Calgary

Calgary Tory accuses opponents of collusion

Calgary Conservative Rob Anders is accusing the Liberal and NDP parties of conspiring in two Alberta ridings in hopes of defeating the Tory candidates.

Calgary Conservative Rob Anders is accusing the Liberal and NDP parties of conspiring in two Alberta ridings in hopes of defeating the Tory candidates.

Anders, an incumbent, says he has been door knocking in his riding of Calgary West and has met lots of voters, but hasn't seen NDP candidate Shawna Knowles and has only noticed a handful of her signs.

Knowles lives in Edmonton, home to Edmonton-Strathcona, a contested riding and the only Alberta seat that went to a non-Conservative in 2008.

Anders suggests that in return for the NDP keeping a low profile in his riding, the Liberal candidate isn't actively campaigning in Edmonton-Strathcona, in hopes of shoring up support for incumbent NDP candidate Linda Duncan.

Among her opponents in the riding are Conservative business owner Ryan Hastman and Liberal university student Matthew Sinclair, both first time candidates.

"In both those cases, you have the lesser of the two coalition partners – between the NDP and the Liberals – that is tossing in the towel and trying to help out the other and that took months of coordination in advance," Anders said.

'Pure fantasy,' says NDP

The NDP's Alberta spokesman Lou Arab called the claim "pure fantasy," adding that his party runs candidates in all ridings and there are no deals with any other parties. Requests for an interview with Knowles were referred to Arab.

Calgary West Liberal candidate Janice Kinch said she isn't aware of any such co-operation agreement. 

"I have not been working with anybody in collusion. I have not even spoken to anybody from the [NDP]," she said.

Anders is running for his sixth term as MP for the riding. In the 2008 election, Anders defeated Liberal Jennifer Pollock by a margin of 21,292 votes. He took 57 per cent of the vote.

During that election, Anders was the one accused of keeping a low profile during the campaign. A Green party candidate compared Anders to Bigfoot. However, Anders told the CBC he missed part of the campaign due to surgery on a torn biceps.