July 18th, 2024

Phillips supporting NDP leadership candidate Kathleen Ganley

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 17, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Alberta NDP leadership candidate Kathleen Ganley, alongside MLA for Lethbridge West and campaign co-chair Shannon Phillips, speaks to reporters during a campaign stop Friday in Lethbridge.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Alberta NDP leadership candidate Kathleen Ganley and her campaign co-chair Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips were in Lethbridge Friday to meet with members of the party and speak to reporters about the campaign.

Phillips said she made the decision to not run for the leadership position, but rather looked to support a candidate who she believes has what it takes to win.

“I am supporting Kathleen Ganley, who is the MLA for Calgary Mountain View as the next leader of our party,” said Phillips.

She said Ganley has a plan to talk about the economy and she believes that is exactly the kind of message that resonates for folks in southern Alberta, and specifically in the City of Lethbridge.

Ganley said she is not only running to be the next leader of the Alberta NDP, but also the next Premier of Alberta.

“We have the team built around us and the experience to do that, to take on Danielle Smith,” Ganley said. “I think we will present a competent plan to Albertans to move forward.”

She said she believes there is a need to talk about the economy, and they have released two policy proposals so far.

“The first one is a proposal that would increase the personal income tax exemption to $26,000. That means no one living in poverty would pay income taxes, it also means that 2.5 million Albertans, those earning less than $148,000 a year would get a break.”

She said that’s important because when you put more money in the hands of those who have less, it’s also good for the economy.

“It’s also the primary issue on people’s minds right now. They’re struggling to buy their groceries and to pay their rent, so this will address that.”

Ganley has also presented a proposal to members of the Alberta’s NDP about a charter addressing the best way to engage members of the party going forward.

“What I really want to do is build a movement, a movement that can win this province.”

Ganley said her campaign will also focus on health care, and she has a strong team of MLAs that have served in cabinet who will help her put a plan forward.

“As soon as we form government, we will be focused on ensuring that people have access to a family doctor, that they have access to give birth in their community without having to drive on the highway while in labour,” said Ganley.

Ganley also talked about the desire to cut ties with the federal party, based on a number of issues they have heard from members of the Alberta NDP.

“One of the big issues that we hear from people is that they don’t feel that the federal party represents their values; they don’t think that it is helpful to us in our goal of winning elections here in Alberta, and they would like to not be associated with the federal party anymore.”

Ganley said she would have to discuss the issue with members of the Alberta NDP at a convention because it is part of their constitution, but they want to grow the party and they want to be inclusive.

“We want to ensure that we build something that can win here and what I’m hearing very consistently from members is that they feel that this is a drag on the party, and it doesn’t align with their values.”

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