04/11/2012 01:38 EDT | Updated 06/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason to focus on oil royalties in election debate

EDMONTON - Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason says he will use the upcoming leaders debate to push home the point that voters are getting shortchanged by oil royalties.

Mason says his party would boost the province's take from oil companies along with hiking taxes on big corporations and the super-wealthy to pay for more schools and hospital care.

He says the Progressive Conservatives have long given their corporate friends a free ride at the expense of provincial savings.

And he says a Wildrose government would do the same.

The NDP is the only party pushing to hike royalties.

Mason says he hopes Thursday's debate focuses on ideas and policy and doesn't descend into nasty personal attacks.