On Day 16 of the Alberta election campaign trail, the leaders were in the province’s two biggest cities to talk about the energy sector and economic growth.
NDP Leader Rachel Noltey made an announcement in Calgary and appealed to right-leaning voters with a callback to previous government blunders.
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United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney was directly west of Edmonton on the Enoch Cree First Nation, talking about the energy industry.
Liberal Leader David Khan will be talking about the economy and door-knocking in his riding of Calgary-Mountain View.
Where the leaders are Wednesday on the campaign trail:
NDP Leader Rachel Notley
The leader of Alberta’s NDP urged voters who chose right-leaning candidates in the past to pick her party in the April 16 provincial election.
Speaking in Calgary, Rachel Notley said she respects why people had put their trust in the long-governing former Progressive Conservative party, but added they were in power too long and left working people vulnerable by not doing enough to diversify the economy.
She said Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party brought together the worst aspects of the former PC and Wildrose parties, which merged in 2017. She said the UCP represents entitlement and intolerance rolled into one neat package.
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney
Jason Kenney said an Alberta government led by him would help Indigenous communities invest in resource projects.
He says a UCP government would consult with First Nations in establishing a Crown Corporation called the Aboriginal Opportunities Corporation.
And it would backstop up to $1 billion in Indigenous investment in natural resource projects and infrastructure, including pipelines.
In the leadup to the April 16 provincial election, Kenney has been hammering on the records of the Alberta NDP and federal Liberals on building new market-opening pipelines.
Kenney says many First Nations support projects like the stalled Trans Mountain expansion to the West Coast, but do not have financial means to buy a stake.
He says a Crown corporation would provide technical and advisory support to Indigenous communities and offer a range of financial tools.
“We need to do something dramatically different to end the stalemate that has left Alberta energy landlocked and has led to a jobs crisis in our province,” Kenney said at the Enoch Cree Nation near Edmonton on Wednesday.
“The Trudeau-Notley alliance has killed two pipelines, put two more on life support, and is threatening our future with anti-pipeline laws like Bill C-69 and C-48.”
Bill C-69 refers to federal legislation overhauling how resource projects are reviewed and C-48 pertains to an oil tanker ban on the northern B.C. coast.
“We need a radically new approach from the failure of the past so we can get a fair price for our energy, and we need to move beyond empty words to give real, concrete meaning to reconciliation with Aboriginal Canadians,” Kenney said.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan said if elected, his party would create jobs and reduce the province’s unemployment rate.
“The Alberta Liberal Economic Growth Strategy is based on three core principles: a world-class workforce; expanding market access; and creating an investment-friendly Alberta,” Khan said in a media release.
The party said its plan includes an $80-million funding commitment, giving $2,500 per year to help 32,000 out-of-work Albertans train for new job opportunities.
The party would also increase the number of science, technology, engineering and math graduates in Alberta by 25 per cent.
“We will work tirelessly to boost market access for our oil and gas products. We will push to approve and build the Trans Mountain pipeline responsibly,” the party said.
“We are demanding a progress report from the federal government on Indigenous consultations. We must get this process right. We will build renewed demand for an Energy East pipeline to displace foreign oil imports to eastern Canada.”
The Liberals would also propose “concrete amendments” to Bill C-69.
The party said its economic growth strategy would also exempt small business startups from income tax for their first three years.
Khan has spent many days of the campaign door knocking in Calgary-Mountain View, where he is running against NDP Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, the Alberta Party’s Angela Kokott – a former journalist at Global Calgary and 770 CHQR – and UCP candidate Jeremy Wong, an ordained minister.
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel
No schedule released
Corus Alberta radio coverage
— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News