CALGARY – Alberta’s opposition parties are rushing to nominate candidates after Premier Rachel Notley dropped the writ for a Calgary byelection on Tuesday.
Voters in the Calgary Greenway constituency will go to the polls on Mar. 22 to replace the late Progressive Conservative MLA Manmeet Bhullar.
Bhullar was killed last November in a traffic accident.
The Liberals moved their nomination meeting up a week to Feb. 24 after saying the NDP government is trying to take political advantage of the timing.
“It’s a little bit disrespectful but we have adjusted (and) we are going to rearrange our timeline and our venue,” Alberta Liberal leader David Swann said.
The Wildrose party has said Notley should have shown more respect for the democratic process and waited to drop the writ until all candidates were named.
“This is the type of action the NDP would have condemned while in opposition. Now in government, they have become very comfortable working in the grey areas,” Jason Nixon, the Wildrose party’s ethics critic, said.
Watch below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley responds to the timing on the Calgary Greenway byelection
The Wildrose party is looking at rescheduling its nomination meeting from Mar. 5 to this Friday.
The PC party will hold its candidate nomination meeting on Saturday.
The NDP already has a candidate.
“This is a byelection that, I suspect you will agree, I wish I didn’t have to call,” Notley said Monday. “The seat was left vacant by a terrible tragedy that shocked and saddened all Albertans.
“Manmeet Bhullar was a fierce and tireless advocate for his community and the legacy he left in and outside of the legislature will not be forgotten.”
Notley’s officials have said everyone knew that a byelection was coming and should have had candidates in place.
With files from Global News
© 2016 The Canadian Press