Blue Line

Smith says sovereignty act, RCMP replacement and pension plan not in UCP campaign

May 5, 2023  By The Canadian Press

May 5, 2023, Calgary, Alta. – United Conservative Leader Danielle Smith says she won’t be campaigning on some of her party’s more contentious ideas – sovereignty legislation, a provincial police force and an Alberta pension plan – ahead of the May 29 election.

Smith was interviewed on Global’s morning show in Calgary on Friday and fielded a variety of questions on revitalizing the city’s downtown, public safety and health care.

Smith, after she became premier last year, introduced the sovereignty act as centrepiece legislation to pursue a more confrontational approach with the federal government on issues deemed to be an overreach in provincial areas of responsibility.

Smith has also had her ministers looking into replacing the RCMP with a provincial police service, setting up a provincial revenue agency and leaving the Canada Pension Plan.

“They’re not in our campaign because I think we’ve got so many things that we have done that we’re excited about. We’re bringing in $10-a-day daycare,” Smith said.

“We have a partnership with the federal government to be able to bring that through, and we expanded it out to both non-profit and private spaces. We’ve also undertaken a significant improvement in the health-care system.”

Smith said things like the pension plan and replacing the RCMP can be revisited after the election.

“We have said that we’re going to do consultation on a number of these issues. I think our sheriffs, for instance, are doing a great job,” she said.

“The other ones, we are waiting for a couple of reports. And I’ve said as soon as those reports are available, we’ll make them public.”

Days before the election call, Smith announced a $330-million provincial investment in a new arena and entertainment district project in Calgary.

She said there is also a need to address the “public safety crisis.” Alberta has a plan to ensure more publicly funded treatment beds and long-term supports are available for people with addictions, she said.

Calgary police were investigating a report of a stabbing on a downtown light-rail transit platform Thursday evening, the latest in a series of attacks on transit in recent months.

“We’re just not going to tolerate public disorder. So this is part of the reason why we invested for another hundred police officers in Calgary and Edmonton,” Smith said.

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