CALGARY — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says it’s no secret she is voting for her federal NDP counterpart in Monday’s election, but adds she has purposely kept a “light touch” and stayed away from electioneering.
Notley says she still believes Tom Mulcair is the best choice for prime minister, although she would be happy to work with any of the three major party leaders.
“I’ve said all along that I support the platform and the leadership of Tom Mulcair. I believe that he truly is the leader and the candidate for leadership in this election that demonstrates the grit, the determination and the intellect,” Notley said Friday.
Notley, who was to host a major rally for Mulcair in Edmonton on Friday night, said she realizes she will have to work with the eventual winner and for that reason has largely stayed away from electioneering.
“I’m a politician, and I have an opinion about politics, so I’m not going to stay completely out of it. But overall, throughout this campaign, I believe my government has taken a relatively light touch to engaging in the federal election.”
Alberta’s first NDP premier has been on the receiving end of some attacks from Conservative Leader Stephen Harper during the campaign. Last month, he said that Alberta has fallen into a worse recession since Notley was elected in the spring.
“We know why there’s a recession. It’s not because the government ran a $2−billion surplus. There’s a recession because oil prices have fallen by half,” Harper said.
“And the recession has been made worse because the NDP government came in and followed up by raising taxes on everybody.”
In early August, the Conservative leader criticized the Alberta government for raising taxes and fees and for delaying a full budget until the fall.
Notley said Friday it made sense to turn the other cheek.
“We’re a new government and we know we have a major challenge in front of us. The people of Alberta … are feeling the day−to−day damaging and stressful and anxiety−provoking effects of the drop in the price of oil,” she said.
“I’m certainly very committed to working as co−operatively and as collaboratively and in as congenial a way as possible with whoever becomes the prime minister after Oct. 19.”
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press