Premier Rachel Notley takes aim at UCP candidates in campaign-style speech

Alberta's premier Rachel Notley focused on the United Conservative Party's leadership candidates in her speech to the Alberta NDP provincial council on Saturday.

‘I think that every now and then it is important to me to articulate what the alternative is’

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley focused on United Conservative Party leadership candidates at an NDP event in Edmonton on Sept. 23. 1:10

Music blared, a crowd of nearly one hundred supporters cheered as Alberta's premier Rachel Notley boasted in a campaign-style speech about her party's accomplishments and took aim at United Conservative Party leadership candidates.

At the Alberta NDP provincial council at MacEwan University's Kule Theatre Saturday, Notley started off by poking fun at independent MLA, Derek Fildebrandt. 

Fildebrandt left the United Conservative Party in August after getting criticized for renting out his taxpayer-subsidized apartment on Airbnb. Notley joked she had friends in town looking for a place to stay.

"Seemed like a really cute downtown condo. I think it was owned by a guy named Derek, although I don't know that 'owned' was actually the absolute right word," Notley said to the crowd. 

"Subsequently I've heard there's a little bit of a crash and dash problem at that place."

At the end of her nearly 45-minute speech, she focused on the United Conservative Party's leadership candidates, which includes Jason Kenney, Brian Jean, Doug Schweitzer and Jeff Callaway. She accused them of not clarifying their stances on gay-straight alliances.

"When I see a line of guys running to lead a party that they think might potentially lead this province refuse to address that issue in a compassionate and forward looking way, it worries me and it upsets me," she told reporters after her speech.

The opposition has been getting 24/7 news coverage talking about a vision of Alberta and an understanding of the facts, which quite frankly I think is wrong ...- Rachel Notley

Notley then focused on Jason Kenney, accusing him of being dishonest for not disclosing his leadership campaign donor list.

"Jason Kenney said that at one point he would disclose that and now he's not," she said. "And quite frankly I think that it is a broken promise and he needs to be held accountable for it. We're not gonna stop confronting him with it and asking him what he's scared to share with Albertans."

She said all the UCP candidates' policies have dominated the news and it was her turn to oppose them in her speech.

"The opposition has been getting 24/7 news coverage talking about a vision of Alberta and an understanding of the facts, which quite frankly I think is wrong and I am fundamentally opposed to," she said.  "I think that every now and then it is important for me to articulate what the alternative is."

Her speech comes less than a week before the UCP holds a leadership debate in Edmonton on Sept. 28.

Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca

@travismcewancbc