‘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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