Though Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wants to keep any involvement with the federal election at arm’s length, she did say in a teleconference last week that she would have some limited activity. The bulk of this activity would come in the form of attending NDP rallies and discussing the policies of the candidates she supports.
“I’m not going to engage in negative campaigning against other candidates,” she said. “I don’t think that that is helpful.”
She says she will only actively engage in the campaign when it’s needed to correct the record in regards to the Alberta government and she thinks it should be a race between the candidates running to be prime minister and the candidates vying to be members of Parliament.
Showing support for her party, Notley says she was born and raised in the Alberta NDP and has never voted any other way in a federal election. She was pleased on the morning of Aug. 6 when she came out of her house and found a sign for Linda Duncan, federal candidate for Edmonton-Strathcona, waiting for her on her doorstep, she said.
She also claimed she has a “great deal” of respect for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s contributions as Opposition leader and likes him on a personal level, “He’s a good guy.”
With that said, Notley noted that her own day job is substantial and in her opinion, most of her attention should be on her duties to the people of Alberta and the voters who elected her to office, and that’s what she intends to do.
“I believe in focusing on what I have to do, what I can to maintain a co-operative and collaborative relationship with my colleagues, federally, in order to be productive and no matter who wins the next election, I will work as amicably and co-operatively with them as they will allow.”
Some of the issues Notley hopes to see discussed and debated throughout the campaign include infrastructure issues, especially those pertaining to Alberta, specifically the flood infrastructure in Calgary. Also chief among her concerns at the federal level is the issue of health care.
“All provincial premiers identified clearly at the first ministers conference that we needed for the federal government to reengage federal investment in health care because the cost pressures are growing and the provinces have had too much downloaded on them by the federal government over the last few years,” she said.