Alberta Party Leader and former Mayor of Edmonton Stephen Mandel made a campaign stop at Blindman Brewing in Lacombe after announcing earlier in the day that his party, if elected, would reduce the Alberta general corporate tax rate from 12 to 10 per cent and also double the Alberta Small Business Deduction from $500,000 to $1 million.
“One of the great things about the Province of Alberta is entrepreneurship and small business,” Mandel said. “This (Blindman Brewing) is a perfect example of a small business growing exponentially and not moving to Edmonton or Calgary.
“They are creating jobs here — a fair number of them. That’s wonderful and we want to support them.”
Mandel said that ensuring Albertans in rural communities have a high quality of life is one of the main goals of his party
“We will be out and in rural Alberta over the next few weeks making announcements on a variety of things that we will believe will help the communities.
“Whether it is healthcare or other areas, rural Alberta is very important and is one of the basic strengths of our economy.”
Mandel said that a robust rural economy is essential to a “powerhouse” Albertan economy and that have 87 strong candidates is part of their commitment to all of Alberta.
“Myles (Alberta Party Candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka Myles Chykerda) is a great candidate and we have great candidates across the province — one in every riding with 87 candidates,” he said. “I think people look at the Alberta Party and the platform we put forward, whether it is education, daycare, economic or tax changes — as a party that tries to look at the practical side of politics and deliver programs that will help Albertans, not dogmatic or ideology.”
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Mandel believes that Albertans are naturally drawn to the centre and wants the Alberta Party to be a legitimate option for those people. For rural Alberta, he said that it is important that those communities are part of the conversation.
“Up until now, what I’ve heard mostly is that they feel excluded by the NDP government and I am not sure what the UCP would do — we haven’t heard much about their policies,” he said.
“We deeply believe in rural Alberta and we see it as the strength of this province. We want to work with the communities to solidify their concerns in healthcare, open up opportunities for value-added industries and improve education.
He added that rural is broad definition for a variety of different communities, but said that the spirit of community is what binds them together.