On Monday, May 29th, Alberta voters re-elected its UCP government with a slim majority government but with an even bigger popular vote mandate. In doing so, Albertans once again rejected Rachel Notley’s NDP.
This might seem like no big deal – it’s Alberta after all. But don’t forget that last spring, when former UCP Premier Jason Kenney resigned the leadership of his party, most polls showed the NDP winning Alberta and the UCP were heading for defeat.
Thanks to Danielle Smith, UCP fortunes eventually turned around and her party was re-elected. This was not only a defeat for the NDP and win for the UCP, but was also a tremendous personal victory for the new premier.
Congratulations to Premier Danielle Smith!
As I wrote about here in past blog posts, this election was crucial. At stake were two competing visions and trajectories for Alberta. The direction would have an impact that would be felt country wide. Alberta chose wisely and Canada is all the better for it.
And Danielle Smith wasted no time putting Trudeau and his federal Liberals on alert.
In her election night victory speech before a crowd of hundreds of supporters, Premier Smith took aim at Justin Trudeau and his regressive policies that would significantly harm the Alberta economy.
Smith noted Trudeau’s intention to bring forward new restrictions on electricity generation from natural gas. This would massively increase power bills and would jeopardize the integrity and reliability of the power grid, a dangerous route especially in a cold climate such as Alberta.
Smith also pointed out that Trudeau is preparing to introduce a de facto production cap on the oil and gas sector, a move that would destroy tens of thousands of jobs, an industry that is the backbone of the province and a major contributor to the GDP.
Immediately after her victory, Smith had this to say: “I have made myself clear on this matter to the Prime Minister in person and in public, but I feel we need to do it again… Let me be clear. This is not a road we can afford to go down. If he persists, he will be hurting Canadians from coast to coast and he will train the patience and goodwill of Albertans in an unprecedented fashion. And as Premier I cannot under any circumstances allow these contemplated federal policies to be inflicted on Albertans. I simply can’t and I won’t.”
Danielle Smith has already demonstrated her willingness to stand up to Trudeau and the federal Liberals including her fight against their plan for a “Just Transition” Trudeau has gone unchecked and unchallenged for the majority of his eight years as Prime Minister of this country. The damage he has done to our resource sector and the Canadian economy is devastating.
If her victory speech is any indication, Premier Smith has no intention of backing down from this fight.