_News Talk 770
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith is ready to press the reset button in relations with the province's two largest cities. Smith yesterday named herself as critic responsible for the interests of Calgary and Edmonton in the legislature.
Smith says there's growing strife between urbanites and rural dwellers. "There's a serious divide in this province, lack of understanding, about how much of our wealth is generated in our rural areas, whether it's in our energy sector, whether it's in our forestry sector whether it's through our agriculture sector."
The failure to break through in Alberta's two largest cities is one of the reasons the Wildrose finds itself on the opposition benches. Smith's party led in public opinion surveys during the recent provincial election campaign, but ended up winning 17 of 87 seats - just two in Calgary and none in Edmonton.
She joked yesteday about having Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to broker a peace summit with Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. She says criticism of Edmonton projects such as the museum and city centre airport all came from the grass roots, including Edmonton Wildrose members.