EDMONTON, AB (January 8, 2015): Premier Jim Prentice should keep his word to not break Alberta’s elections law, and focus on the top priorities Albertans are expecting from their elected representatives to address the looming fiscal and economic challenges the province faces, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today.
In May, Prentice issued a statement committing to honour Alberta’s fixed election law. Since then, Prentice has climbed down from his promise saying, “I’m not taking any options off the table.”
Saskiw said Prentice needs to put an end to the political games coming out of his office, keep his word to Albertans and be crystal clear on whether he intends on breaking his own government’s law.
“With the current economic instability Albertans need to know that keeping the province on track is this government’s top priority, not an election called for political convenience,” Saskiw said. “The last priority for Albertans nervous about their jobs, waiting for surgery, or hoping for more classroom space is an illegal election in the spring.”
In Canada, every province that has a fixed election law has honoured it, with the exception of provincial or federal governments in a minority government. There is no precedent for a majority government to break elections law by calling an early election.
“Calling an illegal early election would not only be unethical but it would be entirely unprecedented in Canadian democracy,” Saskiw said. “This is a matter of principles. We don’t need an election every time the price of oil swings, we need serious leadership focused on real priorities.”