Battleground Calgary: what both major parties are promising
All signs are pointing to a close race in next month's Alberta election, and it'll likely be won and lost in Calgary.
Recent polling shows the two major provincial parties have similar support in Calgary. That's a stark contrast to Edmonton -- which should be another orange crush -- and rural Alberta -- which should continue its blue wave.
Recent data from pollster Janet Brown shows noticeable voting intention differences in Calgary's four quadrants.
"It is almost like a barometer," she told CTV News. "The further north you go, the more orange it is. The further south, the more blue."
Her numbers show sizeable NDP leans in both the city's northwest and northeast, and a conservative push in the southeast.
She believes Calgary may come down to one quadrant.
"In the southwest, it's a horse race," Brown said. "It's a virtual tie there. It's a pretty big and diverse city."
The pollster predicts as many as 18 of the city's 26 available seats will go to the challenger, but that still may not be enough to form an NDP government.
"There are those Calgarians who are very much focused on economic issues -- not so much on leadership or social programs -- and they seem to be aligning behind the UCP," Brown said. "And then there are voters who care either about leadership, or social policy, or both, and they are lining up behind Rachel Notley."
So: just what are the UCP and NDP promising Calgarians in the lead-up to May 29?
NEW DEMOCRAT POLICY
Both major parties appeared at a Calgary Economic Development event alongside mayor Jyoti Gondek Tuesday night.
Backed by majority crowd support, Notley spoke about diversifying the economy and expanding post-secondary plans to keep young people in the province.
"We want to reverse the cuts under the UCP and we want to make education more accessible," the NDPer told reporters after the forum.
She says her party is looking to spend on office-to-housing conversions, incentives to move businesses, events and festivals downtown and on building an innovation district.
The completion of the Green Line and housing are also on Notley's radar, should she be elected.
Danielle Smith used her event appearance to hammer home her commitment to the economy.
The UCP is focused on bringing business to the city by "getting our fiscal house in order and restoring investor confidence in our province," according to a caucus spokesperson.
Smith did not speak to reporters after the event.
Her party also says it wants to help the City of Calgary develop a new event centre. The premier even chided the mayor about the build during their chat.
Additionally, the conservatives say downtown safety is paramount. Last month, the province created a pilot project between the Alberta Sheriffs and the Calgary Police Service to get more boots on the ground.