $15 per hour for all Albertans. He also said an Alberta Party government would increase the small business tax deduction from $500,000 to $1,000,000.

The Freedom Conservative Party has decided to take a seemingly unpopular stance against the Springbank Dam Project. Flood mitigation was a cornerstone of Greg Clark’s 2015 campaign, and until a week ago, the UCP was waffling on the project before coming around. As an aside, it’s difficult for a leader to be in all places and covering all issues at once. Fildebrandt’s announcement focused on issues important to constituents in many of the ridings his candidates are focused on and it wasn’t flood mitigation, it is property rights.

Jason Kenney announced that he would offer more funding to get “tough on crime“.  Political observers may remember this line from the 2011 federal campaign, and also from 2016 when his government’s policies were struck down by the Supreme Court for being “unconstitutional”. He also said the “revolving door of hardcore criminals will end the day a UCP government is sworn in”. Odds of that happening without legislation, federal assistance and an entire host of other things: zero. But it is a tried and true conservative phrase that gets people to the ballot box, even if the promise is never kept.

Facebook live watchers may have noticed that Mr. Kenney’s announcements no longer allow observers to hear answers to media questions. That’s because if they can keep anyone from having to hear him being asked to clarify his stance on GSAs, or his role in the Kamikaze Campaign, or if he was involved in fraud in the leadership race, again, they will.

Mostly fact, some opinion.

20 sleeps until Election Day…

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

Questions? Tips? dmaclean@countersign.ca

Twitter: @Mitchell_AB, @thisweekinAB

Recap: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8


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