May 03, 2023
The focus among the campaigns shifted to jobs and the economy, with the NDP announcing a jobs plan and the UCP criticizing the cost of an NDP commitment. NDP leader Rachel Notley outlined a plan she said will create 47,000 new jobs and attract $20 billion in capital investment to the province. The UCP launched an attack against an NDP commitment to mandating a net-zero electrical grid by 2035, suggesting such a plan would cost $87 billion, making it the most expensive campaign promise in Alberta’s history. The NDP also circulated another Danielle Smith video clip on social media from prior to her being Premier, again attempting to cast doubts on the UCP leader’s commitment to public health.
Contrast pieces and attacks levelled at opponents are expected in political campaigns, but in this election, these types of communications are receiving particular attention. The strategy comes with no surprise given the little introductory communications required for two well-known major party leaders. We will likely see an increased number of these attacks as more Albertans tune into the campaign. As such, the current relative quietness of the election may turn into a frenzy of attacks and defensive communications in the coming weeks.
- UCP Candidates Brian Jean and Rebecca Schulz hosted a press conference revealing the cost of a key NDP campaign promise. Jean and Schulz suggested that the NDP’s commitment to a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 is the most expensive promise in Alberta’s political history coming in at $87 billion, based on independent reports from both an econometrics firm as well as the Alberta Electrical Systems Operator (AESO). The NDP commitment was made by Rachel Notley during a speech to party members at an NDP AGM in 2021. It followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s November 2021 COP26 commitment to a net-zero grid by 2035. NDP Energy Critic and Calgary-Mountain View candidate Kathleen Ganley defended the NDP net-zero commitment today, saying “every major G7 country has committed to net-zero electricity grids by 2035.”
- Similar to yesterday, UCP Leader Danielle Smith visited more local Calgary area candidates. She appeared on Shaye Ganam’s radio talk show airing in Calgary and Edmonton.
- NDP leader Rachel Notley was in safe territory today making an announcement in Edmonton, where NDP support is understood to be strongest. Together with NDP candidate Taneen Rudyk (Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville), Notley announced a job plan she promises will create 47,000 jobs and attract $20 billion in capital investment. The plan involves the creation of an Alberta’s Future Tax Credit aimed at emerging industrial sectors as well as an enhancement to the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program.
In the News
- National Post – “Danielle Smith says she won’t comment on controversial Calgary street pastor”
- National Post – “Rahim Mohamed: Notley wants to copy health plan so expensive even Ontario Liberals ended it”
- CBC – “Alberta’s election race is on! Or it’s strangely slow. Or it’s all just one long slog”
- CTV News – “NDP releases plan to create energy-sector jobs; UCP takes aim at Notley’s net-zero target”
- LiveWire Calgary: “UCP and NDP duel over the impact of a 2035 net-zero power grid”
- Journal of Commerce – “Alberta builders challenge Notley on ‘B.C.-style’ CBAs”
- The Canadian Press – “Rachel Notley promises to create more jobs if NDP wins election” Chatelaine – “Rachel Notley Wants A Second Chance”