May 11, 2023
Both leaders are out in Calgary today, with UCP leader Danielle Smith making an Affordability for Seniors announcement this morning and NDP leader Rachel Notley making an infrastructure funding announcement later this afternoon. A third of the way through the campaign, Calgary indeed continues to be seen as the critical battleground that will determine success in this election. It’s worth noting that this afternoon was the deadline for candidates to submit candidate nomination papers with Elections Alberta to be eligible for the May 29 election. That means no more last-minute candidates or changes in party nominees. In other words, candidates from any party that find themselves facing criticism during the election will still be on the ballot listed next to their party, and parties can no longer drop or replace candidates.
- In Calgary, UCP leader Danielle Smith announced a seniors’ discount, a 25% reduction in fees to automatically be applied when seniors access government services via registry. The discount also applies to booking camping spots. A new billing code will be created to discount medical driving tests. The UCP leader was joined by candidates Rajan Sawhney (Calgary-North West) and Pamela Rath (Calgary-Mountain View).
- Today’s UCP announcement was noteworthy for other reasons too: a group of protestors interrupted the UCP leader’s announcement, disrupting the event by shouting and waving signs opposed to the UCP leader’s positions on healthcare. The NDP found itself on the defensive, having shared details of the UCP event’s location and time in advance in a Twitter post. In a subsequent Twitter posting, the NDP condemned the actions of the protestors.
- At a Lethbridge news conference, NDP candidate Shannon Phillips (Lethbridge-West) launched a new attack on the UCP’s position on public healthcare. The NDP released a video excerpt of incumbent UCP candidate Nathan Neudorf (Lethbridge-East) raising concerns about Albertans going to hospital emergency wards for minor ailments and procedures, suggesting this wouldn’t be the case “if people had to pay for emergency room visits.”
- NDP leader Rachel Notley is making an announcement in Calgary later tonight at an evening rally event, joined by candidates Michael Lisboa-Smith (Calgary-North West) and Julia Hayter (Calgary-Edgemont). The NDP is expected to announce a $1.2 billion infrastructure plan for Calgary that includes light-rail transit, 40 new schools, and a north health campus.
- The Canadian Armed Forces has deployed in Alberta to assist with the ongoing wildfire situation. Troops from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI) and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (1CER) are now establishing bases of operation.
In the News
- The Calgary Herald – “Varcoe: Big $60B hit for Alberta in a net-zero world if Canada phases out oil and gas by 2050, study finds”
- The Calgary Herald – “Braid: Braid: Both sides condemn activists disruption of Danielle Smith campaign event”
- The Canadian Press – “Alberta UCP promises new 25% discount for seniors”
- The Canadian Press – “UCP candidate Neudorf concerned Albertans with minor ailments abusing emergency care”
- CTV News – “Health-care protest interrupts UCP affordability announcement in Calgary”
- Toronto Star – “Why even her Hitler reference hasn’t sunk Danielle Smith”
- Medicine Hat News – “Smith in Hat for local forums next week”
- LethbridgeNewsNOW – “Phillips accuses Neudorf of supporting paid health care, Neudorf responds”
- Global News – “King Charles ‘deeply concerned’ as Alberta wildfires rage”
- Global News – “Alberta NDP promise $1.2B in funding for new Calgary schools, health center and transit”
- CBC – “Elections Alberta monitoring wildfires for possible election delay”
- Calgary Herald – “Hot, dry conditions to settle over Alberta, bringing greater fire risk”