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Calgary-Buffalo candidates debate ahead of Alberta election

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WATCH: Energy, health care and education all topped the list of issues at the Calgary-Buffalo debate on Tuesday night where candidates focused on party platforms. Michael King reports – Apr 3, 2019

More than 200 people packed the Inglewood Community Hall on Tuesday night to listen to Calgary-Buffalo candidates debate a wide range of Alberta election issues: climate change, debt, health care and education.

Candidates Joe Ceci (Alberta NDP), Tom Olsen (United Conservative Party), Cory Hetherington (Alberta Independence Party), Jennifer Khan (Alberta Liberal Party) and Omar Masood (Alberta Party) stayed on message while remaining civil.

READ MORE: Alberta election promise tracker: Where do the parties stand on the major issues?

The hottest topics of the night — the ones that drew the most applause — were pipelines and social issues such as not outing gay kids in Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) policy.

“If we could get our natural gas to the coast, have it liquified and sent to China, they burn it instead of the coal they burn — immediate impact on international greenhouse gas emissions and that’s the goal,” Olsen said.

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“There are some topics we’re quite close together on topics such as flood mitigation strategies,” Khan said. “There are topics that we’re fairly far apart on such as GSAs in schools.”

Some candidates voiced their support for the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project.

“We are strongly in favour of working towards a Springbank dry dam,” Ceci said. “This project is the most cost-effective and best protects the downtown Calgary from future flooding.”

The economy was a talker, too.

“I think the foundation for making sure that all Albertans in the next generation are ready for the changes we’re seeing in our economy has to start with education,” Masood said.

– With files from Global News’ Michael King

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