Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean each appeared on CBC Radio's The House show this morning. It came as polls show the NDP with a huge lead in Canada's most conservative province just three days before the provincial election.
In an astonishing development, Notley's party has received an endorsement from the daughter of former Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein.
Klein is a right-wing icon in Alberta.
The former premier was also an emeritus senior fellow of the Fraser Institute, a free-market think tank based in Vancouver, until his death in 2013.
Meanwhile, the NDP leader is familiar to many Vancouverites.
Notley used to work for the Health Sciences Association of B.C. and volunteered with a local group called Moms on the Move, which advocated for kids with disabilities.
Her activism was mentioned in the Georgia Straight shortly after Gordon Campbell became premier in 2001.
At the time, Notley wrote a letter of protest about cuts to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. According to a column by Bill Tieleman, she received a letter back from B.C. Liberal MLA Richard Stewart, who highlighted the Campbell government's tax cuts.
“I understand your anger and concern for the funding of MCFD programs," Stewart, now mayor of Coquitlam, wrote. "However, your son needs those tax cuts as much as my children. We need those tax cuts so that our economy will start to grow, so that we’ll be able to afford the programs we cannot afford today.”
This morning, Notley told CBC host Evan Solomon that Albertans are far more progressive than national commentators have realized.
When asked about pipelines, she responded that she doesn't favour the way in which the Keystone XL has been proposed because it would ship jobs out of Alberta.
Notley noted that in 2008, there were six heavy-oil upgraders planned in her province.
"Those upgraders almost all were cancelled," she said.