After a busy first few days on the Alberta election campaign trail, most party leaders have a lighter schedule on Saturday.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley was supposed to have a photo opportunity in her Edmonton riding, however her plan to knock on doors was kiboshed by a lone protester with a megaphone.
The man, who called himself Les, said he lived in the neighbourhood. Global News observed as the man shouted that he didn’t like Notley or her policies and argued with residents who defended the leader.
“Anyone want to wager on the next election? I’ll bet you $100 that Notley doesn’t win,” he chirped, going on to complain about spending.
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A resident confronted the man, saying she didn’t object to him sharing his opinions but took issue with him using a loud megaphone. The two argued for a moment before the woman walked away in frustration.
An NDP staffer approached the protester and they debated for several minutes, but in the end the photo opportunity to door-knock was effectively cancelled because of the disturbance.
The media event was moved to Notley’s campaign office opening, where she greeted volunteers and supporters. Notley said the 2019 election was the most important campaign in a generation.
“It really is about the kind of Alberta that we all want to live in,” she told volunteers at her campaign office in Old Strathcona.
Meanwhile, UCP Leader Jason Kenney was in Red Deer talking about fighting for a better deal for Alberta. Many of his points dealt with federal jurisdiction that is beyond the powers of a provincial government.
Kenney shared a nine-point plan he said would strengthen Alberta’s position in Canada’s federation:
- Holding a referendum on equalization payment reform as leverage for federal action on pipelines, and to demand reforms to the current equalization formula.
- Ask Ottawa to increase the limit of the Fiscal Stabilization Fund to protect Alberta for major fiscal shocks.
- Work with other provinces and press Ottawa to cut federal income tax rates equal to the amounts now transferred to the provinces under the Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer
- Repeal Alberta’s agreement to increase CPP tax from 4.95 per cent to 5.95 per cent, and work with other provinces to prevent future payroll tax increases
- Demand that Employment Insurance be reformed so Albertans who lose their jobs (as well as employers who pay EI premiums) are treated more fairly
- Demand Alberta residents be exempt from the CMHC stress test
- Seek to form federal and provincial agreements to create pre-approved, guaranteed land corridors moving east-west, and north to the Arctic, in order to move products to market
- Join Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister in pressing the federal government to adopt a Charter of Economic Rights. The UCP said this is a long-term strategic goal.
- End Alberta’s agreement with the Parole Board of Canada and pass legislation to create an Alberta Parole Board, similar to what is in place in Ontario and Quebec.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan spent the day in Calgary, doorknocking and attending events.
The Alberta Party said there was no official events planned for leader Stephen Mandel, but he would be door knocking in his west Edmonton neighbourhood.