Jason Kenney is the next premier of Alberta.
The United Conservatives rode a wave of economic angst and western alienation to power in Alberta on Tuesday, winning a decisive 63-seat majority. Mr. Kenney said in his victory speech that the UCP would “stand up and secure a fair deal for Alberta in this great country” and renewed attacks on the federal government, carbon taxation and critics of the province’s oil and gas industry.
Here is what you need to know:
- The NDP’s Rachel Notley, whose party’s seat count was cut by more than half, will now become Official Opposition leader after four eventful years in government. In her concession speech, she said the party had “fundamentally changed the politics of this province forever” and the fight against Mr. Kenney’s agenda was not over.
- Some oil executives are cautiously optimistic about a Kenney premiership after he promised a more aggressive stand on increasing pipeline capacity. But the industry is still divided over whether to keep some Notley-era plans in place for now, such as an oil-by-rail scheme and a curtailment policy aimed at reducing a supply glut.
- B.C. Premier John Horgan congratulated Mr. Kenney on Tuesday night as British Columbians braced for a renewed energy war with Alberta. Mr. Kenney had promised legal measures to “turn off the taps” on fuel exports to B.C. in retaliation for the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, which Mr. Horgan’s government and several First Nations oppose.
- The Alberta and Liberal parties were completely shut out in Tuesday’s election, including former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel, who failed to unseat the NDP incumbent in his Edmonton riding.
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Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on Kenney’s victory: “The province, and the country, will not have seen an Alberta premier this ready to rock conventions, to disrupt the status quo, since Ralph Klein. This is why so many voters found Mr. Kenney an attractive option to NDP Leader Rachel Notley, who, despite her personal popularity, was seen as too cautious a choice for the perilous times that have enveloped the province.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on what Kenney’s win means for Trudeau: “Now there are not one but two premiers clamouring to defeat Justin Trudeau, openly, directly and noisily.”
Catherine Ford (Calgary Herald) on Alberta’s election: “It’s over. The best news is that this election campaign was only 28 days long, albeit it seemed like forever. Chicken Little is back on his roost; the sky has not fallen; the sun has come up.”
Brian Greenspan (The Globe and Mail) on Jody Wilson-Raybould: “The former attorney-general treated the DPP as essentially unreviewable. Politically accountable oversight in ensuring that the public interest is properly taken into account isn’t anathema to the rule of law. The attorney-general’s power to superintend prosecutions is an integral part of our justice system.”