Braid: UCP candidate Schulz calls for an end to ‘arrogant, titled and out of touch’ politics

The former children’s services minister has no time for Alberta sovereignty declarations, calling Danielle Smith’s platform “a car accident waiting to happen.”


Calgary MLA Rebecca Schulz, a former minister of children’s services, has no time for declarations of sovereignty from Alberta.

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“Danielle Smith’s approach and platform is a car accident waiting to happen,” the UCP leadership says hopefully. “It would get the NDP elected in 2023, no question.”

Schulz, 37, was formally accepted as a candidate on Friday after her interview with the party’s selection committee. She joins Rajan Sawhney, Brian Jean, Travis Toews and Smith on that list, with more to come.

Candidates could still drop out if they don’t submit a second payment of $50,000 by July 29. Schulz doesn’t expect that problem.

She says she’s running as a common-sense pick who will look for solutions rather than headlines. She points to her record as minister of children’s services that she negotiated a landmark child care agreement with Ottawa.

That’s the kind of thing Albertans want, she says, not more UCP fights and drama.

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“A lot of people see us as arrogant, entitled, out of touch and not listening to Albertans, even members of our own party,” he says.

“I hear every day that people are tired of the drama in politics. I get it.

“Twitter wars, rights, policies that create chaos and division. I do not have time for that.

“People don’t want to hear about humility, they would like to see some humility (from) a government that can admit when it makes mistakes.

“We can’t just have the status quo. We cannot do things the way we have been doing them for the last three years.

“Enough of the old men’s club and infighting. I do not have time for that.

You’re talking about the Jason Kenney regime you served. Schulz doesn’t criticize his fellow candidate Travis Toews, but he is the flag bearer of the legacy, with 30 UCP members behind him.

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Schulz has eight key endorsements, three from women: MLA Michaela Frey (Brooks-Medicine Hat), MP Stephanie Kusie (Calgary Midnapore) and MP Laila Goodridge, a former Fort McMurray provincial member whose resignation to run federally opened the door to the legislature for Brian Jean. .

Rebecca Schulz, Calgary MLA and UCP leadership candidate, pictured with her family.
Rebecca Schulz, Calgary MLA and UCP leadership candidate, pictured with her family.

He is also endorsed by MLAs Jeremy Nixon (Calgary-Klein), Brad Rutherford (Leduc-Beaumont), and Minister of Health Jason Copping (Calgary-Varsity).

His campaign chairman is Rona Ambrose, the federal Conservative icon who was interim leader after the Harper government was defeated in 2015. (There’s an irony in that; Ambrose endorsed Kenney for PC leadership and then the push to join with Wildrose).

Schulz also has the backing of former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

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Toews has most of the old Kenney caucus, but Schulz has his own reach in the conservative world.

He got his first political experience working in Wall’s office in 2009.

“These are my conservative mentors,” he says of Wall and Ambrose.

“His is the style of leadership I would aspire to, one about hope and common sense.

“People are dying for the common sense of a government that listens to their concerns and can put itself in their shoes.”

Schulz feels that Danielle Smith would be poison for the UCP in next year’s general election.

“We have to keep the NDP out of government. That happens with common sense policies, getting our inner house in order and presenting Alberta with a vision of hope for the future.

“It does not mean creating a constitutional crisis nine months before elections with the Sovereignty Law.

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“If you want more of the same old, or even more chaos, then I might not be your candidate. But if you’re interested in new leadership that will see this generation and the next reach their full potential, then support me.”

Schulz believes the top concerns for most people are health care, education, rural and urban crime and safety, inflation and affordability, and the future of the energy industry.

It offers a tax plan for savings and payment of debts. On Friday, he published a detailed health plan that promised all Albertans access to a family doctor.

Rebecca Schulz positions herself as both an anti-Kenney candidate and a sharp critic of Smith’s dramatic proposals.

She goes downtown. It could work, if there is still a center in Alberta’s conservative politics.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

Twitter: @Don Braid

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