ALBERTA

Danielle Smith And Brian Mason To Debate Across Alberta Campuses

09/04/2013 09:44 EDT | Updated 09/04/2013 09:51 EDT
Danielle Smith - Wildrose, Facebook

Alberta Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and NDP Leader Brian Mason are looking to battle it out with words.

The pair announced plans on Wednesday to host a series of six debates across Alberta campuses in September and October that would discuss provincial issues.

"With the PC dynasty on the ropes, we’re bringing you a championship matchup that could put it down for the count!" reads a statement by the Wildrose.

“Brian and I think this is a great opportunity to show the next generation of Alberta’s leaders what their province is going to look like once the PCs have been replaced as Alberta’s governing party,” Smith said. “Our two parties have very different visions for how Alberta should be governed, but we both share a conviction that this province can be better."

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#MasonvSmith Reaction

After winning a debate with Mason at the University of Calgary, Smith told the Edmonton Journal they decided to hold a rematch.

“We think there is a real thirst on campus, especially with post-secondary budget cuts, to actually start exploring what other party’s would do differently,” she added.

The Alberta government slashed $147 million in funding to all post-secondary institutions in its provincial budget this year.

Universities across the province have announced cuts in recent weeks, which every member of the community would feel the impact of, said University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera in an Aug. 23 letter to students and staff.

The debate is important for students to see what a post-Progressive Conservative government would look like, said the pair, giving them "a conservative direction or a progressive direction, which is the option we’re offering,” said Mason to the Edmonton Journal.

“Hopefully students get some of the answers that they’re looking for and hopefully the leaders can give them a better understanding of their views on the cuts," Sharon Mvundura, the University of Alberta’s Political Science Undergraduate Association president told The Edmonton Sun.

The debate will start at the University of Alberta on September 18 and wrap up at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

Other campuses include University of Lethbridge, Red Deer and Medicine Hat College and Grant MacEwan University.

Student associations on each campus will host the debates and discussion topics will include revenue and expenses, the economy and the overall political landscape in Alberta.

Event fees range from being free or by donation to $15.