Marc Bence/for metro edmonton


Brian Mason, leader of the Alberta NDP Party, checks out the historic Leduc No. 1 oil well at the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre. Mason spent his second day on the campaign trail discussing Alberta’s oil royalties system.

Conservative Leader Ed Stelmach and New Democrat Leader Brian Mason seemingly swapped their traditional party priorities yesterday on the second day on the campaign trail.

Stelmach pledged to address social issues by assisting those left behind in the economic boom while Mason focused on the oilpatch.

In Calgary, Stelmach said he would boost the amount of income someone on AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) could earn before their monthly benefits are cut.

"Albertans receiving income assistance often say they want to work and it gives them a higher sense of worth and self esteem when they are in the workforce," he said.

Under his plan, someone could earn up to $1,500 per month as opposed to the current cap of $1,088.

Near Edmonton, Mason used a Leduc oil well site as a backdrop to demand a revised the oil royalty regime.

If Alberta followed Alaska’s example, he said, an additional $4 billion in royalties could flow into province.

"We never want the situation again where the government has internal documents recommending increases in royalties but withholds it from the public," he said.

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