ALBERTA

Alberta's 4 main party leaders vie for votes in Calgary, southern Alberta

04/29/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 08/04/2015 02:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Southern Alberta and Calgary continue to be the battleground for votes in the Alberta election campaign.

Three of the four leaders of the main political parties are spending most of today in Calgary.

Conservative Leader Jim Prentice makes an appearance at an oilfield supply company, then heads to a pizza place before attending a dinner to raise money for Pheasants Forever, a group that says it is dedicated to preserving the birds and other wildlife.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley makes an announcement in the morning, rallies supporters in the afternoon, then takes part in a community dinner in the riding of McCall.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean talks about how his party will meet Calgary's critical transportation needs, then heads south to the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston and holds a meet and greet in Lethbridge.

Liberal Leader David Swann is in Red Deer, where he will announce what his party will do to support the arts.

On Tuesday, Swann was in Lethbridge, telling seniors that the Liberals have a plan to help them stay in their homes, free up hospital beds, put money in their pockets and keep them healthy and active.

Swann told seniors if they can't vote Liberal next Tuesday, they should cast their ballot for someone other than the Tories.

Prentice spent Tuesday trying to end the controversy over a disqualified candidate for the riding of Chestermere-Rockyview east of Calgary.

Jamie Lall says he was never told by the Tories why he couldn't run against former Wildrose member Bruce McAllister for the nomination.

On Tuesday, Lall released texts he got from PC party executive director Kelley Charlebois and former justice minister Jonathan Denis.

"Don't want you in Chestermere," reads one text from Charlebois.

A text sent by Denis in March warned Lall not to talk to an individual hired by the PC party to vet potential candidates.

"Do not talk to him further," said the text. "They're trying to find any reason to DQ you."

In another text, Denis offered a further warning.

"Buddy, you are being set up. Any further communication is with a lawyer."

Lall wanted to challenge McAllister who, with eight of his Wildrose party colleagues including then-leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservative government in December.

Prentice said the party had hundreds of individuals who wanted to run for the PCs in next Tuesday's election and only a "small handful" were disqualified. He called McAllister a good candidate who is doing a fine job for his constituency.

Jean attacked the NDP, saying the only way to stop what he calls the PC coalition for higher taxes and the NDP is to vote Wildrose.

Jean says the Tories have lost touch with the needs of voters and the NDP wants higher taxes on families and higher taxes on businesses.

Notley accused Prentice of fear-mongering when he accuses her of turning her back on the oil industry and job creation.

Notley has said that if she wins next Tuesday's election, she will hold a review of the province's royalty structure to ensure that Albertans are getting a fair return for their non-renewable resources.

Prentice said that would hurt the industry and undermine public confidence in Alberta.

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