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Redford channels Wildrose, Liberals with election pledges

Alberta PC party leader Alison Redford makes a campaign stop in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 7, 2012. Albertans go to the polls on April 23.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Parts of the Liberal and Wildrose platforms are so good, Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives couldn't resist helping themselves.

On Saturday, the Redford campaign team pitched a $500 refundable tax credit for children's sports โ€“ a week after Wildrose laid out plans for a $500 non-refundable tax credit for sports, arts and culture activities.

There are slight nuances. The PC pitch is aimed at low-income families, because it's a refundable credit that's paid out even if families don't earn enough money to pay taxes. The Wildrose pledge, meanwhile, would matter only if you pay provincial tax, but applies to many more activities.

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But they're more or less the same, and marks the latest election pledge in a province where even the right-wing parties have grand spending plans. The PC and Wildrose plans are estimated at $36-million and $30-million annually, respectively, and based on Alberta's 10 per cent flat tax would amount to $50 per child in parents' pockets.

All this comes after the PCs announced a $500 tax credit for teachers on Thursday โ€“ a policy included in the Liberal platform, released in February.

Critics of the tax credits say they just complicate the tax code.

The Easter weekend pledges aren't all the same, though.

Ms. Redford's team on Saturday also announced they would double funding for amateur sports organizations in Alberta, from $10-million to $20-million annually. Wildrose, meanwhile, announced a "Protection of Public Healthcare Guarantee" as it faces questions about its plan to allow Albertans to use private clinics or go out-of-province for certain government-funded procedures.

The campaign has otherwise been quiet over the weekend, but will pick up soon โ€“ heading into the leaders' debate on Thursday, April 12. Albertans go to the polls April 23.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Josh is a parliamentary reporter in Ottawa. Before moving to the nation's capital in 2013, he covered provincial affairs in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. He joined the Globe in 2008 in Toronto before returning to his home province in 2010. More

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