‘Bring it on’: Ken­ney re­peats call for Not­ley to an­nounce elec­tion

PressReader - BRUCE_CAROL_ROWE Channel - ‘Bring it on’: Ken­ney re­peats call for Not­ley to an­nounce elec­tion
UCP Leader Jason Ken­ney slammed the NDP Fri­day for run­ning what he de­scribed as a pre-elec­tion cam­paign funded by tax­pay­ers and re­peated calls for the elec­tion to be called as soon as pos­si­ble.“We’re putting them on no­tice,” he told reporters in Cal­gary.“All we’re say­ing is, ‘Premier, bring it on,’” he said. “Let the vot­ers de­cide at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity, that would be March 1.”Ken­ney pre­vi­ously asked that the elec­tion be called by Fri­day — the first day Premier Rachel Not­ley can drop the writ un­der leg­is­la­tion. An elec­tion is ex­pected be­tween March 1 and May 31.“I know Mr. Ken­ney may think he’s al­ready the premier, but Al­ber­tans will de­cide that in the spring elec­tion,” said Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Trade Min­is­ter Deron Bilous.“Re­ally what’s go­ing on here is that Mr. Ken­ney is try­ing to take at­ten­tion away from the fact that he’s tired of deal­ing with the tur­moil within his own party.”Not­ley has sched­uled a throne speech to open the leg­is­la­ture on March 18, hint­ing an elec­tion will take place af­ter that date.Bilous said that the NDP has been clear no gov­ern­ment an­nounce­ments will be made once the writ is dropped.“We are gov­ern­ment and we are con­tin­u­ing to gov­ern un­til elec­tion day,” he added.Ken­ney also ac­cused the NDP of sign­ing “sweet­heart deals” and said, if elected, the UCP will re­view con­tracts signed af­ter Feb. 1. He didn’t spec­ify what type of con­tracts he’s talk­ing about, nor did he give an ex­am­ple of a “sweet­heart deal” that is in the works.He said the UCP had “heard rumours.”“We will not al­low the NDP to get away with sign­ing sweet­heart deals with their friends in the dy­ing days of this gov­ern­ment,” he said.“There would be a wide range of pos­si­ble re­sponses to deal­ing with a bad-faith con­tract.” Bilous fired back Fri­day. “What is a sweet­heart deal is a $700-mil­lion tax cut to the rich­est one per cent who aren’t ask­ing for it and quite frankly would rather see that money in­vested back into the prov­ince.“He thinks that sim­ply go­ing back to a flat tax and do­ing noth­ing else … will at­tract these in­vest­ments. Well, the re­al­ity is we won’t be­cause for decades Al­berta had a flat tax,” Bilous added.Ken­ney also said if the UCP is elected to gov­ern­ment, they will in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion dubbed the End Par­ti­san Gov­ern­ment Ad­ver­tis­ing Act.The leg­is­la­tion would al­low the au­di­tor gen­eral to pro­hibit gov­ern­ment ads deemed to be par­ti­san, he said. It would also ex­tend the black­out on non-es­sen­tial gov­ern­ment ad­ver­tis­ing dur­ing the elec­tion to start on Dec. 1 be­fore an elec­tion year.That’s cur­rently the be­gin­ning of the elec­tion ad­ver­tis­ing pe­riod un­der the Elec­tion Fi­nances and Con­tri­bu­tions Dis­clo­sure Act.Ken­ney called Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment his first plat­form prom­ise.“The full plat­form will not be re­leased … un­til some point into the elec­tion cam­paign.”

UCP Leader Jason Ken­ney said if the UCP is elected to gov­ern­ment, the party would in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing the au­di­tor gen­eral to pro­hibit gov­ern­ment ads deemed to be par­ti­san.

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