Albertans head to the polls on May 5th

Albertans, including those in the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency, will be heading to the polls in just under a month.

Premier Jim Prentice called a general provincial election on April 7th. Voting will take place province wide on May 5th.

In the coming weeks, various campaigns will play out as the province continues to deal with an unbalanced economy. By law, the province was not slated for an election until the spring of 2016, but Prentice told supporters on Tuesday that his 10-year plan to re-make the economy requires the endorsement of Albertans.

“Tough choices need to be made and our province needs a realistic plan to the immediate challenges that we face and also for the long term,” said Prentice during a press conference.

The current provincial law allows an earlier election if circumstances warrant.

At the dissolution on April 7th, the Progressive Conservatives had 70 seats in the legislature, with the Wildrose Party and the Alberta Liberal Party both had five, the Alberta New Democratic Party had four, with one independent MLA and two vacant seats.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean kicked off the 2015 Wildrose campaign titled ‘Standing up for Albertans!’ on Tuesday.

“The only way to stop taxes from going up is to vote Wildrose,” stated Jean in a press release. “After 44 years in government, the same old entitled PCs under Jim Prentice no longer deserve a blank cheque. Across this province, we are building a strong team dedicated to standing up for Albertans. Only the Wildrose has the track record to compete province-wide against the PCs and give Albertans a credible alternative.”

Over the campaign period, Jean and the Wildrose Party hope to release a positive vision for the province that rolls back PC tax increases, returns Alberta back to balanced budgets, fixes health care, strengthens accountability and restores jobs, growth and economic prosperity.

“Politics needs to be about people, earning their trust and standing up for them on the issues that matter to them most,” stated Jean. “Government shouldn’t be about dollars spent, but people served. I can’t wait to meet with Albertans across the province and stand up for them to ensure we keep money in their pockets, and bring our province back to prosperity.”

NDP Leader Rachel Notley also kicked off her campaign on Tuesday under the banner ‘Leadership for What Matters.’

Standing in front of the Legislature in Edmonton, Notley stated during a press conference: “After 44 years, Albertans are getting the wrong kind of leadership from the PCs. It’s clear that Albertans feel let down by their government. It’s time for new leadership.”

Notley plans to travel across the province to talk to Albertans and campaign to be Alberta’s next Premier. “We can choose to say that tomorrow is going to be better than yesterday,” said Notley in a press release. “Albertans deserve better, and that’s why I’m running to be Premier.”

Both the PCs and NDPs have selected candidates for the provincial election within the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency. Peter DeWit will represent the PCs and Doug Hart will represent the NDP.

At the time of publication, other parties had not announced their candidates.

Nomination day for all candidates will be April 17th.