NDP party leader hopeful Kathleen Ganley visited the St. Albert Curling Club on Wednesday.
Ganley, MLA for Calgary – Mountain View and former Justice Minister, announced she was running on Feb. 5, making St. Albert an early campaign stop.
“I think … our values resonate with a lot of people in St. Albert,” Ganley said in an interview with the Gazette.
“It's my belief that we [win] by talking more about our economic message.”
That means interrogating the use of the GDP as a measure of economic success and instead focusing on the economic health of Albertans, she said.
“My experience knocking on thousands upon thousands of doors in Calgary in the last election is that people are a little bit skeptical about our ability to handle the economy,” she said. “I think they're wrong -- but that's not a ‘them’ problem. It's an ‘us communicating it to them’ problem.”
Ganley also shared how she would approach policy around climate, energy and Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
“Should we set an ambitious target of 2035 [for net zero carbon emissions]?” she said. “Yes, I think we should. Will we necessarily hit exactly 2035? Maybe not. Maybe it'll be 37. Maybe it'll be 38. But we need to send the signals to the market now.”
Choosing only renewables, or only oil and gas, is “never going to work,” she said.
She believes Alberta must move fast on carbon capture and storage technologies and that the province could be better supported by the federal government on this mission.
The federal government announced last year that it would introduce a tax credit of up to 37.5 to 60 per cent for investment carbon capture, usage and storage technology.
Environmental advocates have called the credit “a fossil fuel subsidy” and warned that carbon capture technologies “divert resources” from “proven” and “more cost-effective solutions.”
Political commentators have noted that Ganley’s position as a Calgary MLA gives her an advantage because the NDP need Calgary’s full support to win a provincial election.
Former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi may also enter the leadership race.
“I have nothing but respect for Naheed,” Ganley said. “I think the point of this race has to be to win 2027. The point has to be to grow the party, to bring in as many folks as possible. I think the fact that such strong people are putting their names forward is fantastic for the party. I intend to run, I intend to win, and I intend to be the premier in 2027.”
The NDP leadership race ends June 22.