Kenney meets caucus, says election win already rippling through Alberta economy

His United Conservatives won 63 seats and 55 per cent of the vote in last week’s election

Alberta’s incoming premier, Jason Kenney, met with his caucus Friday and told members that their United Conservative election win is already starting to ripple through the economy.

“All week long, I’ve been receiving calls from CEOs from major corporations across Canada and around the world who want to invest in Alberta now,” Kenney said in a speech Friday bookended by standing ovations at Edmonton’s Federal Building.

“People are making real, tangible life decisions — buying new houses, investing, unfreezing business decisions — because of the decision that Albertans made on election day.”

Kenney and his cabinet will be sworn in Tuesday.

His United Conservatives won 63 seats and 55 per cent of the vote in last week’s election, defeating Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP.

The NDP took the remaining 24 seats — all but four of them in and around Edmonton. The party will become the official Opposition when the legislature resumes sitting in the third week of May.

Notley met with her caucus members later Friday in their first get together since the election loss.

Notley worked her way around the room, hugging and chatting with her MLAs — many of them soon-to-be former cabinet ministers — before making a speech and taking questions from reporters.

“Obviously, no one likes losing and I wish that we had not,” Notley said. ”But we also know, and I think all of us know, that it’s really about how you move forward that matters. And every one of us here is looking forward.”

She noted that before gaining power in 2015, the NDP caucus had just four members in the house.

“I know without question that this much larger group is going to be a historic force in this legislature,” she said. ”And we are going to be the strongest Opposition that this province has ever seen.”

Kenney takes the rudder of a fragile economy, with unemployment rates in Calgary and Edmonton above seven per cent, due to a multi-year slump in oil prices.

Kenney won on a promise to slash taxes, cut red tape and reduce minimum wage for youth to embolden entrepreneurs and create jobs.

He also promised to take on all foes of Alberta’s oil and gas sector, with an energy war room to counter misleading stories on the industry.

There will also be lawsuits against the federal carbon tax and on Bill C-69, which is proposed federal legislation to revamp energy project approvals. Kenney has called the bill an unconstitutional encroachment on provincial jurisdiction.

He has also promised to immediately proclaim Bill 12, which was passed by the legislature under Notley, but never formally made into law. The bill allows Alberta to reduce oil and gas shipments to British Columbia as leverage against the province’s opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

B.C. has already challenged Bill 12 in court, but saw its case tossed out because — given the bill hadn’t been proclaimed — there was no law to challenge.

Notley said Kenny, by proclaiming Bill 12, gains no strategic advantage by reopening that debate.

“The proclamation of Bill 12 next week is simply political posturing and bluster,” she said. ”It amounts to blowing up your biggest weapon on the launch pad ,and Albertans deserve better.”

The Trans Mountain project would double the existing line from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. It would allow Alberta to ship more oil at a better price, but has become a symbol of the debate over growing the national economy versus pursuing a greener energy future.

Ottawa approved the project in late 2016, but it has since been stymied by legal challenges and a Federal Court decision last year mandating more consultations.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Reimbursement issue discussed at County of Wetaskiwin council

Options for expanding reimbursement will return at future County of Wetaskiwin meeting

Mike Lake wins Edmonton-Wetaskiwin in landslide victory

Edmonton-Wetaskiwin incumbent led all night, wins in landslide majority

Trailer advertising on highways a provincial issue

Eyesores being discussed at different government levels

County approves hobby farm rezoning Aug. 8

Parcel hosts farm animal rescue operation

‘No Stone Left Alone’ returns to Wetaskiwin Nov. 2

Volunteers needed for poignant remembrance event

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

VIDEO: Final trailer for ‘Rise of Skywalker’ debuts

Last instalment in Skywalker saga to hit theatres Dec. 20

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Man kidnapped while sitting in vehicle at southern Alberta McDonald’s: police

Man brandishing machete approached driver’s vehicle just before midnight on Sunday

Police charge man, woman shot by officers during Calgary military parade

Officer fired three shots when car allegedly drove on sidewalk towards two officers

Remote-controlled vehicle finds missing boater on bottom of Alberta lake

The 45-year-old man from Calgary was last seen by his wife Oct. 5

Crude-by-rail shipments fell to 310,000 bpd in August, energy regulator says

This, despite Imperial Oil CEO threatening to throttle back the company’s rail movements

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Most Read