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Nenshi, Smith hit Ponoka Stampede in wake of UCP attack ads on new Alberta NDP leader


This year's Ponoka Stampede parade marked the first time Premier Danielle Smith and new Alberta NDP leader Naheed Nenshi attended the same event since Nenshi won his party's leadership contest nearly a week ago.

And his first week as leader has already proven hostile, with Smith's United Conservative Party buying ads online, on radio and on TV taking aim at Nenshi's record as Calgary's mayor -- a post he held for 11 years, from 2010 to 2021 -- and any ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Nenshi told CTV News Edmonton on Friday he's "deeply proud" of his time as mayor of the province's largest city.

"I will put that record up against Danielle Smith's failed record every day, every hour of the day, and 10 times on Sunday. Bring it on," Nenshi said.

Smith says Nenshi ran a leadership campaign without any clear policies and paints an unfavourable picture of his past.

"He increased taxes, he didn't take care of core infrastructure, raised his own salary," Smith said.

"I can see why he is more interested in talking about me than talking about what he did as mayor. As soon as he learns the provincial issues and is there to talk policy, I will be right there for it."

Political analyst John Brennan says the attacks on Nenshi also serve as a way for the UCP to distract from areas the province hasn't been able to deliver, such as affordability measures.

"It's actually a smart strategy," Brennan told CTV News Edmonton.

"You want to try to define your opponent as soon as possible so they are not able to define themselves." Top Stories

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