Danielle Smith, the former broadcaster, Wildrose leader, and MLA, is jumping back into provincial politics with her bid to lead the United Conservative Party (UCP).
A fiscally conservative libertarian who wants to limit both government spending and involvement in the lives of its citizens, Smith said she would mount a strong defense against growing federal government intrusion and assert Alberta’s autonomy, similar to Quebec. Her most notable ideas in this race include support for the Alberta Sovereignty Act, paying off debt with the province’s surplus, and opposition to greater spending.
“As your premier, on Day 1, I’m introducing the Alberta Sovereignty Act. It’s time to put Alberta First!” she said on social media.
Given her ideological stance, Smith is popular amongst more fiscal conservatives. She has rejected some of the more socially conservative stances taken by the UCP, as it was the Wildrose’s growing social conservative movement that eventually persuaded her to depart the party.
Smith was a member of the PC party from 1998 to 2009, when she left over concerns about then-Premier Ed Stelmach’s “free-spending ways.” She was then elected leader of the Wildrose Party in 2009, as support for the party continued to grow, largely at the expense of the PCs. While the party looked poised to win the 2012 election, it remained the Official Opposition because of its inability to win support in Edmonton and Calgary. In a post-election analysis, Smith’s defense of two Wildrose candidates who had made controversial racial and social remarks was determined to be a key error in the election.
Despite her push for continued social progressivism within the party, the 2014 Wildrose general meeting saw members vote down an anti-discrimination resolution she strongly supported. With the PCs regaining some lost momentum through the leadership of Jim Prentice, Smith, alongside eight Wildrose MLAs, crossed the floor over to the PC side on December 17, 2014.
The move sparked a backlash and Smith ended up losing the nomination race for the Progressive Conservatives in Highwood for the upcoming 2015 Alberta election. In what would be a general theme for the election, the PCs would be decimated throughout the province, including the riding of Highwood, as they were reduced to just four seats.
Smith would then take a break from politics and worked as a popular radio host. She is now running in both the UCP leadership race as well as the UCP MLA candidacy in the riding of Livingstone-McLeod.
Taxes, spending & infrastructure
Danielle Smith would increase health spending
Danielle Smith promises to provide every Albertan with a 'Health Spending Account', to use for health expenses not covered by Alberta Health Insurance. She says families can use these accounts to visit a dentist, physiotherapist, chiropractor, counsellor, or other needed health professional. Starting this October, Smith vows to invest $300 in each Health Spending Account, and incentivize employers to contribute too.
social issues & public policy
A Danielle Smith Government promises that Alberta will never lock down again
Danielle Smith promises that our kids will stay in school, our businesses will remain open, and Albertans will be able to travel, gather with loved ones, and worship as we choose. Smith promises to amend the Alberta Human Rights Act, so no one can be discriminated against for their personal or political beliefs, or the medical decisions they make for themselves or their children. She promises that if Ottawa attacks Alberta's charter rights and freedoms again, the Provincial Government will not enforce those policies in Alberta.
Fighting 'Trudeau's censorship bill'
Danielle Smith would work with Internet Service Providers to ensure the censorship law [Bill C-11] is not enforced in Alberta, promising that Albertans will be free to express their views without fear of reprisal from the government.
climate, energy & Sustainability
philosophy & guiding principles
Danielle Smith thinks we 'need less Ottawa in our lives'
Danielle smith says: ‘The Federal government has landlocked our resources, destroyed so many livelihoods, and made all the basics we need to live so much more expensive. We need a strong provincial government who will always put Alberta first. That’s why, on day one, I’m introducing the ‘Alberta Sovereignty Act’, authorizing our provincial government to refuse to enforce any federal law or policy that attacks Alberta’s interests or our provincial rights.’