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Premier Kenney getting his own call-in show; Alberta purchases radio ads

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Alberta's premier will soon be the focus of a new radio show airing in Edmonton and Calgary, where he will take screened calls from Albertans on "a wide range of issues and topics."

Your Province, Your Premier - with Jason Kenney will air on Corus Radio stations 630 CHED and 770 CHQR every Saturday at 10 a.m. starting this week.

"It is important to note that the Government of Alberta does not have editorial control over the content of the program and will not be involved in choosing topics or screening callers," said Christine Myatt, a spokesperson for the premier.

Myatt claimed the show was not "paid programming" but said taxpayers will be paying for ads to promote the show, although she didn't say how much that'll cost.

"This cost is being absorbed by the existing advertising budget," she said.

A Corus Radio official said the show will "renew a long-standing tradition of giving Albertans the ability to take their questions directly to the Premier."

But a political scientist based in Calgary said he can't recall anything like this since the 1960s.

"This is very unusual. You've got to go back several decades when Bill Aberhardt and Ernest Manning had their own radio program. Back to the Bible Hour," professor Duane Bratt recalled.

"I think this is dangerous for Corus. In general, we want to hear from our political leaders…but this is choosing one outlet over others. Imagine if CBC gave a show to Justin Trudeau. What would be the reaction to that?"

Bratt said he still had a lot of questions about how the show will work, and thinks Kenney owes Albertans some answers about that.

The show will be hosted by Calgary radio personality Wayne Nelson and Corus said "no subject is off limits."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Chelan Skulski

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