Thomas Lukaszuk bucks Tories, calls for corporate tax hike
'I have been outspoken on a number of crucial issues'
Thomas Lukaszuk isn't exactly flying in formation with the PC party flock these days.
On Tuesday, the Tory incumbent for the riding of Edmonton-Castle Downs quipped to reporters "my number one team is team Castle Downs."
Note the absence of his leader, Jim Prentice, in that statement.
"I have been outspoken on a number of crucial issues and often have spoken against my own party or my own government and they expect me to communicate that message and I certainly have," said Lukaszuk on Wednesday.
This campaign is no exception.
For example, on the doorsteps he's talking up an increase to corporate tax rates.
"What I'm hearing at the doors is a modest — even as little as a half per cent — increase to address some of the revenue shortage and make true on the fact that we are all in it together," said Lukaszuk.
That flies in the face of what the Premier said on budget day and what he himself is trying to push on his own doorsteps, warning an increase to corporate taxes would cost thousands of jobs in the province.
Lukaszuk is also contradicting the Premier on fixed election dates, saying Albertans want "clear election dates."
"That is something our constituents wanted," he said.
Lukaszuk defended his decision to stray from the PC party line, a move that political observer Robert Murray said raises questions.
"You know, as of today, have a candidate peeling away from the rest of the party in an effort to win his own seat by distancing himself from his own leaders messaging," the vice-president of research with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy said.
Lukaszuk was deputy premier under former premier Alison Redford and subsequently lost a leadership race to Prentice.