- Election day is May 29.
- Global and CTV News will co-host the Leaders Debate on May 18 at 6:00 p.m.
The midpoint of the election campaign has been punctuated by polling data that momentarily had the NDP in the lead for the first time, and the NDP’s release of a costed platform - which has invited criticisms of its fiscal record.
Last weekend, Abacus Data released a poll showing the NDP leading in the popular vote by 43% to 35%. The results were an outlier; others continue to report a tie in support. A leaked Janet Brown Opinion Research poll predicted the UCP winning a decisive 56 seats over 31 for the NDP. These results are outliers too. A subsequent Abacus has since blunted the impact of its earlier report, generating new data reporting the deadlock persists.
Politicians are fond of saying the only poll that matters is on election day. Both parties are taking steps to shore up as much support as possible among swing voters over the remainder of the campaign. The NDP has promised to eliminate the small business tax rate, eschewing an essential revenue stream embraced by social democrats. The UCP has pledged to introduce mandatory treatment for addictions, contrary to the libertarian principle of personal freedom. Neither party has made policy announcements on the issue of climate change, as spring wildfires plague the province.
Economic issues are firm policy ground for the UCP. It has seized on the NDP pledge to increase the corporate tax rate from 8% to 11%, reminding voters of the NDP record in office, which coincided with the oil price collapse and job losses. The UCP has warned this increase would negatively impact Alberta’s global investment competitiveness. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce diplomatically applauded the UCP’s commitment to maintaining the corporate tax rate and the NDP's commitment to eliminating the small business tax.
Concerns over social services, community building and healthcare were identified as priorities for voters at a recent Alberta Municipalities forum. The NDP is leveraging its trust on these issues through attack ads alleging the UCP wants to introduce further privatized health care.
Trust in leaders, particularly Smith, has become the central question in the election as the NDP emphasizes it as the main ballot concern. These narratives will play out in the remaining days of the campaign. The UCP is likely to focus on economic and community safety policies as the NDP attempts to leverage Notley’s perceived advantage on issues of trust and accountability.
- UCP announced plans to build 700 addiction treatment beds across 11 treatment centers, a 75-bed mental wellness center, and the Compassionate Intervention Act to allow mandatory addiction treatment.
- UCP Leader Danielle Smith says voters should consider her record — not her controversial “musings.”
- UCP announced funding for child and maternal health, obstetrics and midwifery, expanding newborn screening, and supporting critical research.
- UCP announced a 25% discount on personal registry services, provincial camping fees, and medical driving exams for seniors.
- NDP announced increased funding for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, establishing a standalone Arts Capital Grants Program and creating the Live Entertainment Advisory Council.
- The NDP’s costed economic plan projects a $3.3-billion surplus over three years, and includes raising the corporate tax rate, addressing healthcare, education, and lowering the cost of living.
- NDP pledged to reinstate the Rapattack program, a team of aerial wildfire fighters discontinued by the UCP in 2020.
- NDP promised to address electricity costs with a rate cap and a special investigation into price increases.
- NDP proposed offering signing bonuses of up to $10,000 to help attract healthcare workers to Alberta and plans to revitalize Calgary Chinatown.
- NDP pledged to invest $1.2 billion in Calgary and area infrastructure, such as the north leg of the Green Line LRT line, a north health campus, a permanent post-secondary campus, and 40 new schools and modernizations.
- NDP proposed improvements to the Chinese Cultural Centre in Calgary, Sien Lok Park, and other Chinese cultural hubs in Calgary and upgrades to the public realm surrounding many of Chinatown’s businesses and social spaces.
- NDP introduced plans to address anti-racism by establishing an Anti-Racism Act and increasing funding for settlement and integration programs.
- Notley has yet to endorse a $1.2-billion arena deal for Calgary.