October 24, 2014 6:03 pm
Updated: October 24, 2014 8:31 pm

Calgary Elbow candidates cry foul over alleged ‘electioneering’


CALGARY – Alberta’s education minister is denying it, but every other candidate in Calgary Elbow is calling it electioneering – pure and simple.

The Calgary Catholic School District had sod turning ceremonies across the southeast today, and Gordon Dirks was at each of them.

Dirks, who’s the PC candidate in Calgary Elbow, insists it’s just part of his job. “My role as minister of education is to serve the school boards, the school jurisdictions and the children of the province,” said Dirks.

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“And the Catholic School District here in Calgary invited me to their sod turning and I simply responded,” added Dirks.

But his opponents don’t see it that way.

“It’s the ultimate in cynical politics, and I think what it shows the PC’s are running scared in Calgary Elbow,” said Greg Clark, the Alberta Party candidate in Calgary Elbow.

“We have been replacing PC signs with our signs all day on this block. There are two people who put Dirk signs down and put my sign up,” he said.

“Obviously its important to him to go to a sod turning media event,” said Susan Wright, Liberal candidate in Calgary Elbow.

“It is not important for him to show up at a Mount Royal University debate where voters in the area could have had a much better sense of who he was and what he stood for”, said Wright.

“He should be going door to door like I am and listening to the people here, and not a phony sod turning photo-op,” said John Fletcher, the Wildrose candidate.

“What he should be doing out here is gaining the respect of the voters,” he said.

“You could just as easily give me a shovel and I could go out there and dig a hole and promise people I would build a school,” said NDP candidate Stephanie McLean.

“This is exactly what the PCs have done before.”

In danger of being lost in the politics, Auburn Bay, New Brighton and Cranston all got much needed schools – promised to be open and running by the 2016 school year.

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