Conservative victory in Canada's Alberta may spell trouble for Trudeau

By Canadian Press	
		summer of repeal		Kenney says Bill 1 will repeal the carbon tax swearing in set for April 30				Apr 17 2019

After the April 16 provincial election, the Alberta legislature will have just two parties represented: United Conservatives and New Democrats.

The opposition Alberta Liberals won 40 percent of the 1993 vote but none of their legislators had any government experience. Lorne Dach of the NDP is projected to win the riding. He's also threatening to have Alberta cease doing business with banks that boycott energy projects, cut oil shipments to provinces that fight pipeline development and press Trudeau to kill Bill C-69, which overhauls the approval process for pipelines. "Now we have to see if Jason Kenney can live up to his promises, especially in reviving the economy", said Andy Knight, professor of political science at the University of Alberta.

They add, however, that the province's difficulty in moving oil to market due to a lack of pipeline capacity - blamed for steep discounts in western Canadian crude prices last fall - will remain a major thorn in the side of the new government.

The NDP's former culture minister, Ricardo Miranda in Calgary-Cross, as well as Danielle Larivee, the former children's services minister, in Lesser Slave Lake, both lost to UCP candidates.

In her concession speech, Notley, who will stay on as NDP leader, promised to defend healthcare, education and LGBTQ rights.

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Notley's NDP held on to much of its traditional base in Edmonton, which it swept four years ago. The riding is new for this election, created in 2017 when the Elections Boundaries Commission recommended reorganizing the districts in northeast Calgary, abolishing Calgary-Greenway and shifting the other ridings eastward.

He was elected Alberta Party leader in February 2018.

The NDP became the first one-term government in Alberta history when the United Conservative Party tapped into voter concerns about the economy and a struggling energy sector to win a majority.

Rachel Notley's NDP came in second with 35 seats and 30 per cent of the popular vote, with the Alberta Party picking up the final three seats.

Kenney's supporters, many wearing cowboy hats, roared when he drove directly into the venue in his blue campaign pickup truck emblazoned with the slogan, "Alberta Strong & Free".

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However, Quebec Premier Francois Legault declined Kenney's overtures on Wednesday and reiterated his stance that there was no social acceptance for pipelines in the province.

The UCP's victory ends four years in power for the NDP, whose 2015 victory rocked one of Canada's most conservative provinces. At that time, there were 51 Progressive Conservative MLAs and 32 Liberal MLAs.

Kenney, a former cabinet minister in Stephen Harper's Conservative government, won the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party in 2016 before leading the PCs into a successful 2017 merger with the Wildrose Party.

Kenney criticized Premier Rachel Notley for working too closely with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on mired pipeline projects and environmental policy. The UCP leader already voted in the advance polls.

Kenney has called the attacks a "fear-and-smear" red herring to distract from the NDP's economic track record of multibillion-dollar budget deficits and soaring debt.

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