Wildrose leader says he could work with either party in a minority Alberta government
Surrounded by candidates, Alberta Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, centre, speaks at the party's election campaign kickoff in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
CALGARY -- Wildrose Leader Brian Jean says a minority government could work well in Alberta.
But he warns he would not support any policy that included tax increases or went against any basic Wildrose values.
With a tight race between the surging NDP, the Wildrose and the ruling Progressive Conservative party, the possibility of a minority government has become a major talking point on the campaign trail leading to Tuesday's election.
Jean, a former member of the federal Conservative caucus under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said he would prefer to see a Wildrose majority on Tuesday. But he suggested he could work with NDP Leader Rachel Notley and PC Leader Jim Prentice in a minority situation.
He admitted he doesn't really care for either party and repeated his line that "you can't trust the NDP with the economy and you can't trust the PCs with anything."
"A minority government would be a good thing for all Alberta," Jean said at a campaign stop in Calgary on Friday. "Albertans are voting for change. They should vote for change they should trust."
Jean said he doesn't put any trust in election polls, but the reality of a minority government is something that needs to be addressed.
He knows first hand that it can work well, he added.
"I worked in three minority governments in Ottawa and we saw a lot of bills put through. We saw a lot of negotiations and we saw a lot of compromises.
"Sometimes compromises are the best thing."
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann agreed that Albertans would benefit from a minority government.
"A majority government has just taken us too long and too strong in one direction," Swann said, referring to the four decades the Tories have been in power.
Notley agrees with some observers that her campaign has momentum, but she is taking nothing for granted.
Earlier this week, she said the legislature simply has to work better.
"I've said all along we have not had a particularly functional legislative assembly for the last few years. The revolving door of PC drama has made it less and less effective," she said.
"My focus is getting enough people elected to be able to work hard ourselves and with other MLAs as necessary to make the legislature work."