Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Orange peeled: Jason Kenney’s UCP defeats NDP with majority in Alberta

While Edmonton is expected to be an NDP stronghold polls suggest Calgary will elect more UCP MLAs While Edmonton is expected to be an NDP stronghold polls suggest Calgary will elect more UCP MLAs
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2019, 17:07

New Democratic Party leader and incumbent premier Rachel Notley will relinquish her premiership to Kenney after four years of a majority government that, when it was initially elected back in 2015, brought an end to 44 years of Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (PC) leadership.

Both Kenney and Notley blamed Trudeau for a lack of progress on new oil export pipelines, saying he was pressing for excessively stringent environmental standards at a time when energy producers were clamoring for more capacity.

Mr Kenney, a 50-year-old former federal cabinet minister, vowed to take more decisive action on jobs and the economy. "I really believe deeply this is the party of the future in this province when people get away from this polarization and start looking at ideas, and what our party and our province can do", he said.

Notley's New Democrats have been swept from power in the Alberta election by Jason Kenney and the United Conservatives.

This election was also the first contested by the United Conservative Party, formed in 2017 by a merger of the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party. His appointment will setting up a fight with Mr Trudeau over climate change just months before the country's federal election in October.

Jason Kenney says his government will have the lowest tax regime in Canada and will cut red tape.

Nearly 700,000 people voted in advance polls, well above the record 235,000 who did in 2015.

During the campaign, Notley tried to make Kenney's character an issue.

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He said the resounding takeaway from the election was Albertans' concern about the economy.

"Hopefully today we'll have another partner with my good friend Jason Kenney", he said.

Notley, in turn, has said Kenney's plan to freeze spending and pursue more private-care options in health would have a profound affect on students and patients. A number of his candidates have either quit or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

The Alberta Party, led by former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel, is running a full slate of candidates.

The campaign also featured Alberta's relationship with Ottawa, specifically Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Notley will either be the first Alberta NDP premier to win re-election or the first leader in the province to fail to win a renewed mandate on the first try. Two other NDP members crossed the floor to beef up its numbers in the last legislature. The Liberals pledged a provincial sales tax and the Alberta Party promised to withhold provincial income taxes.

The NDP attacked Kenney out of the gate for his past views on same-sex rights and abortion.

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