Former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed.
Credits: JIM WELLS/QMI AGENCY
CALGARY -- Tory titan Peter Lougheed's endorsement of his now foundering party is a sad statement going into the final week of the campaign, charges Wildrose boss Danielle Smith.
"It's kind of tragic actually that it is considered news for a former premier of the PC party to endorse the current leader of the PC party -- that should just be a given," Smith said while campaigning in Calgary Sunday, a day after the man who swept the Progressive Conservatives to power in 1971 professed his support for Premier Alison Redford and the party he led to a 41-year dynasty.
"It's actually kind of sad that they have to go to that extent to try to seek endorsements from prior premiers. I think it just shows the state that the PC party is in right now."
Smith said the endorsement shows just how much support the once-proud party has lost and how its leaders are scrambling to get it back.
Redford, who was also campaigning in Calgary, with polls showing the formerly true Tory blue city now increasingly turning to Wildrose green, defended Lougheed's support, noting he himself agrees with the controversial slogan trotted out by her party last week declaring: "This is not your father's PC Party."
"Peter Lougheed said the great thing about Progressive Conservatives is that we not only listen to Albertans, we are Albertans, and we do evolve and we do change and we do embrace change and we do embrace opportunity," Redford said after visiting a Sikh Temple in the city's northeast.
"I think he addressed that very well in saying that we do have a very solid set of traditions, they are consistent traditions, they are consistent values.
"You can trust a Progressive Conservative leader to have the same values today as I did five years ago and we have a consistent record."
The premier insisted she did not ask Lougheed to affirm his support for her or the party.
Redford made several campaign stops on Sunday as the election campaign entered its final lap with Albertans going to the polls April 23, with the premier appealing to voters to keep her party in power.
"It is important for us, particularly in Calgary, which is such a fast-growing city, to understand that we need to invest in that growth, we can't pull back on that," she said.
"We have to open the South Calgary hospital, we have to keep building schools and we have to make sure that as more people come to this province, that we are putting the infrastructure in place to allow for continued growth."
-- With files from Kathy Mueller, QMI Agency