Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jim Prentice to Kick off Alberta PC Leadership Run Wednesday

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jim Prentice to Kick off Alberta PC Leadership Run Wednesday

Article excerpt

Prentice to kick off PC leadership run Wednesday

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EDMONTON - The man considered to be the front-runner in the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership campaign is to formally kick off his campaign Wednesday.

Jim Prentice is scheduled to make a morning speech in Edmonton before heading to Calgary for an afternoon event, his team confirmed Tuesday.

"Jim Prentice will begin to align his vision for the campaign and what he's hoping to talk to Albertans about over the next few months," said Patricia Misutka, one of the former federal cabinet minister's four campaign leaders.

Prentice, 57, is to speak at the renovated historic Alberta Hotel in downtown Edmonton and then head to the Metropolitan Conference Centre in Calgary.

It will be the first time he will outline his policies and priorities for Alberta since he let it be known three weeks ago that he would run to become PC party leader and premier.

Prentice, a one-time Calgary MP, has made the odd public comment on social media but has otherwise restricted his campaign to pictures on Twitter.

With about half the PC caucus supporting him, he is considered the candidate to beat. On May 8, a record 1,800 people turned out for a $500-a-plate party fundraiser in Calgary -- something that was attributed in part to burgeoning interest in a Prentice candidacy.

He has filed his nomination papers, which include the requisite 500 signatures.

Prentice is running against former Alberta infrastructure minister Ric McIver, who stepped down from his ministry so he could run. McIver has already signalled he will conduct a grassroots campaign to try to eradicate the excesses under Alison Redford's premiership.

Redford quit March 23 in the face of free-falling support in caucus and within the party over spending scandals and accusations of poor leadership.

McIver has promised to bring in new rules to keep campaign insiders and lobbyists from benefiting through government contracts. …

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