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Alberta Election 2019

Alberta leaders renew attacks on final full day of election campaign

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  • SHERWOOD PARK, Alta. — A day before Alberta voters go to the polls, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney and the NDP’s Rachel Notley traded attacks over the pipeline issue that has come to define the campaign.

    “Just one more sleep, one more day before Albertans have an opportunity to vote for change that gets our province back to work and that gets Alberta back on track,” Kenney told cheering supporters outside a campaign office in Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton, on Monday.

    Kenney, Notley and all other parties knocked on doors and rallied supporters one last time before voting day on Tuesday.

    In Calgary, Notley donned a hard hat and work boots to tour a pipe fabrication yard.

    “Through patient and determined action, we have built a durable national consensus on the need for pipelines,” she said.

    “A strong and growing majority of Canadians support Alberta pipelines, including in British Columbia. And I intend to keep it that way.”

    She said she’s expecting a federal green light next month for the stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would move oilsands crude to the West Coast for export.

    Kenney has spent much of the campaign criticizing Notley for what he calls her failure to deliver on a pipeline and her failed collaboration with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on energy and climate policy.

    He has said that if elected, he would set up an Alberta government “war room” to go after pipeline critics in real time and file several legal actions.

    In Sherwood Park, Kenney reiterated that Job 1 of his government would be to proclaim into law a bill passed by the Notley government giving the province the power to reduce oil exports to B.C. if it continues to impede progress on Trans Mountain.

    “What we will no longer tolerate are politicians and governments benefiting from our hard work and our resource wealth while doing everything they can to block that wealth and not allow us to achieve our economic potential,” said Kenney.

    Notley said Kenney’s stance puts the pipeline in jeopardy.

    “Mr. Kenny is prepared to mess it all up so that he can make headlines. It’s risky. It’s wrong for Alberta,” she said.

    Notley ridiculed Kenney’s promise to turn off the taps to B.C., saying the province is currently not the major roadblock to Trans Mountain. Rather, the expansion was delayed last year because the Federal Court of Appeal ordered more Indigenous consultation and study into the impact on marine life.

    “Unless he thinks he’s got one particular judge that he’s going to somehow pull back on their access to gas … it’s just not connected to the real problem,” she said.

    “And he knows it, but he’s just playing games. It’s irresponsible and Albertans deserve better than that.”

    Also Monday, Kenney addressed the issue of his Calgary-East candidate Peter Singh. Mounties raided Singh’s auto-repair shop last week and confiscated a computer hard drive and other items.

    Singh has said he has done nothing wrong.

    Kenney told reporters that while he has not talked with Singh, he understands police are dealing with Singh’s son, not Singh.

    “I’ve learned nothing more than what I’ve read in the media,” said Kenney.

    “As far as I know, he (Singh) hasn’t been accused of anything.”

    — With files from Lauren Krugel in Calgary

    Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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    Alberta

    Alberta Votes 2019 – All Three major parties made big promises on Monday

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  • Alberta’s political parties are in full-on campaign mode as Election Day approaches on April 16th. Each day the parties release information about their policies and platforms, candidate information and reactions to the day’s news. It can be difficult to try and keep up with it all, so from now until the election we’ll compile the news and information released from the parties each day.

    (Parties listed in alphabetical order)

    Alberta Party 

    Stephen Mandel announced a plan to bring film and motion picture jobs and head offices back to Alberta from BC.

    “Alberta has the beauty and talent to be the preferred location for film and television production in Canada, but the NDP has completely ignored this opportunity. The Alberta Party will put incentives in place to massively expand our screen industries, which will generate spin-off benefits for every city, town and village across our province.”

    Stephen Mandel – Leader of the Alberta Party

    FILM IN ALBERTA PROGRAM

    • The Film in Alberta Program will be the most attractive program of its kind in Canada. Corporations will receive a tax credit of up to 65% of eligible salaries or a tax credit of 35% on all eligible expenditures within Alberta.
      • The corporation must have a permanent establishment in Alberta.
      • Some genres will be excluded from the credit including, but not limited to, pornography, talk shows, live sports events, game shows, reality television, and advertising.
      • There will be no limit on production or video length. This will make Alberta the first jurisdiction in Canada to encourage YouTube and online creators to produce content here in Alberta. It will also attract e-sports broadcasting to Alberta.
      • Reduce red tape to film in locations under provincial jurisdiction.
      • The program is based on Manitoba’s model, which includes incentives for rural productions to achieve the full credit.
    • Hollywood has been coming to Alberta to make films since 1917. Productions made in Alberta have won more Emmys, Golden Globes and Oscars than any other region in the country. Alberta has an incredibly rich and diverse setting for film and television production — including mountains, foothills, plains, farmland, boreal forest, and urban locations. This competitive advantage can’t be offshored.
    • In 2017, the total volume of film and television production in Alberta was $308 million, while British Columbia and Ontario were close to $3 billion each. This program is expected to increase the economic impact of screen industries in Alberta to approximately $1.5 billion with benefits seen within the first few years. Spin-off economic activity across the province will boost hotels, the food industry and other support services.
    • The industry employs a variety of highly skilled workers such as programmers, electricians, and carpenters. Stimulating a huge expansion in this industry will create thousands of high-skilled, well-paying jobs and retain post-secondary graduates in Alberta.

     

    NDP 

    Rachel Notley introduced a plan to cap child care fees at $25 a day and add 13,000 more spaces across Alberta.

    “Finding safe, quality, affordable child care shouldn’t be a lottery,” said Notley. “It should be something families in Alberta can depend on.”

    Rachel Notley – Leader of the New Democratic Party of Alberta

    To help more parents join or stay in the workforce, Rachel Notley is committing to expand $25-a-day child care across Alberta.

    UCP

    United Conservative leader Jason Kenney outlines the United Conservative education platform.

    “As math scores plunge and report cards become increasingly difficult to understand, a United Conservative government will reset the curriculum rewrite, restore fundamentals to math and affirm the primary role of parents in choosing how their children are taught. It’s time to bring common sense to education.”

    Jason Kenney, Leader of the United Conservative Party of Alberta

    The United Conservative plan laid out by Kenney will:

    1. Maintain or increase education funding while seeking greater efficiency by reducing administrative overhead and pushing resources to front line teachers.
    2. Continue to build new schools. This will include ordering an immediate audit of class sizes to determine what happened to previous funding dedicated to class size reduction, and prioritizing public infrastructure funds for schools and health care infrastructure.
    3. End the focus on so-called “discovery” or “inquiry” learning, also known as constructivism, by repealing Minister Order #001/2013. A UCP government will develop a new Ministerial Order which focusses on teaching essential knowledge to help students develop foundational competencies.
    4. Pause the NDP’s curriculum review, and broaden consultations to be open and transparent, including a wider range of perspectives from parents, teachers, and subject matter experts.
    5. Reform student assessment so that students, parents and teachers can clearly identify areas of strength and weakness. This will include bringing back the Grade 3 Provincial Achievement Test, returning to a 50/50 split between Diploma and school grades for Grade 12, and implementing language and math assessments for students in grades 1, 2, and 3 to help both parents and teachers understand and assess progress in the critical early years, and remedy where necessary.
    6. Require clear, understandable report cards.
    7. Focus on excellence in outcomes, including benchmarking the Alberta education system against leading global jurisdictions; ensuring teachers have expertise in subject areas by introducing teacher testing; expand options for schools to facilitate expertise; requiring that the education faculties in Alberta’s universities themselves require that teachers take courses in the subjects they will one day teach in schools.
    8. Support safe schools that protect students against discrimination and bullying; and reinforce the need for open, critical debate and thinking as key to lifelong learning.
    9. Proclaim the Education Act (2014), taking effect on September 1, 2019. A UCP government will trust the hard work done by those who created the 2014 Education Act, and proclaim that legislation, already passed by the Legislature. Unlike the NDP’s curriculum review, conducted largely in secret, the 2014 Education Act resulted from years of widespread public consultation.
    10. Affirm parental choice through a Choice in Education Act. Alberta has a strong legacy of diversity in education. A UCP government will uphold the established right of parents to choose the education setting best suited for their children including: public, separate, charter, independent, alternative and home education programs.
    11. Reduce paperwork burdens on teachers, principals and other school staff, and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens throughout the system.
    12. Review and implement selected recommendations from the Task Force for Teaching Excellence. A UCP government will work with parents, teachers and principals to once again make Alberta’s schools the choice-based, excellent classrooms that all Albertans desire and deserve. A UCP government will defer to parents as the natural guardians of a child’s best interests and will trust teachers as professionals.
    13. Review the current funding formula to ensure that rural schools have adequate resources to deliver programs in an equitable way.
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    Alberta Election 2019

    Kenney lieutenant denies running “puppet” candidate in party leadership race

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  • EDMONTON — The staffer at the centre of a spreading scandal over Alberta’s United Conservative leadership race says party leader Jason Kenney’s team did not direct and prop up a bogus candidate to attack Kenney’s main rival.

    In a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, Matt Wolf says that when he worked on Kenney’s campaign, he shared policy and research ideas with the campaign of Jeff Callaway — but Callaway was his own boss.

    “To be clear, this was not a ‘puppet’-type operation,” Wolf wrote in an email to the UCP caucus Sunday morning.

    “Mr. Callaway made his own decisions for his own reasons. And while communicating with the Callaway campaign was hardly my preoccupation during the leadership (race), I did, at times push things like research materials to Mr. Callaway’s team.”

    Wolf also said he is not aware of anyone on Kenney’s team illicitly funding Callaway’s campaign.

    Such funding would violate Alberta’s election finance laws. Alberta’s elections commissioner has already fined one UCP member for making such an illegal contribution to the Callaway campaign, and the CBC has reported that the RCMP has now taken over the funding aspect of the investigation.

    “Our leadership campaign did not in any way funnel donations to the Callaway camp — an act that would clearly be in violation of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act,” wrote Wolf, who is currently Kenney’s deputy chief of staff for the UCP caucus.

    “I am very confident that even a suggestion of doing so would firmly be rejected by our campaign’s leadership team at the time, and rightly so.”

    Wolf could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.

    He wrote the letter just hours after CBC published a story and supporting documents late Saturday night detailing communications between the two campaigns.

    In those documents, later obtained by The Canadian Press, Wolf is shown in emails and other exchanges giving Callaway’s organizers talking points, speech and policy advice on attacking Kenney’s main rival in the race, Brian Jean.

    One piece of correspondence discussed when Callaway should drop out of the race — something he eventually did three weeks before voting day on Oct. 28, 2017, throwing his support to Kenney.

    Callaway was one of three rivals for the UCP leadership. The party was created after Kenney’s Progressive Conservatives and Brian Jean’s Wildrose party voted to merge.

    Jean was seen as Kenney’s main rival in the race. Kenney defeated Jean and candidate Doug Schweitzer handily, with 61 per cent of the vote. Jean garnered 32 per cent.

    Callaway, who had worked with Jean in the Wildrose party, repeatedly attacked Jean during the campaign in speeches, events and media scrums, questioning his policy ideas and financial management of the Wildrose.

    Callaway could not be reached for comment.

    The UCP did not make Kenney available Sunday, but the party’s executive director, Janice Harrington released a statement.

    It read: “Communication between leadership campaigns is perfectly normal in a preferential ballot election and was within the rules of the 2017 UCP leadership election.”

    Kenney and Callaway have previously denied that their campaigns worked together, and Wolf said in his letter that while his emails may look “unflattering,” the correspondence is normal practice among rival camps in politics.

    Premier Rachel Notley, in a speech to supporters on Sunday, said Kenney already showed questionable judgment recently when his staff staked out and filmed a political opponent.

    “But an alleged conspiracy to torpedo an opponent’s leadership campaign takes it to a whole other level,” Notley told supporters at her Edmonton-Strathcona nomination meeting.

    “Mr. Kenney owes Albertans a full accounting, not just empty denials…. Mr. Kenney has demonstrated a profound absence of integrity, and Albertans deserve better.”

    Derek Fildebrandt, a former UCP legislature member now running against Kenney as the head of the new Freedom Conservative party, said in a statement the documents show Kenney’s “willingness to do or say anything to obtain power; to corrupt and abuse the grassroots democratic promise to achieve his own ends.”

    The allegations come at a super-heated time in Alberta politics.

    Politicians return to the legislature Monday for a throne speech to begin a new session. The session could end at any time when Premier Rachel Notley decides to call the election.

    By law, the 28-day campaign and vote must be held before June 1.

     

    Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press


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