September 10, 2014 2:34 pm
Updated: September 10, 2014 9:12 pm

Can orange be the new blue? NDP push for progress in Tory-dominated Alberta


Watch above: Thomas Mulcair and his crew are setting their sights on Alberta ahead of the 2015 election. Quinn Ohler looks at the party’s chances.

EDMONTON – The federal NDP is in Edmonton, strategizing its campaign for next year’s federal election and discussing ideas about how to make inroads in Alberta, a province dominated by the Progressive Conservative party.

The PCs hold every federal seat in Alberta except one, held by NDP MP Linda Duncan in the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona.

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“That’s sort of what sets us apart – New Democrats – from other parties, we’re very much grounded in the community,” said Duncan.

“When we win, we win because we’ve done that hard work on the ground.”

“We wanted to make absolutely sure that we’re able to talk to Albertans and tell them a bit about what change the NDP can bring to Ottawa next year in the election, and what it would mean to have Tom Mulcair as our national prime minister,” said NDP House Leader Peter Julian.

The party’s selling point to Albertans is NDP MPs fight for issues that are important to their constituents, unlike their PC counterparts.

“There’s a perception that a lot of the conservative MPs just basically follow the line that the prime minister’s office lays down,” said Julian.

A strategy the NDP has taken to gain ground with voters is releasing its platform a year before the federal election.

Among the key issues on the platform are healthcare, childcare, as well as holding a public inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

“These are important things that people are talking about on the streets of our cities right across the country,” said Julian.

“The number one priority that’s identified in my constituency is…people always think ‘Oh, energy’, no, it’s healthcare,” explained Duncan.

The federal Liberal party also held caucus meetings in Edmonton earlier in the summer.

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