Smith won’t seek early voting and will be next Alberta Premier if he wins UCP leadership

United Conservative Party leader Daniel Smith won’t hold early elections to seek broader authority over his policy ideas if he wins this week’s vote and becomes Alberta’s next premier. said.

Smith, who is recognized as a frontrunner in the race, said voters tend to punish leaders who call for early elections, in media availability on Monday.

“People are suspicious when early election calls are made,” she told reporters.

“Often, when we hold early elections, which were held at the federal or state level, we often end up losing, losing support, or failing to win a majority.”

Smith said she will wait until the next elections scheduled for May 2023, but believes she has an obligation to move ahead with the plan if she becomes leader.

“People need to understand that we are going to implement the ideas that we campaigned for in the last election,” she said. I feel that I have a very strong mission to do that.”

Smith said he will pass Alberta’s sovereignty law immediately.

Legal experts, some of Smith’s leadership rivals, Prime Minister Jason Kenny, have labeled the act not only illegal but a recipe for constitutional and economic chaos.

Smith said Monday she plans to introduce the legislation herself, looking for early opportunities to get local seats suggested by some of her colleagues. Smith is the only one without a seat in Congress.

“I will ask for a by-election seat, I will consult the caucuses, and I will go back and see what we ran for. We’ll look at the obligations we’ve gotten from,” Smith said.

“I believe the approach we are taking to defend our constitutional jurisdiction is not against the law. I think.”

Smith also spoke about using the Health Expenses Account to overhaul the healthcare system and lay off the Alberta Health Service Board of Directors, which oversees frontline healthcare delivery.

Monday was the last day of pre-voting, with candidates seeking a final campaign push before party members chose a new leader to replace Kenny on Thursday.

Kenny announced in May that he would step down if a new leader was elected after receiving a 51 percent vote in a leadership review.

Smith is considered the frontrunner based on having been the focus of opposition attacks throughout the campaign.

Also running are former Kenny cabinet ministers Travis Toos, Leela Ahir, Rajan Sohney and Rebecca Schultz. Brian Jean of Backventure. Former caucus member Todd Lowen.

Both Gene and Towes said they would not call for early elections if they were voted as leaders, but did not comment on whether Smith wanted broader powers.

Toews, the former finance minister, feels his team has gained momentum in the past few weeks.

“We are moving forward,” he said in an interview. “It feels like a close match.”

Jean said people are excited about the results ahead.

“The campaign is going well,” he said. “We’ve been going around the state for the last few days collecting ballots from people who might otherwise not be able to vote.”

Jean encouraged everyone who hadn’t yet had the chance to vote in person to vote in person from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursdays at one of five locations: Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Slave Lake and Tabor. .

Some even posted about voting on social media.

“Thank you (and) for the incredible support (and) to Gene and the Toes team in ballot pickup!” Aheer wrote on Twitter. “It’s great to be able to work together.”

Jean, Toews, and Schulz also made final calls for pre-voting.

By Dean Bennett and Colette Darwallis

canadian press