Prentice to address economy in televised speech

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice will address the province's economic difficulties in a televised speech next Tuesday.

Wildrose Party declined offer to give statement at end of broadcast

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice will give a televised speech Tuesday two days before delivering the provincial budget. (CBC)

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice will address the province's economic difficulties in a televised speech next Tuesday.

The 15- to 20-minute address will come two days before the provincial budget is tabled. The cost of Prentice's speech is estimated at $75,000. 

Prentice denied that he was using taxpayers' money for campaign purposes.

"This is speaking to Albertans about the most serious fiscal circumstances we have faced as a province in a generation. and the economic circumstances we are in which we will get through," he said. 

The Wildrose Party said it declined an offer to make a statement at the end of the broadcast.

The party said it considered the offer, but felt uncomfortable using tax dollars to respond the address.

Late Friday afternoon, Liberal Leader David Swann said that he had accepted Prentice's invitation to take the Wildrose's place. 

"The ability of Albertans to hear another voice, at the same time, and via the same medium is not only good from an Alberta Liberal Opposition perspective, it is good for democracy," he said in a written statement. 

“By accepting the Premier’s offer, we are recognizing the fact that Albertans deserve to hear more than a one-side government argument."

Prentice's address will air at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. 


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