Notley takes Jim Prentice head on in Leader’s Debate

EDMONTON – The NDP’s Rachel Notley emerged (last night) as the clear winner of the Alberta Leadership Debate. The hour-and-a-half long debate saw Notley outline her vision of a province where health care and education are protected by asking corporations to pay their fair share.

“It was obvious from the debate that Jim Prentice does not share the priorities of the people of this province,” said Notley. “He continues to not take responsibility for the mess that his party has put us in over the past 44 years. Albertans simply aren’t buying what he’s selling.”

Prentice and Notley went head to head, reinforcing that there is a clear choice in this campaign. Brian Jean was clear that he intends to continue Prentice’s plan of giving billions away in corporate tax breaks.

“We are offering a clear alternative for Albertans,” said Notley. “We are offering change and the knowledge that we can build a better future for our province.”

Broad consensus emerging from debate: NDP’s Rachel Notley shines

After a fast-paced debate that saw Jim Prentice attempt take aim at an energetic and focused Notley, a general consensus is beginning to take shape from across the political spectrum and country:

Doug Griffiths, former PC Minister of Municipal Affairs: “The winner: Notley. Confident, well spoken. Prentice: stronger as it went. Swan: true smart gentleman. Lost: Jean. Rhetoric and script.”

Stephen Carter, political strategist and campaign manager to Naheed Nenshi for mayor campaign: “Overall message from Jim Prentice—is ‘choose your future’—and she is standing immediately to my left.’”

Paul Wells, Maclean’s: “But somebody on the stage needed to make Notley sound like a mad statist on a rampage, and nobody came close. She sounded…reasonable.”

David Cournoyer, political pundit: “Rachel Notley is the winner of tonight’s debate. She stayed calm and cool, presented a concise message, & avoided Prentice’s traps.”

Rick Bell, Calgary Sun: “First half hour. Prentice needs to win. Notley is winning. He goes after her.”

Andrew Coyne, National Post: “Notley easily the sharpest knife in this drawer, and the most likeable. Swann makes me want to cut my right arm off.”