Calgary-Foothills by-election candidates Blair Houston (PC), Bob Hawkesworth (NDP), Janet Keeping (Green), Prasad Panda (Wildrose), Ali Bin Zahid (Liberal) and Mark Taylor (Alberta Party).

Calgary-Foothills by-election vote on Sept 3. Here’s what the parties are saying.

Taking place in the backdrop of a federal election, the September 3 provincial by-election in the Calgary-Foothills constituency could have a profound impact on the federal election in Alberta.

A win by the NDP would almost certainly boost momentum for the federal NDP in Alberta, a win by the Wildrose would solidify that party’s dominance over the third-place Progressive Conservatives, and a win by the PCs would be that party’s first sign of a pulse since its defeat in the May 2015 election.

This is the third time voters in this constituency have gone to the polls to select a new MLA since October 2014, when PC leader Jim Prentice entered the Legislature. When it became clear the PC Party has lost the election on May 5, Mr. Prentice resigned as MLA before the votes were even finished being counted.

New Democratic Party: Premier Rachel Notley was the guest of honour at NDP candidate Bob Hawkesworth campaign launch this weekend. Mr. Hawkesworth is a well-known figure in Calgary politics, having served on city council from 1980 to 1986 and 1993 to 2010 and as MLA for Calgary-Mountain View from 1986 to 1993. He received a surprise endorsement last week from Alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart, who is a former PC Party candidate.

Agreeing with calls from opposition parties, the NDP government committed to not making any government announcements in Calgary until after the by-election. This follows criticism levelled at the former PC government, which used its office for political gain to boost support for candidates in four 2014 by-elections.

Progressive Conservative: The PCs have chosen past city council candidate and bar owner Blair Houston as their candidate. Before the 2015 provincial election, Mr. Houston ran for the PC nomination in Calgary-North West against incumbent MLA Sandra Jansen.

Wildrose: The Wildrose Party nominated Prasad Panda as their candidate in a three-way contest with more than 700 Wildrose members voting in the nomination selection. Mr. Panda was the 2012 and 2015 Wildrose candidate in the neighbouring Calgary-Northern Hills constituency.

Alberta PartyMark Taylor has been nominated to run as the Alberta Party candidate. Mr. Taylor was President of the Wildrose Party’s Highwood association from 2012 until 2013 (at the time, the constituency was represented by Wildrose leader Danielle Smith). His campaign released an interview with a local business owner criticizing the NDP government’s 3-year phased increases of the minimum wage.

Liberal: Candidate Ali Bin Zahid issued a press release urging the NDP government to delay their promised royalty review, which is being chaired by Alberta Treasury Branches CEO and President Dave Mowatt. “The last thing the people of Foothills want at this moment is another career politician who will contribute to the NDP’s stubborn determination to do this review now,” said Mr. Zahid.

Green: Green Party leader Janet Keeping criticized the NDP for a lack of basic amenities in the Calgary-Foothills constituency and for an end to the political polarization in the debate about oilsands development. “Sustainability is about more than the physical environment. It is also about maintaining a healthy employment climate. The rate of oilsands development should be reduced decisively but gradually,” said Ms. Keeping.

8 thoughts on “Calgary-Foothills by-election vote on Sept 3. Here’s what the parties are saying.

  1. Jerrymacgp

    The Albeeta Party is sounding more & more like PC-Lite, instead of the moderately progressive upstart they were when they got going.

    And, the royalty review is about the NDP’s stubborn determination to keep another campaign promise.

    Reply
  2. Rene

    Grant, The Alberta Party can mark itself wherever on the political spectrum but the people I know who are joining are former PC supporters.

    Not happy to hear ATB boss chairing royalty review.

    Green lady is on the mark that healthy transition from oil employment needs consideration as well.

    Reply
  3. Calgary Voter

    I shudder at the idea of another Wildrose MLA in the legislature. Brian “no tax increases” Jean is nothing but a mouthpiece for the oil industry and Ezra Levant. I don’t know if I’ll vote PC again because its important that Calgary FootHills has a voice in government especially with the budget debates coming up. I like Notley. Maybe I’ll vote for NDP. That would be a first!

    Reply
  4. Michael

    The Wildrose party is the only alternative to the NDP and their job killing policies. Given the economic climate in Alberta right now and the fact that the NDP already has a majority government and doesn’t need another seat to pass their legislation, the best option to is to vote for the Wildrose party. It’s important that the vote isnt split with the PCs but the only people still voting PC are those who think they still have to following their 40 something year monarchy.

    Reply
  5. tom

    The only hope to defeat the NDP in Foothills is the PC party. The Wildrose got 18% there earlier this year. The Wildrose shouldn’t have even run a candidate.

    Reply
  6. Brad

    Never thought I’d see a world where the NDP were standing up for Albertans and the Conservaties are siding with the foreign owned oil companies. Shameful. Can’t vote Wildrose until they start standing up for Alberta.

    Reply

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