Alberta election: Polls tell different stories and candidates’ comments return

By Logan Stein and Lauryn Heintz

The last two weeks before voting day are usually the most interesting part of an election period.

The newest polls show mixed results, and more colourful stories from the candidates’ pasts continue to arise.

In audio from September 2022, UCP candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka Jennifer Johnson is now circulating online.

In the recording, Johnson can be heard speaking with supporters about litter boxes supposedly being put in classrooms for children who identify as cats and saying children are being chemically castrated and sterilized.

Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Alberta NDP candidate Janis Irwin says the UCP should remove Johnson as a candidate in the race, along with saying the comments are pushing dangerous conspiracy theories.

“These comments do not represent Lacombe-Ponoka or anywhere in Alberta. They are extreme, appalling, discriminatory, backwards, and they risk inciting hate and violence against 2SLGBTQ+ Albertans,” Irwin said in a statement.

“These are horrific lies about Alberta’s education system that are dangerous and disturbing. Claiming that teachers are showing children pornography does not have a place in this election. Jennifer Johnson owes Alberta’s teachers, parents, and students an apology, and Danielle Smith needs to do the right thing and immediately drop her as a candidate.”

This also comes as Torry Tanner, a former UCP candidate, resigned for saying similar comments about teachers in schools.

CityNews has reached out to Johnson for a response.

Read More: Alberta UCP candidate slammed for comments on pornography in schools, quits

Meanwhile, the NDP also found itself in hot water over the weekend.

Livingstone-Macleod candidate Kevin van Tighem faced calls to apologize for his previous comments about Alberta’s oil industry, where he made a comparison to slavery.

These latest controversies are happening amid what many experts call the tightest race in Alberta election history.

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Some recent polling has shown the NDP with a slight lead.

While a leaked Janet Brown Opinion Research Poll shows the UCP winning by over 20 seats.

CityNews hasn’t been able to independently verify the poll.

The first and only debate of the race is set for Thursday, where leaders Danielle Smith and Rachel Notley will face off on a variety of topics.

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