Provincial election campaign hits halfway mark

With less than two weeks to go until the provincial election, candidates continue to pound the pavement in hopes of garnering support from local voters.

Party leaders continue to make their way to Red Deer as part of the campaign trail and on Monday NDP Leader Brian Mason made a City stop.

“I think that this is an exciting time in Alberta politics and for the NDP,” he told supporters at the local NDP campaign office. “We can have a positive campaign and tell people what we stand for and how we want to make this a better province. Things look very good for us. We’re very pleased the polls look good. I think we’re going to win a number of new sets in this election. Our messages of civility combined with some very positive policy changes that will improve the lives of Albertans have made a difference.”

He added he thinks the issues this election include are better health care, more accessible and stable education funding, stable electricity prices and better returns on our royalties as well as keeping the jobs in Alberta by upgrading the crude bitumen here.

Following the campaign trail earlier this week, the Alberta Liberals declared they will provide $900 million a year to municipalities for green transportation projects on a per capita basis.

“One of the greatest needs for our municipal partners is green transportation,” said Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman. “Edmonton and Calgary will each see about $300 million a year from this program, which they can use to build new LRT lines, to name just one example. Smaller centres will also benefit from this move to put a real price on carbon.”

Alberta Premier Alison Redford is looking to strengthen rural communities in the province. Protecting our way of life: A Plan for Rural Alberta will focus on outcomes, so that individuals, families and businesses increasingly see the option of choosing rural communities as both attractive and viable, she said.

“Rural Alberta has an outstanding quality of life, but one thing parents worry about is whether their kids will be able to make their homes here and raise their own families here. My government will ensure that good jobs, health and education services that support a desirable and successful lifestyle are available in rural areas,” she said. “Within a short time, only six countries in the world will produce more food than they consume. Canada will be one of them, and Alberta is central to that achievement. That means that our agricultural industry is more important than ever. We need policies that will continue to make rural communities vibrant and prosperous. And Albertans need us to provide focused investment, effective supports, and leadership so that they can do this where they live.”

The issues facing rural communities are complex, and cannot be adequately addressed by piecemeal measures. Instead, they require a visionary, responsive and determined strategy and commitment.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith also announced the Alberta Accountability Act, a comprehensive plan to clean up government by restoring openness, honesty, democracy, and accountability to the Government of Alberta.

“The Alberta Accountability Act will empower MLAs to be true representatives for their constituents and restore transparency to how Alberta is governed,” said Smith. “Albertans expect their government to respect their hard-earned tax-dollars, be open and accountable for how they make decisions, and to make the legislature a place where Albertans’ voices are heard. The Alberta Accountability Act will do exactly that.”

Meanwhile, a televised leader debate will take place on Thursday evening.

Voters will head to the polls April 23rd.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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