Alberta Minute: Leadership Debate, Campaign Promises, and Health Care Commitments
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The provincial election campaign is ongoing, with new announcements being made daily. See below for some highlights but be sure to keep an eye on our news page - and your inbox - for the details of every day’s announcements. The Provincial Leaders' Debate, between the NDP’s Rachel Notley and the UCP’s Danielle Smith, will take place on Thursday, May 18th at 6:00 pm. The debate will be hosted by Global and CTV, and televised on a wide range of channels as well as online.
The nomination period is now over, and the list of election candidates is final. The UCP and NDP are running a full slate of 87 candidates - one in every riding. In total, there are 349 nominated candidates, but no other party is running candidates in even half of the seats. You can use these handy online tools to find your riding, your local candidates, and your polling station.
- Wildfires continue to burn in the province, and more hot, dry weather in the forecast will make the firefighting efforts more challenging. Emergency relief funds are available to everyone who has been forced to evacuate for seven days or more.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Danielle Smith reiterated the UCP’s commitment to public health care. She promised Albertans that they will never need to pay out of pocket to see a family doctor or access needed medical care and that any information to the contrary is completely false. Smith also held a press conference announcing a new maternal and children’s health strategy with expanded newborn screening, improved obstetrics services, and a province-wide midwives strategy. She also referenced recent Alberta Health Services data showing that, since November, ambulance response times have improved dramatically. The NDP also announced a health care plan. Rachel Notley promised signing bonuses of up to $10,000 for doctors and nurses, as well as a program to support or supplement the income of foreign-trained health professionals who are taking classes to upgrade their credentials as a condition of their licensing.
The UCP revealed their Safe Streets Action Plan, and Danielle Smith promised that, if re-elected, violent offenders out on bail will be required to wear ankle bracelets for 24/7 monitoring. More police officers would be deployed in Calgary and Edmonton under the plan, with an eye on targeting drug trafficking, gangs, and internet child exploitation. Smith said that a UCP government will no longer tolerate Albertans feeling unsafe on their streets.
- A complaint has been filed with Elections Alberta by the UCP. They allege that three unions, the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), appear to have acted as Third Party Advertisers, colluding with the NDP in order to exceed campaign expense limits. The NDP’s party constitution explicitly calls the AFL an affiliated organization and reserves four delegate positions for AFL members at party conventions as well as two seats on their Provincial Council. The AFL - and other unions - say they have complied with the rules.
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