Published: Thu, April 18, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Oil and gas sector applauds new Alberta premier’s many pro-business pledges

Oil and gas sector applauds new Alberta premier’s many pro-business pledges

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

The opposition Alberta Liberals won 40 percent of the 1993 vote but none of their legislators had any government experience.

Notley's NDP was trying to win a second mandate after toppling the wheezing, scandal-scarred 44-year Progressive Conservative dynasty in 2015 by winning 54 seats in the 87-seat legislature.

Several former NDP cabinet ministers have gone down in defeat in the Alberta provincial election. 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.

Jason Kenney and the UCP are headed towards a decisive win tonight with a majority of seats, taking control of the Alberta Legislative Assembly for what will likely be the next four years.

The campaign also served as a test with Alberta voters for Mr Kenney and his newly formed UCP, founded in 2017 with the merger of two right-leaning provincial political parties.

In both Grande Prairie ridings, students voted in the UCP.

Mr Kenney's rival for the top job in Alberta was the NDP's Rachel Notley. 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.

No candidates from the Alberta Party, Alberta Liberals, Freedom Conservative Party, Alberta Independence Party, Green or Independents were elected.

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"What a great day for the province of Alberta", Kenney told cheering supporters after riding into a jammed event centre at Calgary's Stampede Grounds in a blue pickup truck.

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.

In the wake of the UCP's victory in the Alberta election over Premier Rachel Notley's NDP government, the head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers called for the federal election this fall to also be fought on economic issues.

In the previous two decades, the NDP had never been able to elect more than four MLAs, and had been shut out of Calgary since the 1980s.

A year earlier, Notley's NDP had taken power in a shocking landslide that reduced the once-mighty Progressive Conservatives to 10 seats from 61.

The one-time federal politician, who was one of the most prominent ministers serving under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, came to Alberta to unite fractured right-leaning political parties. The UCP leader already voted in the advance polls.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Tuesday evening congratulating Kenney on his victory.

"Kenney should waste no time in repealing the NDP's unconstitutional Bill 9, which banned peaceful, pro-life expression on taxpayer-owned public sidewalks within 50 metres of abortion facilities", said Jack Fonseca, political operations director for Campaign Life Coalition.

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