Alberta Votes

'Extreme' opposition parties will hurt Alberta, Prentice says

Jim Prentice used a visit to a coal mine in Grande Cache on Wednesday to pit the "realistic" Tory plan for solving Alberta's economic problems against the "extreme" views of the opposition.
Conservative Leader Jim Prentice spoke with miners Wednesday in Grande Cache, the town where he grew up. (Michelle Bellefontaine/CBC)

Jim Prentice used a visit to a coal mine in Grande Cache on Wednesday to pit the "realistic" Tory plan for solving Alberta's economic problems against the "extreme" views of the opposition.

Standing in front of several dozen workers at Grande Cache coal, the Progressive Conservative leader touted his plan for ending Alberta's dependence on oil revenues.

"Albertans have the opportunity to make a choice: a realistic, honest plan or, frankly, betting our future on extreme ideas and ideologies," Prentice said.

He said one party would lay off nurses and teachers and cut projects such as the health centre in Edson and the paving of Highway 40 while another party would "wildly increase spending" in hopes of a rebound in the price of oil and raise taxes on corporations, a measure Prentice said would kill jobs and discourage investment. 

Prentice also slammed the NDP for wanting to increase the size of government, which he said would simply allow waste and inefficiency to continue.

Asked whether it was divisive to characterize the Wildrose and NDP parties as "extreme," Prentice side-stepped the question.

"I've challenged those parties on the extreme left and on the extreme right to tell Albertans what they would do; to be honest."

Prentice lived in Grande Cache as a teenager. He spoke about his family's roots in the the mountain town and his father's time working at Grande Cache Coal. 

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