Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has just endorsed UCP leader Danielle Smith in the upcoming provincial vote.
The endorsement comes five days ahead of Monday’s election and two days into advance polling.
Poilievre says Rachel Notley’s NDP will create a weaker economy through corporate tax hikes with less money for schools and hospitals, while Smith’s UCP will support the energy sector, fight the carbon tax, “and unleash the full potential of our Alberta economy in order to grow and prosper in the future.”
“That means more money for schools and hospitals,” he said.
“In other words, vote for Alberta, vote Conservative, vote early, vote now.”
Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has just endorsed UCP leader Danielle Smith.— Rachel Emmanuel (@Emmanuel_Rach) May 25, 2023
"Conservatives will fight the carbon tax, stand up for Alberta and its energy sector, and unleash the full potential of our Alberta economy in order to grow and prosper in the future." https://t.co/gp7ozWlsva
The Conservative leader’s comments echoed a similar endorsement from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper last month in which he also told voters to “vote for Alberta.”
Harper told voters that Alberta’s economy is finally hitting its stride again and employment is booming and argued that this “could all be derailed if the Notley NDP wins the election in May.”
“It took years to recover from the last NDP government. We can’t risk going backwards again.” Harper said. “Vote for Alberta; vote Conservative.”
The UCP has just released a video of former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying the NDP could derail Alberta’s economic growth.— Rachel Emmanuel (@Emmanuel_Rach) April 18, 2023
“It took years to recover from the last NDP government. We can't risk going backwards again. Vote for Alberta; vote Conservative.” pic.twitter.com/tpEqUEqEx5
On Wednesday, Smith announced her re-elected government’s first piece of legislation would ensure that no government can increase personal taxes or taxes on job creators without a referendum.
Smith did not commit to including the carbon tax in proposed Bill 1, ensuring that the provincial government would be forced to seek approval from Albertans through a referendum before imposing such a tax, in the case that the federal government’s tax is scrapped.
She instead said her government is committed to fighting to eliminate the carbon tax.
“Rachel Notley has not stood up for Albertans on this issue,” Smith said. “And I think that goes to the credibility of Rachel Notley when she says that she cares about affordability.’
I asked Danielle Smith whether her gov would include the carbon tax in Bill 1 so that a provincial gov couldn’t impose a carbon tax without a referendum if the fed’s carbon tax is ever scrapped.— Rachel Emmanuel (@Emmanuel_Rach) May 24, 2023
Smith does not commit to it, but says her gov is fighting against the carbon tax. pic.twitter.com/QvUJQuLOjg
Last week, the Alberta NDP released a costed economic platform which forecasts a $3.3-billion surplus over three years. It also included a nearly 40% increase to the business tax rate from 8% to 11% to increase revenue.
The proposal would result in Alberta shedding 33,700 jobs and an investment loss of $1.1 billion, according to economist Jack Mintz with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation gave the Alberta NDP’s plan to hike taxes a “failing grade,” with Alberta Director Kris Sims calling it a “reckless thing” to do in a province that’s booming and hiring thousands of people.