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Expected byelection call for Calgary Greenway has opposition parties scrambling – CP

by pmnationtalk on February 23, 2016475 Views

Source: The Canadian Press

Feb 22, 2016 19:24

By Dean Bennett


EDMONTON _ Alberta’s opposition parties say Premier Rachel Notley needs to show more respect for the democratic process when it comes to calling a byelection for Calgary Greenway.

Notley is expected to announce Tuesday a byelection that would send voters in that constituency to the polls March 22.

The NDP named its candidate on the weekend and opposition parties are set to nominate theirs over the next two weeks.

Jeremy Nixon, executive director for the Wildrose party, confirmed the party will move their nomination up from March 5 to this Friday, although logistics have not been finalized.

The byelection is to elect a member of the legislature to replace Progressive Conservative Manmeet Bhullar, who was killed in a car crash last November.

Jason Nixon, the Wildrose critic on democracy and accountability, said Notley is offside with the byelection call.

“Let’s be clear. The opposition parties avoided rushing into our nomination process this time out of respect for our colleague Manmeet Bhullar’s family,” said Jason Nixon.

“For the premier to play gotcha games with this particular byelection is beneath her.”

He said it is particularly disrespectful toward the PCs, given the death of one of their members.

The Progressive Conservatives are set to nominate their candidate on Saturday. Troy Wason, the PC party’s executive director, said the Calgary-Greenway board is to decide if it will stick with that date.

Wason agreed with Jason Nixon.

“I think they (the NDs) may have jumped the gun,” said Wason.

“I think they could have given at least the Wildrose time to finish (their nomination). ”They have until May (to hold the byelection).“

Notley’s spokeswoman, Cheryl Oates, said no one has been caught unaware.

“All parties have had months to prepare for this, whether or not they knew the exact date the byelection would be called,” said Oates.

“This is by no means a surprise byelection.”

Oates said the government has been in contact with Bhullar’s family during the process out of respect for their loss, but said the family had not been consulted on the exact timing of the byelection.

The NDP have nominated former radio host Roop Rai. The Greens have already nominated Thana Boonlert as their candidate.

The Liberals are slated to pick a candidate on Feb. 29.

So far, there is no Alberta Party candidate.


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