Land laws push some rural voters away from Tories
Some farmers in Leduc say suspicions over the land use legislation passed by Alberta's Progressive Conservative government is making them switch to the Wildrose Party in this election.
"This is the issue that got the burr under my saddle," Leduc cattle rancher Ralph Shute said at a Wildrose event on Tuesday.
Shute has supported the Tories in past elections. But this time he's planning to vote Wildrose because he's worried what may happen to his land under the land use legislation.
"If they're going to come and put their thumb on what I can do on my land and hold it for future development because the backroom crowd feels that way, then I'm sitting there asking them permission for anything I do with or on my land," he said.
The three pieces of legislation have dogged the governing Progressive Conservatives ever since they were first introduced.
Amendments were passed last year but the laws continued to attract so much opposition in rural parts of the province that the government decided to have a task force take another look at them.
The findings released in February prompted the government to announce it would not repeal the legislation but instead appoint a property rights advocate, as well as improve consultation with landowners.
While campaigning in southern Alberta on Tuesday, Redford said people's rights will be protected.
"I have been through this legislation. We introduced new legislation," she said. "I promise that we are doing nothing that impinges people's property's rights."
The Wildrose Party has promised to repeal the laws if they are elected and for Ralph Shute, Redford's pledge comes too late.
"I'm finished voting PC."