1. Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Alison Redford announced that she would raise monthly payments from the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program from $400 to $1,588 and doubling the allowable income earned for participants. Wildrose communications director Brock Harrison criticized the announcement on Twitter, claiming it would be too costly. The Liberals and NDP have called for increases to AISH funding for years.
During the 2004 provincial election, then-Premier Ralph Klein was criticized for claiming that there was rampant abuse in the program. He then told the media that “severely normal” people do not want to talk about AISH.
2. Gary Mar attempted to grab headlines about Edmonton’s recent streak of murders by criticizing the Safe Communities Initiative, initiated by Premier Ed Stelmach and former Justice Minister Redford. Ms. Redford rebutted Mr. Mar’s criticism of the Safe Communities Initiative by listing statistics showing Youth Crime in Calgary down by 25% and that crime in Canada is at its lowest since 1973.
For more facts debunking Edmonton’s claim to fame as “Canada’s Murder Capital”, see everybodyinthiscityisarmed.com
3. While Ms. Redford and Mr. Mar are two candidates most likely to be branded as Calgarians, southerner Ted Morton is has picked up support from six MLAs in the Edmonton area, including some who have deep connections to their cultural communities (which can produce significant amounts of sold memberships).
4. Former President of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers David Manning has been appointed as Alberta’s Representative in Washington DC, replacing Mr. Mar, who left the position to seek the PC leadership. Mr. Manning’s appointment comes as the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas continues to cause controversy south of the border.
5. Outgoing Liberal leader David Swann raised concerns about Mr. Mar’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) friendly health care policy and one of Mr. Mar’s leadership campaign’s largest donors Dr. Kabir Jivraj. Dr. Jivraj is the former Chief Medical Officer of the Calgary Health Region and is the founder of AgeCare, a for-profit corporation that provides long-term care for senior citizens.