Alberta’s major party leaders fight for support as Election Day nears

The leaders of Alberta’s four major political parties vying for the premier’s seat were busy across the province on Sunday.

Rachel Notley, leader of the NDP, took part in Calgary’s Vaisakhi celebration with the Sikh community before returning to Edmonton to continue her campaign there.

Following the event, she responded to Kenney’s threat of ‘turning off the taps’ of oil to B.C., calling it a ‘declaration of war’ and Alberta could very well be a casualty in that fight.

“Jason Kenney’s plan is too risky for Calgary, too risky for the industry, too risky for jobs and it’s exactly that kind of thoughtless grandstanding that supports our argument,” she told the media. “I think what he’s going to do is he’s going to alienate a lot of people who we have worked very hard to bring on side in places like B.C.”

She added that she’s feeling cautiously optimistic about her chances on Election Day, but the energy generated by her supporters has been “amazing.”

“Everywhere we go, we were in deep southeast Calgary last night. It’s feeling really good on the ground and we’re certainly seeing there is a lot of volatility and a lot of movement and we’re hopeful that the momentum is coming our way.”

Jason Kenney attends Vaisakhi in Edmonton

United Conservative leader Jason Kenney also participated in the Sikh festival on Sunday, meeting with the gathering Edmonton.

He did leave the event without speaking to the media about his plans for the campaign or even some new allegations from the Alberta Party.

Mandel addresses alleged robocalls from impostor

Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel was in Edmonton for the final weekend, saying the campaign has become one of the “nastiest in the history of Alberta.”

“One that I am almost ashamed to be a part of because it has been so difficult to go through some of the days where people are calling names or people are passing out literature,” he says. “It’s really gotten to a point where we go to the doors and that’s the number one conversation we are hearing from people.”

Mandel says the situation reached a different level when he was told about a robocall that was trying to get voters to ignore the Alberta Party but pretended to be Stephen Mandel on the line.

“At about 5:30 yesterday afternoon, I got a call. I answered it and it said, ‘Hi, I’m Stephen Mandel of the Alberta Party and as you know, we are having an election on Tuesday and if you believe in Alberta, Jason Kenney has all the answers,” said Marvin Olsen, the Alberta Party candidate for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville.

Mandel says he’s shocked at the existence of such a robocall.

“We don’t know who did it. We’re not saying who did it; we don’t know, but we are going to ask the RCMP as well as Elections Alberta to investigate it because somebody did it.”

Mandel says he’s always held that politics is an honourable profession and people need to respect politicians.

As mentioned, Kenney did not comment on the robocall, but Notley said she’d only heard rumours about their existence.

“Obviously it shouldn’t happen and I think people should use due diligence,” she said.

Alberta Liberals promise to update alcohol and cannabis rules

On Sunday, the Alberta Liberals announced a new plan to do away with the “restrictive government monopoly” in the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis.

“Most Albertans drink responsibly. AGLC’s arbitrary and restrictive regulations treat Albertans like children. We will end that Big Government interference,” David Khan said in a release.

To achieve that, the party has promised to relax the restrictions on alcohol consumption and allow people to drink at festivals and parks while also making it easier for organizations to acquire liquor licences for events.

“We will reform the AGLC to create jobs and add a little fun. We will give Albertans a better lifestyle. They deserve it.”

While the NDP has narrowed the gap, the UCP is still leading in the polls two days before the big vote. It will be up to Albertans to decide the winner on April 16.

(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)



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