Docs give grades as campaign winds down

As the province heads into the final weekend before the election, Alberta doctors have handed out report cards that give the Alberta Liberals top marks in health-care reform.

The Alberta Medical Association graded the political parties on their health-care platforms, awarding Kevin Taft’s party a “B” while the ruling Tories have been given a “C.” The New Democrats placed slightly higher with a “C+” grade.


At a campaign stop in Edmonton yesterday, Taft said he was “thrilled” to lead the parties, saying the province needs a “wartime effort” to train more doctors and nurses.

“You can’t trust the people who broke the system to fix it,” he said. “You gotta throw them out.”

AMA president Dr. Darryl LaBuick said some people may not agree with the marks they’ve handed out, but the report cards are an important benchmark for voters before the March 3 election.

Meanwhile, a new Leger poll suggests Conservative Leader Ed Stelmach is headed for a majority government anyway, with 40 per cent of Albertans ready to vote Tory blue.

However, a large segment of undecided voters, hovering around 25 per cent, has remained throughout the 28-day election campaign. With no single issue dominating the headlines, political pundits have made predictions all over the map.

The New Democrats have spent the entirety of their campaign lumping the Liberals together with the Tories, criticizing both for accepting corporate donations.

But Taft said he’s not concerned that his party will suffer from potential vote splitting with Brian Mason’s NDP.

“People don’t want a noisier opposition, they want a new government — and there’s only one party in the running to do that, and that’s the Alberta Liberals,” he said.

All the province’s political parties will be on a campaign blitz throughout the weekend, knocking on as many doors as possible before polling stations open on Monday morning.–With files from Krista Sylvester

Ed plays to capital voters

  • Stelmach told residents gathered in an Edmonton coffee shop yesterday that he’s going to “put the Ed back in Edmonton” if he forms the next government.

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