Notley confirms December byelection for Calgary-Lougheed

 James Wood James Wood
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The byelection battle in Calgary-Lougheed got underway Thursday with Premier Rachel Notley and United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney trading barbs, and the UCP accusing the NDP campaign of misconduct.

Notley signed an order-in-council Thursday setting a byelection in the south Calgary riding for Dec. 14.

UCP MLA Dave Rodney resigned the seat last month to clear a path into the legislature for Kenney, a heavy favourite in the race after being acclaimed as the Conservative candidate.

Notley acknowledged the NDP and its candidate, physician Phillip van der Merwe, are underdogs in the campaign.

“There’s no question it’s an uphill battle but I still think all voters in that riding have a right to be able to choose from different options as they cast their ballot,” Notley told reporters at the Canada Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) convention in Edmonton.

“So we’re going to be sure that key questions that we’ve heard from Canadans, that they want to see answered, are presented to Mr. Kenney.”

Notley said the NDP will try to pin down Kenney on what services he would cut to fulfil his pledge to reduce spending and will challenge him to fully disclose the donors to the former MP’s Unite Canada political action committee last year.

But Kenney said Thursday he will make the NDP’s management of the economy — especially the increase of the provincial carbon tax coming on Jan. 1 — the centrepiece of the UCP campaign.

“I’m glad Calgary-Lougheed voters will get a chance to send a message to the NDP about their disastrous economic record,” the former MP said in an interview.

“This was a government that was elected on a dishonest platform two years ago where they hid their dishonest carbon tax. Two weeks after this byelection they will be raising that carbon tax.”

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