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Alberta election 2015: Parties prepare for campaign

As speculation mounts that Premier Jim Prentice will call a provincial election today, parties and candidates say they're ready to go.

Albertans would go to polls in early May if election is called today

Jeff Callaway stepped down as the president of the Wildrose Party Monday as he announced he will be running in Calgary-North West. (Glenn Francey/CBC)

As speculation mounts that Premier Jim Prentice will call a provincial election today, political parties and candidates say they're ready to go.

Prentice is expected to make a "major announcement" in Edmonton at 10:30 a.m. MT. Media were even invited to travel on the "leader's bus" to Grande Cache for three photo opportunities following the press conference. 

Campaign offices have also started sprouting up across the province.

Wildrose Party president Jeff Callaway announced Monday his resignation from that job so he can run in the constituency of Calgary-North West.

He hopes to defeat Progressive Conservative MLA Sandra Jansen, who is running for re-election. 

Callaway said his party is expecting to put up a candidate in all 87 constituencies but he's already tamping down expectations for this election. 

"Our goal is to be the Official Opposition and provide a strong voice for Albertans. We're going to do that and we're the only party that's promising to keep taxes low," said Callaway.

Door-knocking underway

PC candidate Mark Hlady was out door-knocking in Calgary on Monday.

He's trying to mount a political comeback in Calgary-Mountain View, the constituency he used to hold for his party. In recent years it's been held by Liberal MLA David Swann, who is currently the interim leader of the party.

Hlady said his party has found the right balance of spending reductions and tax hikes in this year's budget that will allow Alberta to reduce its dependence on oil revenues in the future.

Between that and the team he's assembled, Hlady is bullish on his chances in the election.

"Having a strong team behind me is certainly helpful and I feel very confident if we keep working hard and doing the best we can that we'll successful," said Hlady.

The NDP candidate in Calgary-Fort is already prepping for an election day launch.

Should an election be called as expected, former city alderman Joe Ceci has asked his forces to a rally in downtown Calgary Tuesday afternoon.  

The NDP is also fielding a full slate of candidates across the province, and more than 50 per cent are women.

The government announced that a cabinet meeting will be held in Edmonton on Tuesday morning but the itinerary for the week shows no other events are scheduled for the premier and his cabinet ministers.

Should Prentice call an election on Tuesday, it means Albertans would likely go to the polls on May 5.

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