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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven candidates vying for seat in Calgary-Lougheed

James Wood James Wood
More from James Wood

Published on: November 27, 2017 | Last Updated: November 27, 2017 5:22 PM MST

There are seven candidates running in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection.

Nominations closed Sunday for the vote in the south Calgary riding, which will take place on Dec. 14.

Major party candidates include United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, Liberal Leader David Khan, Green Leader Romy Tittel and NDPer Phillip van der Merwe, a family physician. They are joined by Reform Party of Alberta candidate Laura Thorsteinson, perennial social conservative candidate Larry Heather, who is running as an Independent, and Independent Wayne Leslie.

Leslie, a former Calgary police officer, is being backed by the Alberta Advantage association, a group of disaffected Wildrose members aiming to register as a political party.

The byelection was prompted by the resignation of UCP MLA Dave Rodney, who stepped down in order to clear a path to the legislature for Kenney.

This is the first election to be contested by the UCP, founded this summer when Progressive Conservative and Wildrose members voted to join together in a new party.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the more candidates, the more likely Kenney will win.

This looks to me like a clash of titans. Their debates would bear watching by a wider audience. A lot of what's at issue isn't always clear to non-Albertans.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
I suppose the more candidates, the more likely Kenney will win.

This looks to me like a clash of titans. Their debates would bear watching by a wider audience. A lot of what's at issue isn't always clear to non-Albertans.

I don't know everyone is saying the result is a foregone conclusion except maybe the media who seem obsessed with writing articles about this by election and the people running against Kenney .
just about every news outlet in alberta appears to have wrote an article about liberal leader David Khan running even though he's barely had any presence in alberta politics since becoming liberal leader , he's not nearly as important as they tried to make him to be

whats also odd is how many fringe right wing parties there still is in alberta ? aren't they smart enough to realise by now none of them are ever going anywhere ? they only give Notley hope the vote might still spilt somehow

I was never aware there was an active reform party of alberta , they appear to have a candidate but are unlikely to win a lot of votes in this by election , they could prove more of a threat in rural ridings where people really disliked the old pc party

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elections Alberta demonstrates new voting technology for Calgary byelection

Voting tabulator
A vote tabulator scans each ballot as it is submitted and records the information electronically.

Michael Franklin, Digital Producer

Published Friday, December 1, 2017 9:42AM MST
Last Updated Friday, December 1, 2017 11:36AM MST

Officials will show off a number of voting instruments in Calgary that are intended to streamline the election process and help reduce the number of mistakes that can occur at the polls.

One of the new devices, electronic poll books, help streamline the voting process by adopting a new process to check voter information.

The laptops have a devoted, secure, connection to Election Alberta's servers so, once their voter information card is scanned by the poll book, the voter can instantly verify their information and obtain their ballot to vote.

Byelection ballot
A number of new voting technologies aim to make ballot boxes and hand counts a thing of the past in Alberta.

"The other thing that it does for us is it's allowing us to provide a list of electors who have voted to the candidates in real time. So they are going to find out who voted throughout the day and that's really going to improve how timely we can be," said Pamela Renwick, directior of operations and communications with Elections Alberta.

The poll books also frees voters to go to any station they wish on Election Day.

The technologies also include vote tabulators, instruments that optically scan ballots and record the results, allowing for instant results within minutes of the closure of the polls.

Tabulators also cut down on the number of mistakes on ballots, including blank ballots and those with more than one selection.

"The workers have to make an interpretation about voter intent on these. That takes time and there's changes, of course. That's why you see the differences between official, unofficial and, potentially, judicial recounts because of that interpretation," Renwick said.

The tabulator help this because it takes an image when it is submitted and then displays a notification if there are any issues with the ballot.

"It allows the elector to go and get a replacement ballot and correct that. Because usually that's a mistake. If they really did want to cast it that way, they can, but we want to make sure that everyone's one vote is counted."

A voter assist terminal is a device that offers electors with physical impairments that would otherwise stop them from voting the ability to cast their ballot independently.

That equipment offers three different ways to cast a ballot:
• hand-held controller – controller with large buttons and markings in braille that allow people with low vision or difficulty reading to cast a vote
• paddles assistive device – device with a pair of paddles that can be used by different parts of the body. The user navigates through candidates with a blue paddle and selects a candidate with a red paddle
• sip and puff device – a voter who does not have the use of his or her arms and legs can use a straw to puff and cycle through candidates and sip to make a selection

Renwick says there is a lot of voting technology available and the upcoming Calgary-Lougheed byelection made of the perfect opportunity to test some of those devices.

"The tabulator is very common. It's being used across Canada as well as in a lot of the municipal elections. I think the electronic poll book is something that is quite advanced that we're able to trial."

Some voters may be concerned about the use of electronic means to cast their vote, but Renwick says there is nothing to worry about.

"These tabulators are completely standalone. They are not connected to the Internet in any way. They are plugged into the wall, they have a battery back up on them and what's actually provided all the programming on them is a memory card."

She says they are currently testing all the programming on the tabulators in the days leading up to Election Day and will test them again after Election Night.

"We want to make sure that through the election, they continue to have the same settings and nothing has changed."

Renwick says there is an option for workers if everything else fails.

"The ballots that are submitted are still paper ballots. The box that the tabulator is sitting on is still a ballot box, so we will be keeping all of those ballots and if need be, if we needed to manually recount them by hand, that could be completed."

Elections Alberta says that the new techniques will all be put in place in time for the byelection on December 14.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like the less our vote can actually change things, the more they make a fetish over voting.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
It seems like the less our vote can actually change things, the more they make a fetish over voting.

at this point I think the only question is if Kenney gets over 50% of the vote or not , when he ran federally he routinely got 60% or close to 70% when he ran in his old federal riding .

the question is if he can find that kind of success federally ?

I don't see a path to victory for any of the candidates running against him , in the past they used to often just practically give new opposition leaders a seat if they ran in by elections , sometimes governments wouldn't even run candidates against them , now politics is so partisan they contest these meaningless by elections

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Probably the key player here is the new leader of the Liberals, which assures (I would think) that the provincial spotlight would be on the race, rather than it being a purely local matter.

By taking on Kenney, he doesn't expect to win. He expects to provide himself with an opportunity to gain recognition in the public eye. If he loses, it is only what one would have expected, and he probably will do better than the previous Liberal. So it's win-win for him.

And once that happened, it provided an attraction for others.

This could turn into a serious debate if the media don't get in the way. But reality says, along with RCO, that Kenney is the almost-certain winner, and the more other candidates enter, the more they split the opposition. So the more the contenders, the more likely Kenney will win. That's how I see it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big-spending days are over in byelection battle

James Wood James Wood
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Published on: December 4, 2017 | Last Updated: December 4, 2017 6:00 AM MST

Two candidates in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection. On the left, Jason Kenney, UCP and on the right, Phillip van der Merwe, NDP.

Alberta political parties are dealing with new spending rules for the first time in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection — and they’re finding it a chore.

Gone are the days when a party could sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign, potentially outspending their rivals by a wide margin in the process.

Instead, under legislation brought in by the NDP government last year, parties face a byelection spending limit of $23,000, while candidates have a limit of $50,000.

That makes the byelection a trial run for the 2019 provincial election, when parties will face an overall expenditure limit of $2 million.

It’s a big adjustment, even for parties such as the NDP that didn’t necessarily spend heavily in the past.

NDP provincial secretary Roari Richardson said the byelection spending limit looms large when parties shell out for necessities such as office space and advertising, especially in an expensive market like Calgary.

“I would say we’re all facing the same challenges,” Richardson said in a recent interview.

The spending cap is also accompanied by new limits on donations, which see individuals only allowed to give $4,000 total annually in donations to parties, constituency associations and candidates.

Janice Harrington, executive director of the United Conservative Party — formed by the union of Progressive Conservative and Wildrose members in a new party — said parties need to be much more disciplined up front to ensure they don’t go over the limit, which could bring a $10,000 fine.

“Sometimes when you’re in an election and you’re running fast, you’re worrying about the reconciliation later,” she said.

It also means parties have to have done their homework before the writ is dropped.

“From a byelection perspective, you need to have a very good sense of voter ID and all of those things ahead of time,” said Harrington.

The Dec. 14 byelection in Calgary-Lougheed was triggered by the resignation of UCP MLA Dave Rodney to clear a path to the legislature for party leader Jason Kenney.

The former MP will square off against the NDP’s Phillip van der Merwe, Liberal Leader David Khan, Green Leader Romy Tittel, Reform candidate Lauren Thorsteinson, and Independents Wayne Leslie and Larry Heather.

The Alberta Party bowed out of the byelection, saying it wanted to focus its financial and human resources on its leadership race.

As a federal politician, Kenney was renowned for his fundraising ability and he’s spent heavily since he entered provincial politics in 2016. When he won the PC leadership race, which had no spending limit, he raised and spent $1.5 million while distant runner-up Richard Starke spent less than $200,000.

While Kenney is the overwhelming favourite in the byelection, he won’t outspend all his rivals.

Khan said the Liberals will put significant resources into the race, though he couldn’t say whether the party will hit what he called a “very generous” spending cap.

But Richardson said the NDP will likely raise and spend the limit in Calgary-Lougheed. A tangible cap gives all parties a target to aim for, with the knowledge that their opponents face the same limits, he said.

That hasn’t always been the case.

Financial reports from the last provincial byelection, in Calgary-Greenway in 2016, show the Wildrose claiming more than $550,000 in combined party and candidate expenditures, while the PCs and victorious candidate Prab Gill claimed $450,000.

The NDP chalked up more than $171,000, while the Liberals posted $133,993 in expenses.

Former PC executive director Troy Wason said the Tories didn’t actually spend that much in the Greenway campaign, with a significant amount of the party expenses representing an accounting procedure.

He said a better example of big-spending in campaigns was seen in four byelections held in 2014. The Tories, then in power, had nearly $1 million in combined party and candidate expenses on the four campaigns, while the Wildrose spent nearly $1.7 million.

In contrast, the NDP spent about $170,00 and the Liberals $106,711.

The new spending limits and donation rules mark a significant change to the Alberta political landscape. Through most of their four decades in office, the Tories had a significant financial advantage over their opponents.

Wason, who is no longer involved with any provincial political party, said he supports the spending cap.

“If everybody is sticking to the legislation . . . every party should be able to get in the game if they plan accordingly,” he said.

However, Wason said he is concerned that the spending gap in both the Calgary-Lougheed byelection and the next provincial campaign will be filled by the so-called political action committees (PACs) that have proliferated in Alberta over the past year, primarily in connection to conservative politics.

Third-party groups do face a limit of $3,000 on advertising expenses in byelections and a $150,000 cap in general elections.

However, the chief electoral officer recently warned in his 2016-17 annual report that third-party organizations could be used to skirt existing law, and that new spending and disclosure rules and tougher regulations were needed to prevent collusion with political parties.

The Liberals’ Khan — whose party introduced a private-member’s bill that would crack down on PACs — believes political action committees are operating in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection, making the party spending limits moot.

“That’s unregulated, off-the-books,” he said


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advance polls open in byelection in Calgary-Lougheed

Advance vote
Voters in Calgary-Lougheed can now using a number of different methods to cast their ballots in the Dec. 14 byelection.

Michael Franklin, Digital Producer

Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 10:41AM MST

Voters in the southwest riding of Calgary-Lougheed are now able to cast their ballots for the byelection’s advance vote period.

Seven candidates are vying for the seat, including newly minted UCP leader Jason Kenney and the leader of the Liberal Party, David Khan.

The seat was previously held by UCP MLA Dave Rodney, who stepped down on November 1 to create a spot for Kenney who was elected leader on October 28.

Elections Alberta says the voting process will be a test run for some new voting technologies to help cut down on the time required for tabulation and reduce the number of errors on ballots.

The four-day advance voting runs from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and a winner will be chosen on December 14.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's where to vote in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection advance polls

3 voting stations open from Wednesday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

CBC News Posted: Dec 06, 2017 10:41 AM MT| Last Updated: Dec 06, 2017 11:25 AM MT

An advance polling station for the Calgary-Lougheed byelection has been set up at South Gate Alliance Church.

Advance polls in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection opened Wednesday morning.

The polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Saturday at three locations:
■South Gate Alliance Church, 1436 James McKevitt Rd. S.W.
■Woodcreek Community Association, 1991 Woodview Dr. S.W.
■Spruce Meadows British House, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W.

The riding became vacant when MLA Dave Rodney stepped down to allow new United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney to run for a seat in the legislature.

The seven candidates running are:
■Larry Heather, Independent.
■Jason Kenney, United Conservative Party.
■David Khan, Alberta Liberal Party.
■Wayne Leslie, Independent.
■Lauren Thorsteinson, Reform Party.
■Romy Tittel, Green Party of Alberta.
■Phillip van der Merwe, Alberta NDP.

The byelection is set for Dec. 14, with a candidates debate scheduled for Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Braeside Community Hall.

More information is available from Elections Alberta.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the liberal running against Kenney is claiming to be running a serious campaign and makes a bunch of other claims in this CBC article that haven't been backed up by others in Calgary , he claims its a 2 way race between himself and Kenney , makes no mention of the ndp and claims to have heard a positive response at the doors , although kenney is saying that as well and has streets blue with his signs )

Get to know your Calgary-Lougheed byelection candidates: David Khan

Advanced polls are open to replace Calgary-Lougheed MLA Dave Rodney

CBC News Posted: Dec 08, 2017 9:53 AM MT| Last Updated: Dec 08, 2017 9:53 AM MT

'I am focused on building a moderate alternative for Albertans to vote for, that isn't the NDP left or UCP right,' says candidate David Khan of the Calgary-Lougheed byelection on Dec. 14.

Advanced polls are open to replace Calgary-Lougheed MLA Dave Rodney, who stepped aside to make room for new United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney to run for a seat in the legislature.

The byelection is set for Dec. 14, with a candidates debate scheduled for Sunday at the Braeside Community Hall. It starts at 2 p.m.

Here's candidate David Khan's chat with The Homestretch on Thursday.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length, but you can listen to the full interview at the end of this story.

CBC News plans to interview the other main candidates before the byelection.

Q: How are you trying to move this party forward?

A: We are trying to move it forward by showcasing our policies and contrasting them to those of Jason Kenney, and this byelection is a great way to do that.

Q: How are you going to separate yourself from Jason Kenney and the other candidates?

A: What I am hearing at the doors is that conservative-leaning voters are very suspicious of Jason Kenney and uncomfortable with his regressive-right social views and also his austerity cuts that he has been signalling that would be in store if he became premier.

So there's a lot of concern that I am hearing about that. But on the other hand, also there's no real confidence that the NDP government really understands how deep the job losses have been, especially down here in Calgary, and that they have a plan to deal with the deficit.

Q: What is your plan to deal with that deficit?

A: We need to look at redeploying the budget, especially the health budget, which is half of our budget.

We need to redeploy that to the front lines and looking at cutting the bureaucracy and the layers of management, both in the health bureaucracy and the education bureaucracy.

We need to get a real handle on our spending as well as look at how we are raising revenue. But we need to have a plan and implement that plan, and right now we are just treading water and hoping that the price per barrel of oil goes up.

Q: What do you make of the competition from the Alberta Party?

A: They haven't run a candidate in the last two byelections. We almost won Calgary-Greenway, the last one, and we are obviously running here.

I am focused on building a moderate alternative for Albertans to vote for, that isn't the NDP left or UCP right.

They haven't been running candidates in the byelections. It seems to me what's really important in politics is to contest elections.

Q: What about a merger with the Alberta Party, to consolidate the vote in the middle?

A: I think that is what we are doing is consolidating the middle and building strong policies and a strong choice for Albertans in the middle with the Alberta Liberal Party.

That's what I have been focused on in the last six months.

Q: How do you raise your profile in this environment?

A: It's exactly what I am doing right now, is running a very high-profile, strong campaign in this byelection.

If you drive around Calgary-Lougheed, you will see the signs on private property that indicate it's a real two-way race between party leaders, between me and Jason Kenney.

The response at the doors has been so great that I am hoping to win this and have an upset victory over Jason Kenney. But nonetheless, we are comparing and contrasting our policies.

Q: A lot of people have Jason Kenney as the front runner. Do you have the financial and volunteer backing, because it's getting the vote out and boots on ground?

A: If you come down to our campaign office, you will see that we have a big operation. We have got tons of volunteers, we've got lots of signs out.

We are calling, we are door knocking every day, every evening and all day weekends. It is about getting out that vote, and we've got a lot of enthusiasm for our campaign and I am really excited about it.

The other side of the coin is, Jason Kenney appears quite entitled to win this riding. People on the doors I am hearing are very leery about that sort of entitlement, that he should just win.

Q: What are the issues in Calgary-Lougheed?

A: No. 1 is jobs and the economy.

The NDP just doesn't really realize how bad it's been in the oil-and-gas sector, especially down here in Calgary and in Calgary-Lougheed.

People are really concerned about jobs, and jobs don't appear to be coming back, despite this economic uptick in the GDP, because it seems to be a jobless recovery.

More locally, the ring road passes around two sides of the constituency, so there are concerns about it passing through the Weaselhead area and the dust and the construction.

If we can get that built in the end, it will be good for the constituency.

Q: Do you have plans to diversify the economy?

A: The word diversify is really a buzzword that politicians like to throw out there, but often it's contentless. But we really do need to look at other areas, other sectors to create the jobs that are going to employ us.

Especially younger people that aren't going to be able to rely on solid oil-and-gas jobs, or these companies rehiring all of the tens of thousands of people they have laid off.

We need to look at other sectors, like the tech sector, like film and television production, of which we only have about three per cent of the national pie, and we've got a beautiful city and a great, talented and educated workforce. So there are advantages we have but really have to capitalize on that, and I think there is a role for government in doing that.

Rapid fire questions for all candidates

2026 Winter Olympics, Yes or No?

A: That's a tough one. I lived through the 1988 Olympics. I have fond memories of that. But I am also concerned that the billions we may have to spend on those Olympics could be better utilized elsewhere. But I'd like to see more of the planning and also how much money the International Olympic Committee might give us to host that, because I think they are running out of candidates.

Carbon tax?

A: We have to do something about carbon emissions, but I am not a fan of the carbon tax as it's been implemented by the NDP.

There are very little controls about how the money is spent, how it's raised. Whether it's actually reducing carbon emissions or it's just a big slush fund for the government to spend money on whatever they feel like.

I think there are real concerns that I have, that Calgarians have, about the carbon tax.

Provincial sales tax?

A: We have got to have a discussion about the revenue side of the fiscal budget equation in Alberta. I am consulting with Albertans and economists to figure out what that might be.

I am not going to take a position right now on whether we need a PST, but we certainly have a revenue-versus-spending problem that needs to be addressed.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( Jason Kenney's opponents seem to be getting more crazy as the by election drags on , now the ndp candidate is claiming he has a chance to win , something surely not based in reality . it clear his opponents are using the by election as a chance to get there message out there to a media desperate to see someone other than the UCP win the next election )

Jason Kenney headlines Calgary-Lougheed byelection, but rivals hoping to spoil the show

James Wood James Wood
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Published on: December 8, 2017 | Last Updated: December 8, 2017 7:38 PM MST

Two candidates in the Calgary-Lougheed byelection. On the left, Jason Kenney, UCP and on the right, Phillip van der Merwe, NDP.

The Calgary-Lougheed byelection looks like The Jason Kenney Show, but his rivals are hoping to spoil the ending.

The byelection on Thursday was triggered by the resignation of MLA Dave Rodney to clear a path to the legislature for Kenney, the first leader of the newly constituted United Conservative Party.

Kenney, the former MP and federal cabinet minister who handily won the Progressive Conservative and UCP leaderships this year, is the overwhelming favourite in what has been a solidly conservative area, provincially and federally, over the years.

But Phillip van der Merwe, the family doctor running as the NDP candidate, believes he has a chance to knock off the conservative kingpin.

“There is not just an assumption on the Kenney camp’s side, but also an expectation, almost a take-it-for-granted attitude that this riding belongs to them,” he said in interview.

“One of the things we’re hearing at the doors is an almost visceral disapproval of Mr. Kenney. I’m not really sure why people think this is a shoo-in, because what we’re hearing is a lot of dislike for him.”

The NDP isn’t stinting on the campaign, bringing in a host of cabinet ministers and MLAs to canvass with van der Merwe and planning to match the UCP in byelection spending under new limits that are in place for the first time.

But van der Merwe isn’t the only one with designs on scoring an upset.

David Khan, who won the Liberal leadership this summer, says he’s the real alternative to Kenney because of widespread dissatisfaction with the NDP government in the south Calgary riding.

Khan said he thinks many former PC voters are uncomfortable with Kenney in the aftermath of the Tories and Wildrose joining together to form the UCP.

“He’s acting like he’s entitled to the constituency,” said Khan, a Calgary lawyer.

“I think he’s going to be in for a bit of a rude awakening … I don’t think it’s as easy a ride as he thought it would be.”

The Liberal leader has little use for the NDP, suggesting it has mismanaged the provincial economy and the government’s finances.

But Khan and van der Merwe have similar critiques of Kenney — that he’s too socially conservative on issues such as gay-straight alliances in schools and that he would cut Alberta’s public services too deeply.

For his part, Kenney said he’s taking nothing for granted, that the NDP and Liberals are running serious campaigns, but that the support he’s hearing from residents is “overwhelming.”

He said the NDP’s active campaign means that the byelection will truly be a referendum on Premier Rachel Notley’s government.

Kenney said voters are prepared to judge the NDP harshly over two years of recession from which the province is emerging, the carbon tax and its imminent increase, and high levels of deficit and debt.

“There’s a lot of frustration and anger directed at the incumbent government,” he said, noting that Rodney only won the riding by just over 500 votes in 2015 when the NDP brought down the PC dynasty.

“I have run across quite a few people who’ve told me they voted for the NDP last time. They tell me … they’re not making that mistake again.”

Van der Merwe — a relative newcomer to the NDP — said while he faces questions over the Notley government’s track record, the turnaround in the economy is starting to be felt and that people appreciate the NDP’s support of health and education.

The contenders will get a chance to square off this Sunday, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at a forum being held at the Braeside community centre.

For the other candidates in the race, the byelection is a chance to get their message out.

The third provincial leader running in the byelection, the Green party’s Romy Tittel, said she threw her hat in the ring to ensure there is a Green voice in the campaign.

“The biggest issue is how we continue to be fragile in this province,” she said in an interview.

“We get rocked by what happens in the oil and gas industry. Every bump in the road causes us to be destabilized and we need to move past that. We need to create a much more stable economy.”

Wayne Leslie is running as an Independent, but he’s also helping with the Alberta Advantage, a group of ex-Wildrosers — disgusted by the deal between their former party and the PCs to form the UCP — who are attempting to establish a new party.

“I, like many Albertans, am completely dissatisfied or disillusioned with our political system and the lack of accountability,” said the former Calgary police officer.

Another right-leaning party that is already on the scene, the socially conservative Reform Party of Alberta, is also fielding a candidate.

Lauren Thorsteinson said in an email the NDP needs to be replaced because it is driving up the province’s debt, but the UCP is simply a continuation of the PC party that was rejected in 2015.

Perennial social conservative candidate Larry Heather is also running as an Independent in the race.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( it seems the other parties are using the by election as an opportunity to generate attention to there message and field test possible campaign themes for the actual election , the ndp have now gone as far as to send out a flyer called Kenney extreme and really an Ontarian ? even though he's lived in alberta for decades and only ever represented alberta ridings in the house of commons , surely the ndp have enough intelligence to know that one isn't going to fly province wide ? )

Jason Kenney seeks seat in Calgary byelection

By Bill Graveland. Published on Dec 10, 2017 8:29am

CALGARY — More than a year after resigning his seat in Parliament, Jason Kenney is hoping to take up a new one next week in the Alberta legislature.

The leader and architect of the United Conservative Party — a merger of the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties — is running in Thursday’s provincial byelection. A victory would allow him to go head to head in the house with NDP Premier Rachel Notley.

The one-time federal Conservative cabinet minister is one of seven candidates in the Calgary Lougheed constituency, a sprawling community of palatial homes, multi-purpose dwellings and new neighbourhoods deep in the city’s southwest.

It has traditionally voted Conservative.

Political observers say Kenney has the seat sewn up, but that suggestion makes him uneasy.

“The biggest threat to our campaign is that our voters think we have this in the bag,” Kenney said. “There’s never such a thing in an election. Surprises always can happen and our message to them is don’t take that chance.

“We don’t want it to go wrong. I hope to get every vote we can out there.”

Kenney is facing challenges from Phillip van der Merwe for the NDP, Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and new Green Party Leader Romy Tittel. Rounding out the slate are Wayne Leslie of the Alberta Advantage Political Party Association, Lauren Thorsteinson from the Reform Party of Alberta and independent Larry Heather.

A Calgary political scientist says the Kenney name has drawn a slew of candidates to what would have normally been a run-of-the-mill byelection.

“As byelections that are unlikely to be actually competitive go, this is one that’s generating a lot of activity … a lot of excitement. It’s maybe an indication of some of the sentiments that are bubbling out there,” said Lori Williams from Mount Royal University.

“The other parties seem to be trying to take advantage of the profile of Jason Kenney to try and get their message out. They’re staking out the landscape of what they represent and wanting to communicate that to Albertans right from the beginning.”

New Democrat candidate van der Merwe said he’s not surprised at the attention the byelection is getting and suggested it might not be as easy for Kenney as he thinks.

“He hasn’t lived in Calgary for 10 years,” said van der Merwe. “There was a sitting (legislature member) who gave up his seat and Kenney thinks he can just slide in there.”

Another party leader is hoping the byelection will give him a forum in the legislature.

“Most political parties and most people with political aspirations realize a byelection is a crucial time to showcase your policies and provide choice to those voters,” said Liberal Leader Khan, who doesn’t have a seat now.

“It begs the question as to why you would not get involved in the byelection, especially one as high profile as this.”

The greatest challenge facing candidates may not be each other — it may be voter apathy.

One longtime constituency resident approached recently was aware of the byelection, but that was about it.

“I don’t know who’s running. I don’t know anything about what’s going on honestly,” said Daryl Beveridge, who was standing near a long row of election signs on a boulevard.

Beveridge said he wasn’t sure he would cast a ballot on Thursday since he hasn’t been a “very conscientious voter” in the past.

“For me, politics is something that we seem to have no control over.”

But he knows who he wouldn’t vote for.

“We have an NDP government that’s now making smaller businesses become harder to survive with this minimum wage and all the other decisions,” he said.

Michelle Smith said she probably won’t be voting either.

“I don’t really follow it that much. We’ve had a couple of people come to the door but that’s it,” she said. “Since I don’t follow it, I really don’t pay much attention to what they’re saying.”


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get to know your Calgary-Lougheed byelection candidates: Jason Kenney

Voting day is set for Dec. 14

CBC News Posted: Dec 09, 2017 8:00 AM MT| Last Updated: Dec 09, 2017 8:00 AM MT

Jason Kenney celebrates his victory as the first official leader of the Alberta United Conservative Party in Calgary, Alta. on Oct. 28.

The Calgary-Lougheed byelection is set to take place on Dec. 14.

Voters will be choosing a replacement for MLA Dave Rodney, who stepped aside to clear a spot for new United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney to run for a seat.

Advance polls close Saturday and an all-candidates debate is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Braeside Community Hal in southwest Calgary.

Kenney appeared on The Homestretch on Friday and below is an abridged version of that conversation.

You can listen to the full interview at the end of this story.

Q: Dave Rodney stepped down to clear a seat for you. What approach are you taking in this campaign?

A: This is an opportunity for people in Calgary-Lougheed to send a message to the NDP government and to tell the government to stop quadrupling our debt, to stop raising our taxes, don't increase the carbon tax by 50 per cent on Jan. 1, and stop killing jobs. We lost 17,000 jobs in Alberta in the last month, full-time private jobs, 200,000 Albertans are out of work.

This government has made a bad situation worse than it needed to be. This is an opportunity to send a message.

And if people vote for myself, they'll have a chance to have the leader of the opposition holding the government to account in the legislature.

Q: So if elected, what would you do differently?

A: Well first of all, we're not going to be in government because the NDP has a majority until the next election. So what I will do is be an effective opposition leader, we need that as part of our parliamentary system.

In terms of the next general election, we'll be releasing a comprehensive platform, but one thing we're committed to is eliminating the job-killing carbon tax, it's all economic pain and no environmental gain. They're about to raise it by 50 per cent, the NDP lied about it in the last election, the biggest tax increase in Alberta history is also the biggest lie in our history.

Q: Yesterday the NEB ruled the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project can begin. What's your reaction to that development?

A: Well, that's with respect to one particular — one of I think 1,600 permits that are needed. This is a huge project and I'm glad to hear any positive decision.

This is a fundamental question about what kind of country we live in. Do we live in a country based on the rule of law, do we live in a federation based on an economic union, or not? So this is why we need to be very clear with British Columbia that if dilatory means by municipalities or the provincial government prevent the construction of this pipeline there will be consequences.

Q: You were in federal government for a long time. The Alberta government is trying to make some progress on the pipeline front. What would you do differently given the regulatory framework that's in place right now, opposition from Indigenous groups, environmental groups, trying to get some sort of social licence to get this through?

A: First of all, just to be clear, the carbon tax hasn't moved a single organization or politician or municipal government or Aboriginal or environmental group from no to yes on pipelines, so it's done nothing to acquire so-called social licence.

Secondly, I'd try to persuade people. I'm glad the premier's finally accepted our advice to go across the country talking about the benefits of Alberta's energy industry to the rest of the country, how we help to create jobs in other parts of the country and transfer wealth for equalization. So we have a great story to tell and I'm glad that the premier is finally telling it.

But if persuasion doesn't work then we'd have to be clear that there's going to be consequences. B.C. has trade interests, obviously, with Alberta. I've said I'm prepared to go all the way to replicating the kind of strategy that Peter Lougheed employed in the early 1980s to protest the National Energy Policy which was to stop the shipment of oil and gas to that part of the country.

Q: There's been a lot of talk about Bill 24 which was passed last month, the bill that prevents teachers from outing students that join a gay-straight alliance. You've gone on record as opposing that bill, so what would you do differently moving forward on that?

A: Well we supported the status quo that existed until two weeks ago. We supported Bill 10 which created gay-straight alliances, and which was supported unanimously by all parties, which left it to the discretion of educators to know to make an assessment of when it's in the best interests of the children to engage parents. Our view is that every child is unique and there are some extenuating circumstances — we know of some cases with autistic children that are dealing with very serious emotional challenges — where teachers and principals may think it's appropriate or necessary for the best interests of the child to inform parents.

Allowing the professional judgment of educators to determine this is better than politicians using the blunt instrument of law.

Q: You've been painted as very socially conservative when it comes to issues like this. What do you make of that?

A: Well, I kind of laugh because what I just articulated was the policy of the NDP until two weeks ago. The reality is that our position was the unanimous position in Alberta politics until the NDP decided to play wedge politics. Look, we're not gonna play their game.

Albertans want a common sense government focused on economic growth and fiscal responsibility. A government that understands that you can't redistribute wealth without creating it in the first place and you can't tax and borrow your way to prosperity. That's the focus of our party. We're a big, broad mainstream coalition. Right now, based on the polls, we're the most popular political party in Canada, we're the second largest in terms of membership and we're only four months old.

Q: The deficit is $10.3 billion this year. The provincial government is talking about a wage freeze for public-sector unions. What would you do to try and turn the economy around given what's happening in this province right now?

A: According to Standard and Poor's they're on track for a $94-billion debt by 2020, a quadrupling of the debt, we've encountered now six credit downgrades, means we're spending more in interest payments on the debt.

First of all we have to work on restoring economic growth and investor confidence. We would eliminate the carbon tax, get other tax rates down as quickly as we can, significantly reduce the red tape and regulatory burden on the Alberta economy, speed up approvals, fight as hard as we can for pipeline approvals, and stop the increase in power prices that's going to happen as a result of NDP policy, stop future increases in labour costs — and through all of those measures demonstrate that Alberta is open for business again.

Rapid fire questions for all candidates

Q: Where do you stand on the 2026 Winter Olympics in Calgary?

A: I want to see more information. We'd all love to have the Olympics but there's a huge cost and risk associated with it. I'd like to see these studies that have said it's gonna cost more than it brings in.

Q: Carbon tax?

A: Repeal it.

Q: Provincial sales tax?

A: Against it.

Q: Why?

A: We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. Let's deal with our overspending before we dig deeper into taxpayers wallets.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason Kenney 'cautiously optimistic' he will win Alberta by-election Thursday

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney speaks to reporters the day after being elected the first official leader of the new party in Calgary on Oct. 29, 2017.


Kelly Cryderman


Published December 10, 2017

Updated 13 hours ago

This week will determine whether United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney will soon be facing off against NDP Premier Rachel Notley in the Alberta legislature.

Mr. Kenney has spent more than 18 months working to unite and lead the province's conservative movement, but the Dec. 14 by-election in the constituency of Calgary-Lougheed will be his first test in front of a broader Alberta electorate. The Harper-era cabinet minister has the highest profile of the candidates in the suburban riding – a stone's throw from his former federal riding. The area has long been a conservative stronghold.

That makes a challenging by-election contest for political newcomer Phillip van der Merwe, the physician running for the NDP. Dr. van der Merwe has focused on the argument that the New Democrats have been steady managers during a three-year-long oil-price downturn that has left tens of thousands of Albertans unemployed. The government has mostly maintained the province's key health and education jobs and services even while revenues have plummeted, but Alberta is now running annual deficits of more than $10-billion. The government points to forecasts that the province's GDP will grow by as much as 6.7 per cent this year, a sign the economy is in recovery mode.

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan, a Calgary lawyer looking for centrist voters to support his bid for a seat in the legislature, rounds off the list of high-profile candidates in the by-election. Green Leader Romy Tittel and three other candidates are also in the race. The Alberta Party decided not to field a candidate, saying they instead wanted to focus on their leadership contest – which has no declared candidates – in February.

Mr. Kenney has attracted the most pointed political attacks. Dr. van der Merwe has charged that the UCP Leader will dramatically cut public services, and that he is "a federal politician who is frankly out of touch with Alberta."

Ms. Notley and her cabinet ministers have said Mr. Kenney would turn the clocks backward by repealing the carbon tax when the world is moving toward further action on climate change. In recent weeks, they have started comparing his threat of economic blockade if pipelines aren't built with the wall-building policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

"As a province, we could do what Jason Kenney would have us do – which is slam those opportunities, cross our arms, stick out our little pouty lip, and build a wall around Alberta," Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said earlier this month.

Both Dr. van der Merwe and Mr. Khan are gay – which Mr. Khan says is not a factor in the race except to highlight Mr. Kenney's wrong-sided stand on social issues. Mr. Kenney has said that in some cases, parents should be informed if their children join peer support groups known as gay-straight alliances. The Notley government passed legislation this fall to bar teachers from telling parents when students join such groups, saying otherwise that school officials could disclose students' sexual orientation to parents before youth they are ready.

But the economy is the key question to many voters in the by-election race. Many workers in the energy-focused city are concerned about whether new heavy-oil pipeline projects will actually ever be built, given the environmental opposition.

Speaking at a Sunday afternoon by-election forum attended by about 200 people, Dr. van der Merwe said the province's carbon tax has opened the door to Ottawa's approval of Enbridge Inc.'s Line 3 replacement project and the expansion of Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline to the West Coast.

"The carbon levy is what got us two pipelines approved," said Dr. van der Merwe, to a smattering of applause, jeers and laughter.

On the other hand, Mr. Kenney received some of the loudest applause when he talked about cutting the size of the provincial deficit, and the plight of the chronically unemployed.

"I am gobsmacked at the number of unemployed people I am meeting at the doors," Mr. Kenney said in an interview.

"It's very often immigrant professionals who came to work in the energy sector – often they're petroleum engineers, people from Venezuela, China, Iran, Nigeria and elsewhere. They came here in the past 10 or 15 years, and were making a good living, and are now barely hanging on because they've been unemployed or underemployed."

Mr. Kenney noted that by-elections usually only attract one-third of eligible voters, and the vote takes place less than 10 days before Christmas when many people will be distracted by the holidays. But he said he's feeling "cautiously optimistic."

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Jason Kenney to seek seat in Calgary Lougheed

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