Economy, taxes, crime and hockey pucks will be at the forefront of Danielle Smith’s mission to hold onto the premier’s office.
Danielle Smith kicks off 2023 UCP election campaign in Calgary
With the writ set to drop on Monday for a May 29th election, most pollsters have the UCP and NDP in a dead heat
This election stands to be much different than 2019 when the new conservative party rolled to a large majority mandate, securing 63 seats to the NDP’s 24.
Less than a year later and the province was shut down, along with the rest of Canada, dealing with a global pandemic and restrictions. The party also chewed through leader Jason Kenney last summer and Smith won the leadership race while the NDP had taken the lead in many polls.
With the writ set to drop on Monday for a May 29th election, most pollsters have the parties in a dead heat with Calgary viewed as the big battleground.
It was of little coincidence on Tuesday, the province stepped up with a $330-million promise to invest in the infrastructure surrounding the new event centre, so long as they are re-elected. Smith warned on Saturday that the NDP would kill the deal.
The province’s investment in the new home for the Flames has not flown well in other parts of Alberta, after there was no provincial funding for the Edmonton Oilers new arena which opened in 2016.
“This additional investment really does bring our capital investment up to a similar level as Edmonton,” she told Postmedia following the rally. “Over the three years in this year’s budget, we were investing just over $3 billion in capital for Edmonton just under $3 billion in capital for Calgary. And so this does bring that up to a very comparable level, even though Calgary does have a bigger population.”
The premier did not take questions from the media at the event.
Smith also promised to continue to take a hard stance on crime while addressing addictions.
The key focus of her six-minute-and-15-second speech, though, was the economy. She warned against the NDP’s history of raising taxes, which she claimed drove industry out of Alberta after their election in 2015. Smith boasted about the current economic success of the province, pointing to the latest oil boom, diversification through a thriving tech sector in Calgary as well as a rapidly growing film and television industry.
She also throttled on connecting the NDP and Rachel Notley to the federal NDP and Liberal parties.
The speech did not talk about the party’s plans for health care, education or the environment, though Schulz said they have made announcements in recent weeks as a government on these issues and more would be unfurled during the campaign.
“We’re really not big fans of Trudeau, we feel he’s really hurt Alberta since he’s been in power,” said Andrew Cruickshank. “They’re anti-oil and still take our $20 billion a year in transfer payments but they really don’t seem to respect Alberta, and that’s too bad. I wish they’d just give us an honest shake and let us sell our oil and gas.”
Mahmoud Mourra said he believed Smith was needed to “save the province” from Notley and another NDP government.
“In a short time (with) the UCP government under Danielle Smith I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” he said. “When Danielle Smith took the charge last October, I saw a lot of changes and I do believe this is for the betterment of our province and I believe the only one who could stand up to Trudeau will be Danielle Smith.”
Mourra brought his son Abraham with him to underscore the importance of politics and involvement and to hold strong to freedoms, which he says continue to be encroached upon. He noted many in the Muslim community are conservative, despite fear tactics played by the opposition.
For some, the speech fell a little flat.
“The speech that I heard today was a speech, for me, that lacked connection,” said Lowman Edwards, hoping to see her step forward more on sovereign rights.
Notley was scheduled to launch the NDP campaign in Edmonton at 5 p.m.
See Senate Majority Leader Schumer speak about deal – CNN
See Senate Majority Leader Schumer speak about deal
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke after the Senate passed the debt ceiling deal that narrowly averted a default. The bill will now go to President Biden’s desk to sign.
Bill C-18: Meta to test blocking news in Canada – CTV News
Meta is preparing to block news for some Canadians on Facebook and Instagram in a temporary test that is expected to last the majority of the month.
The company says it wants to work out the kinks before permanently blocking news on its platforms when the Liberal government’s online news act becomes law.
The bill, which is being studied in the Senate, will require tech giants to pay publishers for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online.
The tech giant says the test will affect up to five per cent of its 24 million Canadian users.
The company says the randomly selected users won’t be able to see some content including news links as well as reels, which are short-form videos, and stories, which are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
Meta says it is randomly choosing media organizations that will be notified that some users won’t be able to see or share their news content throughout the test.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2023.
Meta funds a limited number of fellowships that support emerging journalists at The Canadian Press.
MacDougall: Poilievre's 'digital politics' — where the facts don't matter but scoring points does – Ottawa Citizen
According to the old laws of politics, when an opponent is beating himself, you step out of the way and watch him go to town. Why, then, does Pierre Poilievre watch Justin Trudeau repeatedly self-harm, then choose to dump his own mess on the floor?
Exhibit A: In the House of Commons this week, Poilievre was asking Trudeau about the cost of living — the most-pressing issue for Canadians — when he made his oft-repeated jibe about Trudeau being a “drama teacher.” Trudeau jabbed back, saying he was a teacher before becoming a politician but couldn’t remember what Poilievre did before politics (answer: nothing). Then he enumerated the actions his government is taking to alleviate costs.
So far, so old-laws. Trudeau got dinged and zinged back. House banter at its usual bog standard. But then Poilievre, smart-aleck grin firmly affixed, shot back that Trudeau was indeed a teacher but then “left right in the middle of the semester and I’m having trouble remembering why.”
Welcome to the new, digital laws of politics, which says that boring questions about substantive issues don’t travel or draw engagement online. What sells online is salacious rumour delivered with a side of snark, or full-frontal attack delivered full-force. In the online world, traffic trumps truth.
At first, the Tory benches were slow to catch their leader’s reference. You can bet the ordinary Canadian was, too. But the “semester” comment wasn’t meant for the ordinary Canadian. It was meant for the online fringe, an entirely different beast. And they loved it. Twitter lit up with appreciative “semester” comments from right-wing outlets. The Tory benches eventually came to life too as they realized what their leader had done. Then their smart-aleck grins appeared and their applause began. All except Michael Chong, Mr. “Old Laws,” who remained frozen in shame.
For the uninitiated, Poilievre’s semester comment was a call-back to the 2019 election, when a website called the Buffalo Chronicle (spoiler alert: it isn’t a recognized media outlet in Buffalo, or anywhere) published a “report” citing unnamed “sources” claiming Trudeau had left his school in British Columbia because of some supposed sex scandal. The website claimed the Globe and Mail had spiked a story about it, and later claimed that Facebook had been pressured into censoring the Chronicle.
Except none of this was true. Not that it stopped the story from gaining traction; it was one hell of a salacious rumour. But it wasn’t factual, something outlets as far away as Britain’s BBC took pains to point out. Again, how “old laws.” In our new digital hell, even a civic duty such as fact-checking does little but amplify (and, in most cases, reinforce) the original claim. It’s a win for Team Tory.
Exhibit A on that front: Here I am, a columnist in a mainstream title, writing about the mechanics of Poilievre’s semester jibe and re-hashing a disproven salacious claim. I am obeying the old laws and fuelling the new. That I’m doing it with a purpose doesn’t matter. The internet won’t draw that distinction.
What makes this such a shame is that Poilievre has all of the legitimate material in the world with which to batter Trudeau — but chooses instead to traffic in nonsensical teacher tattle.
Take Chinese interference. The reason Michael Chong isn’t smiling much these days is that his family has — and is — being targeted by agents of the Chinese state. Former Tory leader Erin O’Toole rose in the House this week to give a brilliant speech about his experience with Chinese interference. O’Toole’s speech was dignified, impassioned, substantive and powered by CSIS briefings. It was everything you’d want from a parliamentarian; it soared as high as Poilievre went low. And yet, crickets.
Sadly, until we reformat the online information economy, we will continue to be “semestered” by politicians who play to the algorithm instead of the more analog rhythms of the offline world. The new laws of digital politics are a disgrace, but they’re a very effective disgrace.
Andrew MacDougall is a London-based communications consultant and ex-director of communications to former prime minister Stephen Harper.
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