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Green party candidate drops out in Edmonton Strathcona, urges supporters to switch to NDP

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Michael Kalmanovitch back in the day, campaigning for the Green Party of Canada. Image: Michael Kalmanovitch for Edmonton Strathcona/Facebook

Michael Kalmanovitch, the Green Party of Canada candidate in the tight Edmonton Strathcona race, told an all-candidates' forum at the riding's King's University College yesterday that he is dropping out and asking his supporters to vote strategically for the NDP's Heather McPherson.

"Based on polling projections, it has become clear that success is unlikely under our first-past-the-post system," Kalmanovitch said in a news release on his personal website. "The climate crisis is too important for people and parties to play politics as usual."

He continued:

"My goal has never been personal political power. My goal has always been policy change. That is why I am ending my campaign effective today, and calling on supporters to consider voting strategically for the candidate and party with the next best climate action plan. I believe that candidate is Heather McPherson of the NDP."

Kalmanovitch thanked his volunteers and apologized to anyone who had voted for him in an advance poll.

Within hours, the Green party issued a statement in Ottawa announcing Kalmanovitch "has been removed as its candidate in Edmonton Strathcona and is no longer a member of the party."

"The Green Party will have no further comment," it concluded.

Meanwhile, despite the questions about a recent Mainstreet Research poll of voter intentions in the riding, the campaign of Liberal candidate Eleanor Olszewski doubled down yesterday on its use of the survey's controversial conclusions, producing a new leaflet that claims it proves only her party can defeat the Conservative candidate.

And speaking of Mainstreet Research, if the Toronto polling company had called it right, Bill Smith would be celebrating his second anniversary as mayor of Calgary today.

He is not. Mayor Naheed Nenshi is still on the job and, one can have no doubt, enjoying the occasion immensely.

Abortion services become more theoretical than actual for many Alberta women

Access to abortion services in Alberta is becoming more theoretical than actual for many women outside Edmonton and Calgary, a new report from the Parkland Institute published yesterday concludes.

In Political Challenges and Digital Frontiers: Reproductive Health and Services in Southern Alberta, authors Carol Williams, Katelyn Mitchell, and Carly Giles argue that with only three abortion providers in Alberta -- and none outside of the two major cities -- "abortion travel" and its associated costs have become "a necessity for many who have made the decision to terminate a pregnancy."

Crisis pregnancy centres, which claim neutrality but downplay or misrepresent abortion as an option, outnumber abortion providers in Alberta by almost seven to one, the report indicates. "These organizations have politicized pregnancy to such an extreme that youth seeking unbiased counselling on issues of intimacy or reproduction may fear to do so."

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with The Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Image: Michael Kalmanovitch for Edmonton Strathcona/Facebook

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