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

Kenney jumped out front in early returns Tuesday, while Rachel Notley’s NDP held strong in Edmonton

The United Conservative Party under leader Jason Kenney has won a majority government in the Alberta election.

Kenney jumped out front in early returns Tuesday in Alberta’s election, while Rachel Notley’s NDP was holding strong in Edmonton.

The UCP were leading in rural ridings throughout the province and in some Calgary constituencies.

It’s an election expected to define or, in the case of Kenney, redefine Alberta’s relationship with the federal government and specifically Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kenney, a former Conservative cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, campaigned on what he derisively called “the Trudeau-Notley alliance.”

It’s a partnership he said has turned Alberta into a doormat for Trudeau and other oil industry foes in return for no more than a faint and as yet unrealized promise of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the west coast.

Kenney promised to kill Alberta’s homegrown carbon tax, fight the federal carbon tax in court, and do what he can to help the federal Conservatives defeat Trudeau in the federal October vote.

Notley fought back over the campaign. She said her success working with Trudeau — or picking fights with him as necessary — is what led to progress on Trans Mountain, and she expected construction to begin this year.

She said Kenney’s promise to challenge Trudeau in court on everything from the carbon tax to proposed energy industry rule changes was cynical, self-defeating shadow-boxing given the collaborative realities of political decision-making.

CENTRAL ALBERTA PROV ELECTION
Infogram

Trudeau was asked in Kitchener, Ont., earlier Tuesday whether he was concerned about his climate plan should Kenney win.

“We have chosen to put a price on pollution right across the country and there are conservative politicians who are using taxpayer money to fight a price on pollution in court,” he responded.

“They are using your dollars to try to make pollution free again, which makes no sense.”

Trudeau said the federal government would continue to work on growing the economy while tackling climate change in a smart way.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose province is one of three challenging the federal carbon tax, said he hoped Kenney wins the election.

“Hopefully today we’ll have another partner with my good friend Jason Kenney,” said Ford.

Notley’s NDP was trying to win a second mandate after toppling the 44-year Progressive Conservative dynasty in 2015.

This election, the Progressive Conservatives were no more. The PCs merged with another right-of-centre party, the Wildrose, to create the new United Conservatives under Kenney in 2017.

Interest in the election was high as leaders launched personal attacks while promoting their platforms as the best blueprint for Alberta’s fragile economy.

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

The province, once a money-making dynamo thanks to sky-high oil prices, has been struggling for years with sluggish returns on royalties, reduced drilling activity and unemployment levels stubbornly above seven per cent in Calgary and Edmonton.

Kenney argued that Notley’s government made a bad situation worse with higher taxes, more regulations and increases in minimum wage.

Notley, in turn, said Kenney’s plan to freeze spending and pursue more private-care options in health care would have a profound impact on students and patients.

Notley also tried to make Kenney’s character an issue. A number of his candidates either quit or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

On the margins of the campaign were the centrist Alberta and Liberal parties. Both elected single members to the 87-seat legislature last time around and were hoping to come up the middle.

Each pitched its own political Hail Mary to grab the spotlight. The Liberals pledged a provincial sales tax and the Alberta Party promised to withhold provincial income taxes.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Break-in at Prince Rupert Post Office causes service delay

Office closed most of July 8 morning after overnight forced entry

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Provincial stage for Prince Rupert athletes

Northwest girls softball team will look to be a mainstay at tournament after long awaited return

Global Sports Bra Squad Day in Rupert

The event encourages athletes to run in whatever makes them comfortable regardless of shape or size

Global Sports Bra Squad Day in Rupert

The event encourages athletes to run in whatever makes them comfortable regardless of shape or size

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read