The leader of the NDP made a stop in Edmonton on Wednesday where he attempted to turn Alberta from blue to orange. Jack Layton took the time to address his supporters at a rally, and even posed for some pictures, but he refused to answer questions from reporters for a second time in our city.

Layton's refusal to speak to media now has critics on the attack.

"Of course he wouldn't want to answer here. He would answer in Montreal, but he wouldn't answer here," said Conservative candidate Peter Goldring.

His critics are accusing the NDP leader of dodging criticism of his oilsands policy in the province where it would affect most.

The party platform would end subsidies for oil companies, impose a cap and trade system for carbon emissions, which is something Layton has promoted in campaign stops in Quebec.

But he steers clear of that plan when he stops in Edmonton.

Political expert Alvin Finkel with Athabasca University thinks Layton is trying to play both sides in the oilsands debate, attempting to lure green voters with environmental concerns. As well as those who see the industry as an economic engine.

"He's trying to use the language that will appeal to voters in different places," said Finkel.

"What I'm expecting is now that he's surging in the polls...he's going to be hiding from having to say very much."

And that leaves his local candidates to speak for him.

"Jack is on a really tight schedule and obviously staying on message that's what everybody does in a campaign," said NDP candidate Linda Duncan. 

With files from Scott Roberts