Redford sets hectic pace Sunday on Alberta’s election trail

- April 15th, 2012

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[Photo: Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk walk back to the campaign bus after making an announcement in Edmonton on Friday April 13, 2012. Alberta premier Alison Redford announced that if they win the provincial election the Progressive Conservatives would ensure that police, firefighters and other first responders get proper treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the government would include PTSD under Workers' Compensation Board coverage. TOM BRAID/EDMONTON SUN   QMI AGENCY]

We’re one week plus a day until Albertans vote in what could well be one of those elections that that province seems to have every half-century, i.e. a dynasty gets sent to history’s dustbin and a new regime is set in its place. The new regime, if that indeed is what is coming down the pike next week, would be the Wildrose era and its founding leader would be Danielle Smith.

Today, on the campaign trail, Smith has just one event: A photo-op in Calgary at a Hindu temple.

The dynasty, though, if it is to go down, is not going down without a fight. Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford has a blistering schedule of events today in Calgary — eight of them in all — including a photo op with the founder of her dynasty, Peter Lougheed. UPDATE: At around 1500 MT, the PC Party of Alberta announced this photo op would be rescheduled for a later date. Lougheed, recovering from pneumonia, was not well enough to attend today’s scheduled event.

It was Lougheed who, in 1971, became his province’s tenth premier when his Progressive Conservatives swept out the Social Credit Party and Harry Strom. The SoCreds at that point had been running Alberta since 1935. The PCs have been sitting on the government side of the legislature since 1971.

So Redford starts her final week with an all-out blitz focused on Calgary. Calgary and Edmonton have been the source of the PC’s power for the last four decades but now, the latest polls show that while Edmonton still appears to be going for the PCs, Calgary is ready to switch to Wildrose. The rest of Alberta — smaller cities and rural areas — is where Wildrose first took root and doesn’t seem much in play at this point. As a result, I suspect that the two leaders will be spending a lot of time fighting over Calgary over the next week.

In addition to posing for pictures with Lougheed, Redford today will also:

  • Seek the support of Calgary’s cultural communities (Calgary is Canada’s third most ethnically diverse city, you may not know, after Toronto and Vancouver) by visiting a Sikh Temple, a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple, celebrating Sinhalese New Year with Calgary’s Sri Lankans,  paying a visit to the Bangladesh Community Association and, at the end of the day, attending Multicultural Night 2012 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall.
  • Visit two senior citizens’ residences where, if I was to bet, she is going sing the virtues of her approach to health care and warn those seniors that Smith and the Wildrose would wreck Alberta’s health care.

 

Categories: Politics

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