Leader of the NDP Rachel Notley, left, and Leader of the United Conservative Party Danielle Smith shake hands before a debate in Edmonton on Thursday May 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Alberta NDP, UCP promote party platforms a day after election campaign debate

A day after the provincial election campaign’s sole debate, the NDP leader promoted her party’s platform at a rally in Edmonton, while her United Conservative rival took questions on recent controversies during a television interview in Calgary.

Voting day is May 29.

UCP Leader Danielle Smith was on CTV Calgary’s morning show, where she was asked about the finding by the province’s ethics commissioner that she broke conflict-of-interest rules. Marguerite Trussler concluded in her report that Smith undermined the rule of law by attempting, unsuccessfully, to have the attorney general make the criminal case of a COVID-19 protester “go away.”

“I’ve asked the ethics commissioner to give advice,” Smith said Friday.

“I am a non-lawyer. As premier, I do need to be able to get advice from my top official, my top legal adviser. If she has recommendations on how to do that better next time, I will absolutely accept them.”

She was also asked about a candidate who compared transgender students in schools to feces in food.

Smith said Jennifer Johnson, the candidate in Lacombe-Ponoka, would have “a lot of work to do” to find her way into the UCP’s caucus after saying a day earlier she would not sit with the party in the legislature if elected .

“I believe in redemption,” Smith said. “I do believe that people have the ability to have second chances.”

“She’s got a lot of proving to do.”

NDP Leader Rachel Notley held a rally in Edmonton to promise $1.87 billion for infrastructure projects in the provincial capital if her party forms government.

“The people of this city and Albertans all across the province are tired of the infighting, the delays, and the chaos that is Danielle Smith and the UCP,” she told the crowd.

“They want better health care, and public education, and to feel heard, valued and cared for. They certainly deserve better leadership than a premier who broke the law even when she knew better.”

There was a similar theme during Thursday night’s debate, which came down to the issue of trust.

Notley said Albertans can’t trust Smith not to privatize the health system, while Smith said voters can’t trust Notley on the economy.

Both candidates have been premier, and both attacked the other’s record.