Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Alberta election: UCP wins majority victory over NDP

Alberta's legislature in Edmonton during the summer Alberta's legislature in Edmonton during the summer
Jeannette Daniel | 17 April, 2019, 15:32

The biggest cheer of all, however, was reserved for party leader Jason Kenney.

The UCP was created in 2017 after a merger between the PCs and the Wildrose Party following a defeat against Notley's NDP that saw all three parties take a significant portion of the vote.

1,229 schools participated in the mock vote, representing all 87 electoral divisions in the province.

He rolled into the party behind the wheel of his blue campaign pickup truck just after 10 p.m., following NDP Leader Rachel Notley's concession speech.

"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.

Nearly 700,000 people voted early in advance polls.

The UPC leader said he would also challenge proposed federal legislation to overhaul how major infrastructure and energy projects are reviewed and hold a referendum in Alberta on equalisation payments - a federal payout system to even out fiscal disparities among provinces - unless new pipelines are built.

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.

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Jason Kenney says his government will have the lowest tax regime in Canada and will cut red tape.

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

Notley also tried to make Kenney's character an issue.

It is the first provincial election for Kenney, a former federal cabinet minister in Stephen Harper's government.

Stephen Mandel, who was Edmonton's mayor from 2004 to 2013, was credited with a solid showing in the single televised debate during the campaign, taking on the role of elder statesman.

He has promised to repeal the NDP increase on corporate income tax and drop it to eight per cent.

"While a potential repeal would have a large impact on consumer electricity bills, we expect the impact to producers would be modest as the carbon tax is mostly a pass through. though some producers may choose to revisit their goal and gas conversion plans as a reduction in the carbon tax may make the economics of high emitter facilities more attractive for longer", the CIBC report said. He has said he will proclaim a law passed by Notley's government but never proclaimed.

Both parties support new oil pipelines, including the Trans Mountain expansion that will triple the amount of crude reaching the Pacific Coast.

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