POLITICS

Alberta campaign trail includes starship, birthday cake, contracts and rally

04/17/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 07/02/2015 07:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Birthday cake, a starship, government contracts and a newspaper are on tap today for Alberta political leaders.

Don't tell NDP Rachel Notley — her supporters are throwing her a surprise birthday party in Lethbridge.

Earlier in the day she is in Calgary making an announcement and speaking to delegates at the Alberta Federation of Labour convention.

Conservative Leader Jim Prentice is trekking to Vulcan to have photos taken with the replica starship Enterprise the town is famous for, as well as making stops in Lethbridge, Taber, Strathmore and Chestermere.

Liberal Leader David Swann is meeting with the Calgary Sun editorial board and door knocking in his riding of Calgary Mountain View.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean will talk about flaws in how government awards contracts, then heads to Taber and ends the day with a rally in Medicine Hat.

The Wildrose took some heat Thursday over a provincial election candidate who asked supporters to "bring your wife's pie" to a fundraising bake sale.

The campaign for Rick Strankman issued a Twitter invitation for an old-fashioned pie auction, urging supporters to take a break from calving, farming and the N-H-L playoffs.

Strankman later apologized, saying a volunteer posted the item on his Twitter account, but accusations of old-fashioned sexism were flying on social media.

Prentice renewed attacks on the Wildrose fiscal plan, saying there's no way the Opposition party can do what it says it will do without making significant cuts to front-line staff.

Notley said an NDP government would stop cuts to education, reduce class sizes and create a school lunch program.

She said Alberta schools are being forced to absorb 12,000 new students this year without additional money for teachers and textbooks.

Swann said he wants to talk co-operation with other "progressive" opposition parties after the May 5 election.

Swann told reporters in Calgary that he has been trying to push some sort of agreement with the NDP, the Greens and the Alberta Party for the last few years.

Liberal Laurie Blakeman is running for re-election in the Edmonton Centre constituency with the help of two other political parties. The Alberta Party and the Green party have also nominated her as their candidate, but she will be listed on the ballot as a Liberal.

Swann called her move a symbolic gesture that should give all progressive Albertans hope.