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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject: Is Alberta headed for an early provincial election ? Reply with quote

( there is increased speculation that alberta is headed for an early provincial election which could start sometime in February for a vote in March )

Alberta political leaders fuel early provincial election speculation

Notley won’t confirm there will be a spring budget, Kenney urges campaign kickoff in February

Graham Thomson · CBC News · Posted: Dec 07, 2018 7:00 AM MT | Last Updated: 6 hours ago

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney wants Premier Rachel Notley to call an election as soon as possible, which would mean Feb. 1, 2019. (CBC)


Let the election speculation begin.

The seats in the Alberta assembly are still warm from the fall sitting that ended Thursday but we've already moved past that.

Now, we're focused on the next Big Thing in provincial politics: the timing of the 2019 election.

Premier Rachel Notley has helpfully added fuel to the speculation fire by declaring she might not have a spring sitting of the legislature, not even a day-long event where she'd introduce a feel-good speech from the throne.

'May or may not be' a budget

That would suggest she is thinking of going earlier next spring, not later.

"I will commit to ensuring that we consider all the options that are available to us to ensure that Albertans have a good understanding of what their options are before we go into the next election," said Notley, in a comment to journalists that seemed to convey nothing but actually telegraphed a lot.

By refusing to commit herself to holding a spring sitting of the legislature — one that typically begins in February — Notley is opening the door to the possibility she'll kick off the campaign as early as February.

Supporting that possibility was her comment she might not even introduce a budget before dropping the writ: "There may or may not be a budget. There are two options and one of those two options will happen."

Those betting on an earlier election point out Notley will want to avoid releasing a budget that would be filled with bad fiscal news. But if Notley doesn't have a financial plan she won't be able to attack United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney for not producing his own pre-election shadow budget outlining what he would do as premier.

There is one thing she will commit herself to: "The election will be held within the times that the current legislation suggests."

That legislation says the voting day must fall sometime from March 1 to May 31.

If Notley wanted to hold the election on the earliest day possible, she'd drop the writ and start the 28-day campaign on February 1.

That's just what Kenney is urging her to do.

"Albertans don't want to wait until May or June, and so I'm calling on the premier to hold that election as soon as possible under the legislation," said Kenney. "That would be at the beginning of February."

Last hurrah

There was definitely a feeling of denouement inside the legislature this week, as if the MLAs could sense this was the last time they'd be in the assembly before the election, perhaps forever.

If the public opinion polls are prescient, many of the NDP MLAs will not be returning. This week seemed to be their last hurrah.

On Tuesday, for example, NDP members spent so much time introducing guests that an exasperated UCP MLA Nathan Cooper finally interrupted to request they get on with question period.

On Thursday afternoon, when the fall sitting formally wrapped up, veteran MLA and NDP house leader Brian Mason, who will not be running next election, seemed to be waving goodbye.

"I love this place," he said. "I'm going to miss it very much."

He said afterwards that he has "no idea what the premier is going to decide" when it comes to the election. But his sentiment Thursday appeared to be one of a politician heading into the sunset, not one expecting to return once more to the legislative breach.

Final decision Notley's

The final decision is, of course, Notley's.

Journalists didn't have much time to press her on the issue Thursday as she headed to Montreal for the first ministers meeting.

It promises to be an odd gathering with all kinds of strange bedfellows.

Notley, for example, is at odds with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe over the federal carbon tax. But the two are snuggled under the covers, politically speaking, on the need to have the leaders talk about the oil price differential that is playing havoc with Alberta's economy and the provincial treasury.

Notley is likewise at odds with New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, but the two are canoodling when it comes to reviving interest in the defunct Energy East pipeline project.

Depending on the issue, various premiers will be jumping in and out of bed with an assortment of other premiers. It'll be more confusing than a British bedroom farce.

Notley, though, is mostly alone — an NDP premier who has more political foes than friends, who has been publicly critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and who is at odds with a litany of conservative premiers and is even feuding with Canada's one other NDP premier, John Horgan of British Columbia.

Even if she makes allies in Montreal, they're not going to be much help to her on the election campaign trail, whenever she calls it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a wrap: Alberta opposition pushes for quick election as fall session ends

Emma Graney
Updated: December 6, 2018

Premier Rachel Notley holds a media availability just before boarding a flight to Montreal for the first minister’s meeting, at the Edmonton International Airport, December 6, 2018. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia

The fall session of Alberta’s legislature ended Thursday with a standing ovation for its longest-serving MLA, NDP member for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Brian Mason.

Mason, who isn’t running for re-election, became visibly emotional, prompting speculation that the NDP has decided not to hold a spring session or introduce a budget before calling the election.

Premier Rachel Notley said Thursday morning before boarding a flight to the first minsters meeting in Montreal that the election will happen within legislated timelines, but she was tightlipped about what that means for legislative business.

Asked if she would commit to a pre-election budget, she said “there may or may not be a budget.”

“I will commit to ensuring we consider all the options that are available to us to ensure Albertans have a good understanding of what their options are before we go into the next election,” she said.

Notley said she was pleased with the fall session, particularly legislated indexed benefits under the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program, post-secondary tuition fee caps, and changes to the family law act.

“There was a lot of really good stuff in there,” she said.

‘Light and uninspired’ session: Kenney

United Conservative leader Jason Kenney begged to differ.

“If you look at the NDP’s legislative agenda this fall, it was remarkably light and uninspired for a government that is clearly running out of gas,” he said.

Kenney said he thinks the government has been “stumbling through the most important issues facing Albertans,” and said it’s “living on borrowed time.”

Speaking with reporters at the legislature Thursday, Kenney said he wanted Notley to call an election as soon as possible under the election act. That means dropping the writ early February for a vote in early March.

He said it would be a “huge mistake” to foist a budget on Albertans “when (the government’s) their entire fiscal plan is in tatters.”

Alberta Party house leader Greg Clark also told media Thursday “the sooner the better” for an election, saying his party is ready to go.

Fall session bills

The fall session saw 14 government bills hit the table, starting with Bill 19 which capped post-secondary tuition fees.

Other legislative changes included revoking doctor and health-care licences in cases of patient sexual abuse, a rejig of child protection laws, removing political control of public pensions, introducing new rules around municipal election donations, and a deal with large cities that ties their funding to provincial revenues.

One bill that was tipped to come forward but never made it was proposed legislation to ban conversion therapy, the controversial practice of using psychological or spiritual intervention to try to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Mason told media Thursday there were unresolved questions about what should or shouldn’t be in the bill, and the legislative agenda was crowded already.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does the ndp have any chance ? according to the polls not really but they weren't suppose to have a chance last time

there has been 5 by elections since 2015 , but all were in existing United Conservative or pc ridings and all easily stayed conservative

we didn't get to see any by elections in ridings that actually voted ndp in 2015 and no by elections at all in the city of Edmonton . which would of given us a better idea of what was going on there

but I can see why Jason Kenney wants an early election , and why it makes little sense to wait months and months for the inevitable

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no doubt Jason Kenney would like an early election;

Just don't see the motivation for the Premier.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
I have no doubt Jason Kenney would like an early election;

Just don't see the motivation for the Premier.

well they have to have one by May either way , so only be talking about a couple months early .

perhaps they feel the economy might get worse because of low oil prices and want to go early before things get really bad ?

but past elections tell us NDP surges rarely happen twice ( Ontario 90 , Quebec 2011 , Nova Scotia provincially ) , all these unexpected surges happened once and never came close to repeating themselves

the alberta ndp experiment seems to be a failure and no one is really interested in seeing the sequel . the best the ndp can hope for is a large opposition caucus which would mostly be mla's from Edmonton or other urban pockets

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keith Gerein: Buckle up, Alberta. Election season may be closer than you realize

Keith Gerein
Updated: December 13, 2018

Forty-nine more days.

It’s barely a blip in the winter, a span long enough for only two more full moons to appear.

Or, for the less astronomically inclined, less than one-quarter of a season for the Oilers and Flames.

Whether you mark time by the moon or Connor McDavid, 49 days is all that remains before an election campaign could be underway in Alberta.

Let that sink in.

Unfortunately, without fixed election dates, we don’t yet know when the vote will be called.

The decision rests solely with Premier Rachel Notley, and so far she isn’t giving hints except to confirm it will occur during the time frame mandated by provincial legislation.

That legislation calls for elections every four years between March 1 and May 31. The choice of the earliest date would mean the writ could be dropped as soon as Feb. 1, just seven weeks away.

If that happens, there won’t be time for the government to hold a spring session.

Which would mean the fall session that just concluded could be the last under the current government.

That’s why you may have seen a number of MLAs saying their farewells last week, especially those who have decided not to seek re-election. Among them was NDP house leader Brian Mason, who got choked up as he received an ovation from his colleagues.

Did Mason’s emotional display hint that an earlier election is coming?

No, said Mason, who insisted he had no idea what date the premier might be contemplating.

“Just in case, everybody was hedging their bets,” he said.

Mason actually told the chamber he thinks MLAs will be back for a spring sitting, which would be to the displeasure of Jason Kenney.

The United Conservative Party leader is demanding a March 1 vote, so that the NDP not prolong the inevitable by having MLAs sit through a “lame duck” session.

It’s also no coincidence that an earlier election favours Kenney, since the UCP is currently well ahead in the polls and would prefer to get the vote over with before the NDP has a chance to recover.

Whether a recovery is even possible remains to be seen, but there are a number of reasons why Notley is better served by delaying an election until late April or May.

Political strategists note there are numerous variables that go into determining an election call.

Those can include calculations of when retired Albertans are likely to be back home after their winter stays in Arizona or Florida, and calculations of when students are finished their final exams.

Some of the scenarios likely also contemplate the effect of those aforementioned Oilers and Flames. As the theory goes, hockey fans in the throes of a spring playoff run will be less focused on politics, and may not even vote if election day coincides with a key game.

Those factors aside, the main reason Notley is likely to wait on an election call is that it provides the opportunity for some better news to emerge on pipelines and the economy.

Right now, the news couldn’t be much worse.

The Trans Mountain project is mired in consultations without an end date, and Notley recently had to order mandatory oil production cuts to stop Alberta’s crude being sold for peanuts.

Little is likely to change by February. But by May, there is at least a faint chance Alberta could see better unemployment numbers, a sustained resurgence in energy prices and progress on the pipeline front.

The premier is also undoubtedly aware that the next fiscal update is set to be delivered by the end of February. That one isn’t going to be pretty, since it covers the period when oil prices were in the tank.

Delivering that news shortly before an early March election would be devastating for the NDP, which is another reason Notley is likely to wait.

A later election means the NDP would have to go to the trouble of a spring session and a budget, which could give the Opposition more ammunition.

But a session would also give the government a chance to go on the offensive by introducing bills that could prove uncomfortable for the UCP.

That could include legislation to outlaw conversion therapy, a bill that was supposed to be debated in the fall session but mysteriously fell off the agenda.

Whether the writ is dropped in 49 days or 149 days, Albertans should brace themselves for the unofficial election race to begin right after New Year’s.

Already, parties are polishing their platforms and finalizing their slate of candidates. Constituencies are staking out campaign offices and political action committees are readying their next advertising blitz.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( internal polling apparently has the UCP ahead in most Calgary ridings and even Lethbridge seats which are typically liberal /left wing areas )

Alberta anger boils over, poll says NDP in big trouble

Rick Bell
Rick Bell

More from Rick Bell

December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018 5:00 AM MST

Filed Under:

Calgary SUN ›
Opinion ›
Columnists ›

Jason Kenney speaks to the media at his first convention as leader of the United Conservative Party in Red Deer, Alta., on May 6, 2018. Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Now it is truly the winter of our discontent.

And there is no relief. Only discontent unanswered, discontent unaddressed, grievances ignored and tossed aside.

Alberta, the chumps of Confederation. Others take our money and crap on us while doing everything they can to stop us making the money they take.

It is pretty close to the definition of insanity. It is also today’s Canada.

We complain. We sound off. We yell. We scream. We howl the outrage. Some of us take to the streets. Some talk of calling it quits on this country.

We search for leaders. Preferably those who will not bend the knee to the likes of Justin Trudeau.

W. Brett Wilson is a business leader and a man not in the habit of mincing his words.

Wilson is a speaker at a pro-oil, pro-pipeline event in downtown Calgary where well over a thousand gather Wednesday night.

Before entering the room, he stops to talk, pointing out he’s no separatist.

But …

“If we can’t get the respect and the deal we need to be part of Canada there’s a lot of Albertans saying: Why are we here?

“And I’m one of those questioning. Right now Alberta ain’t gettin’ no respect.”

Inside the room, talking to the crowd, Wilson again says he’s not a separatist but uses the I-word.

“I’m tired of being pushed. Some days independence does feel better.”

Wilson says those in charge in Ottawa are “pushing Alberta and Saskatchewan out of Confederation.”


Elsewhere, United Conservative leader Jason Kenney hammers away.

When not huddling with other premiers about battling the carbon tax Kenney knows a battleground when he sees one.

The UCP leader vows to make the fight for fairness in this country a central issue in the upcoming Alberta election.

We are now in Trudeau’s Canada, where Quebec gets a veto over a pipeline going east while gobbling up a big bump-up in equalization dough.

Yes, $13 billion next year thanks in part to the oilpatch.

“It is not acceptable for a province to block our resources while benefiting massively from the wealth they generate,” says Kenney.

Kenney says the NDP is “indifferent” to this problem, having “surrendered to Justin Trudeau’s five-year extension of the equalization formula and his regulations that killed Energy East.”

Yes, the story few want to write.

The failed alliance between Trudeau and Notley.

And what do we have here.

Internal polling done for the United Conservatives by Maple Leaf Strategies.

Now we know what some people will say. The United Conservatives paid for the poll so it must be fixed.

“Look at my track record,” says pollster Dimitri Pantazopoulos.

“I’ve got one of the best, if not the best track record in the business for getting this stuff right.”

Pantazopoulos says his polling was bang-on in the recent Ontario vote and in the 2013 and 2017 elections in B.C.

The United Conservatives wanted to poll some Calgary ridings held by the NDP and where Notley is most likely to still be in the fight.

The telephone poll of landlines and cellphones finished up in early December.

Calgary-Klein. UCP with 34% lead.

Calgary-Varsity. 23% lead.

Calgary-Currie. 21% lead.

Calgary-Buffalo. That’s NDP budget boss Joe Ceci. 13% lead for the UCP.

Calgary-Mountain View. 7% lead.

All leads for the UCP and these are the Notley NDP’s high spots!

Outside Calgary …

Lesser Slave Lake, UCP by a 27% lead.

Two Lethbridge seats, both held by the NDP, one by Shannon Phillips, the NDP’s minister for Mother Earth.

UCP, a 19% lead in both seats.

These are all outside the margin of error.

Back in November, they polled Calgary-Elbow, held by former Alberta party leader Greg Clark.

UCP up 24%.

In October, the UCP were leading right around Edmonton, ahead in a half-dozen seats in the capital and neck-and-neck with the NDP in six more seats.

This is Edmonton.

How does it look for the Notley NDP?

“It shows how tough a road she has to re-election. Nothing’s impossible. But where things stand right now it’s highly unlikely,” says the pollster.

A highly-placed UCP operative says an out-of-touch Notley keeps telling Albertans life is getting better when the province is in a world of hurt.

In downtown Calgary, we are in the world of hurt.

Deidra Garyk was at the protest when Trudeau last visited. She works in the oilpatch.

“People are scared, feeling hopeless, uncertain and extremely, extremely angry,” says Garyk.

“We’ve been kicked and kicked until we’re bleeding and we’ve been abandoned.”

This is real pain. Politicians, read these words and beware.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( Notley also this week put out a proposal for the construction of an Oil refinery in Alberta , a proposal that has merit but would take at least 10 years and $10 billion to build so its not an immediate solution to Alberta's problems

personally I think she's in a total state of denial , she can't admit the fact her government is not popular and certain to lose , she honestly think's she's going to get back in somehow , she doesn't seem to get the current state of affairs in Alberta )

New refinery proposal latest ‘distress flare’ from Alberta’s NDP government

By Graham Thomson. Published on Dec 12, 2018 9:43pm

Premier Rachel Notley in Edmonton Dec. 11 announcing a request for industry interest in building a new oil refinery in Alberta. Graham Thomson photograph

Another day, another distress flare.

Of course, that’s not what Premier Rachel Notley would call her announcement Tuesday that she’s opening the door to construction of a new oil refinery in Alberta.

She’d argue she’s simply looking for ways to create oilfield jobs at a time the province’s energy industry is under siege.

But this week’s announcement comes a week after she declared her government will cut oil production by 8.7 per cent to boost prices.

That in turn came a week after she unveiled plans to buy up to 7,000 rail tank cars and 80 locomotives to move more of Alberta’s oil to the West Coast for shipment to Asia.

These are not signs of a government confidently navigating choppy seas.

This is a government whose ship is being swamped, most notably by the tsunami that is depressed world oil prices. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s the rogue wave that is the “price differential” between the world price and the depressed price Alberta receives for its landlocked product.

The Notley government has been so overwhelmed both fiscally and politically that it’s pretty much navigating by periscope.

Hence the distress flares Notley has been launching the past few weeks, hoping to attract the attention of the federal government and the Canadian public. But mostly trying to let Alberta voters know that she is doing everything she can, and even some things she can’t, to help the province’s energy sector.

She can’t, for example, build an oil refinery.

These things take $10 billion and 10 years to build.

Notley has neither the time nor the money.

Not that she’s saying she’ll actually have her government build one. She’s merely saying her government has issued a “Request for Expression of Interest” which is a bit like launching a distress rocket hoping energy companies will come to her aid.

Indeed, she insists there are companies interested in constructing a refinery and she’s hoping to get the “lay of the land.”

More to the point, the request for expression of interest will allow them to “offer up the kind of support they’re looking for” — because there is no way any company would commit itself to such an expensive and time-consuming project without government help of some kind.

But Notley doesn’t want to say that right now, not after she’s talked about spending an undisclosed amount of money on buying 7,000 rail cars — and not after she browbeat Prime Minister Trudeau into buying the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion and possibly spending another $9 billion or so on an expansion project.

Taxpayers — provincially and federally — would likely look askance at more government spending to get Alberta oil to market.

But the pipeline project is stalled; and putting more oil trains on the tracks will take at least a year.

Notley needs more good news from the oil patch — she just doesn’t want to commit her government. At least not yet.

She has managed to squeeze out some good news thanks to a spike in the price Alberta receives for its oil. That’s due to her declaration the government will curtail production by 325,000 barrels a day beginning January 1. But Notley knows as well as anyone the vagaries of oil prices. What goes up always comes down.

She’s looking for some less volatile good news before the provincial election.

And that election might be coming sooner than anyone expected.

Last week, Notley suggested she could drop the writ as early as February.

This week, she said the deadline for industry to express an interest in building a new refinery is February 8.

Hmm. It’s almost as if Notley wants to use the election campaign to announce a refinery deal worth hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars.

Economists are pulling out their hair saying building a refinery is not the way to create long-term jobs.

And Alberta’s official opposition United Conservative Party was happy to dismiss Notley’s “non-announcement” as the “latest ploy from a tired, broke, and increasingly desperate government quickly approaching the 2019 election.”

The opposition’s attack implies a UCP government wouldn’t be in as desperate a situation as the NDP, that the UCP would somehow have managed to get a pipeline built by now and would have wiped out the price differential.

That would be bending the imagination to the surreal.

But the UCP isn’t in government. It can happily try to throw cold water on Notley’s distress flares.

And Notley will keep on launching them from now through the upcoming election, trying to entice industry players to respond, but most of all hoping sympathetic Alberta voters come to her aid.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

December 13, 2018 3:34 pm Updated: December 13, 2018 8:22 pm

Alberta’s political parties ramping up ahead of spring vote

By Tom Vernon
Provincial Affairs Reporter Global News

WATCH ABOVE: With the spring election fast approaching, Alberta's political parties are hard at work to make sure they're ready when the writ drops. As Provincial Affairs reporter Tom Vernon explains, that work includes getting candidates in place.

With Alberta’s spring election on the horizon, political parties are hard at work lining up candidates to wave the flag in all corners of the province.

“I’m ready to go,” declared United Conservative Party candidate Laurie Mozeson when asked when she’d like to see Albertans go to the polls.

Mozeson is a retired prosecutor, justice of the peace and citizenship judge. She decided to jump into politics last spring, and is running for the UCP in Edmonton-McClung.

“My whole career has been a challenge, and this is a new one that I’m looking forward to meeting head on.”

When it comes to nominations, the United Conservatives have made the most progress. The party already has already selected 78 candidates. One more nomination meeting will be held before Christmas, the rest will be selected in January.

The governing NDP only has 25 candidates listed on its website so far, but the nomination process will be ramping up for them as well.

“We’re going to keep doing work on important policies as well as making sure that we’re doing the ground game stuff,” Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said when asked about her party’s election readiness.

“A lot of NDP candidates will be seeing folks on the doorsteps.”

In 2015, the Alberta Party ran only 36 candidates. The party intends to run a full slate of 87 this time. So far, 49 candidates are in place, with a commitment to reach a full compliment by February 1st.

The Alberta Liberals plan to have eight candidates nominated by the end of the week, and say there is a backlog of applicants currently going through the vetting process.

“This is the period where the electorate is beginning to focus,” said Chaldeans Mensah, a political science professor at MacEwan University.

With that attention, Mensah says messaging from the parties needs to be sharpened, and candidates need to be aware that any mistakes now could be very costly.

“The parties have to be careful, watch their candidates in terms of their social media presence to avoid any gaffes, which could be used against them in the campaign period.”

Premier Rachel Notley has committed to holding the vote in the period laid out in legislation, meaning election day will fall sometime between March 1 and May 31.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( sounding as delusional as ever , Notley says that the ndp plan to win the election . even though no polling data indicates such an outcome is within the realm of possibility .

and that she will stay on as mla regardless of the election outcome , also not believable . every former premier leaves sooner or later )

'I have no intention of losing': Rachel Notley talks Election 2019

Emma Graney
Updated: December 17, 2018

Premier Rachel Notley says her party is playing to win in the 2019 election, but regardless of its fate she will stay on as MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona if she wins her seat.

“I have no intention of losing, but … when I run to represent Edmonton-Strathcona, then I am doing that because I am running to represent the area,” Notley told Postmedia during a year-end interview Monday.

“Of course I would (stay on as MLA), because that’s what I’m asking them to elect me to do.”

In the face of opposition calls for an election as early as possible, Notley remains tight-lipped about when exactly voters will head to the polls.

No matter the date, she thinks the campaign will boil down to “a clear choice of values,” but for now she’s focused on governing.

“There’s no question that we’re getting closer to that time of campaigning, and when we get there, I’m looking forward to it,” Notley said.

“I was born and raised to fight for the values I believe in.”

Notley said despite the hand her government was dealt with the oil price crash and differential, along with the blow to the fate of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, she’s happy to pit her party against the United Conservative Party and its leader Jason Kenney.

“I am very proud of the efforts we have made, the connection between our platform and our record, and our path forward,” she said.

Notley sees the election as a battle between two visions for Alberta.

On one hand, she said, a UCP vision premised on what she thinks is “fake populism.”

“They’re arguing we need to divide and be against everything and, while they’re getting everybody worked up on that, they’re going to embark on a plan which will hurt people — by their own admission,” she said.

“We’re not fighting against everything, we’re fighting for things — for prosperity, for a pipeline, for progress on fighting climate change, for our public healthcare system, for the kids who are in our schools, and to ensure we ultimately get everyone through this recovery.”

Full year-end interviews with Notley and Kenney are coming later this month.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notley has clearly gone all out delusional , I've looked thru most of the ridings in an effort to make sense of the 2015 ndp victory .

its clear 2015 was a mix of luck and other favourable factors which allowed for the ndp to win many seats which were entirely unexpected .

-there was a large number of rural ridings which did not even have a liberal , alberta party or green candidate in 2015 .
-the pc's and wildrose parties had tried to merge or unofficially do so before the election but the vote remained split on the right .
-the old pc party was extremely stale and viewed as having been in power too long

some of the ndp victories were from small % of the vote by normal standards , they won both Red Deer ridings with between 29 % and 35 % of the vote . there is no way there winning ridings in 2019 with 30 % of the vote , its beyond the realm of possible . there has already been 5 by elections since 2015 and the ndp didn't do well in any of them

for Notley to say the ndp can win again is so crazy its laughable . a lot of her mla's in Calgary are not even running again . at least 6 of the ndp mla's from Calgary who got elected in 2015 aren't even running for the ndp . clearly they know that things in Calgary aren't favourable to the ndp and whatever magic existed in 2015 is long gone.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( I don't think Alberta's political history matters much this election , ndp surges are typically one time events and with the merger of the conservative parties into the UCP . the political dynamics have shifted .

also have to look at the nomination meetings already happening , few people even want an ndp nomination . they've only had 1 contested nomination so far , all others were acclamations . where is just about every UCP nomination is hotly contested and hundreds of people show up to vote. there is no excitement or interest surrounding the ndp in alberta )


Alberta has never had a one-term government. Will Rachel Notley’s NDP be first?

The NDP’s improbable rise in Canada’s conservative heartland faces long odds in a spring election
by Jason Markusoff

Dec 20, 2018

Rachel Notley riffed on elemental NDP themes near the end of her speech at her party’s fall convention: hope beats division, working together beats working alone, and being
“our sister’s keeper.” Political boilerplate next line: “That is my conviction, and that is why I’m not done fighting, because we have only just begun.” Then, to wrap up, she stated two obvious facts. “My name is Rachel Notley, and I am running again to be your premier!”

To her fellow Alberta New Democrats, it was a throwback to the declarative statements Notley made in her 2015 stump speeches, themselves a nod to the late Jack Layton’s assertion that he was running for prime minister in 2011, when he came closer to that goal than any federal NDP leader in history. Pundits and rivals initially waved off her claim as wide-eyed optimism, until Notley’s sails were filled by a perfect storm—fury at the too-long-governing Tories and the near collapse of the Wildrose Party—and she won a majority by quadrupling the NDP’s traditional vote share.

At the close of 2018, Notley’s declaration sounds about as audacious as it used to. Coming into the spring election, the current premier is again an obvious underdog facing rotten odds. Pro-NDP sentiment in the province has definitively not quadrupled: a punishing recession, record budget deficits and the carbon tax sank the party’s popularity early on, and polls show it has never come close to the highs it enjoyed on voting day 3.5 years ago. More daunting still for Notley: even if the NDP miraculously repeats its 40 per cent haul in the popular vote, it would not be enough—not with the United Conservative Party (UCP), Jason Kenney’s consolidated right-wing squad, routinely polling above 50 per cent. Alberta has never had a one-term government before, but NDP rule is equally foreign here. Unless some profound, unforeseen shift reverses Kenney’s solid lead—and last time shows that zany surprises can happen—he’ll become premier next spring.

In some ways, the energy around Kenney’s party echoes the days of the old Tory dynasty, a 44-year power streak when the province often felt like a one-party state. In many ridings outside the NDP’s historical Edmonton base, UCP nominations have been as hotly contested as general elections, while there’s virtually no jostling for NDP slots. The opposition party and its aligned third-party groups dominate fundraising. In question period, the governing side often attacks more than it defends, as if it’s auditioning to be the official opposition. With this massive advantage, Kenney plans to test how much of a rightward correction Albertans are willing to make. More than just angling to erase the NDP’s four-year imprint on Alberta, he wishes to roll back the political moderation of the Progressive Conservatives before that, too.

In speeches over the course of his 2.5-year project to unite Alberta conservatives and drive them to victory, Kenney has traced a hagiography of past Tory premiers. It begins with party saint Peter Lougheed, leaps to the populist Ralph Klein—and that’s it. Absent are the four Tories who led Alberta after 2006; they belong to those fog-shrouded years when Kenney says the party lost its way, and the further-right Wildrose party ascended. His party’s mission statement is to “renew the Alberta Advantage”—the alliterative slogan Klein coined for his anti-regulation, low-tax provincial ethos, before King Ralph’s successors discarded the brand for something with less swagger. Kenney has spoken of rolling back a cluster of NDP policies and laws (promised first bill for the UCP: a carbon tax repeal act), and has a recent example to follow: Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s summer sitting at Queen’s Park to hastily bulldoze the Kathleen Wynne Liberals’ accomplishments.

After years of a gentler approach on climate change and anti-pipeline activists, Kenney vows a return to Alberta’s old pugnacity with a “fight-back strategy” involving a pro-oil information “war room” in the energy department, and by launching and funding third-party lawsuits against environmental groups—inflammatory measures that may divide even the oil sector itself. Kenney speaks fondly, too, of returning to Alberta’s flat-rate income tax (ended by Jim Prentice, the Tory era’s final premier), and of welcoming more privately delivered health care, a plank no premier has touched since Klein. “I think we’re going to have a mandate to be ambitious with a policy reform agenda,” he told Maclean’s in May.

Various impulses are behind his hawkish push. First, Kenney believes the economic and fiscal times demand it. “We’re broke,” he has replied to questions about the future of solar-panel subsidies and arts funding. Second, his new party includes most of those Wildrosers who found the latter-day PCs far too squishy, while some moderates bolted for the Alberta Party, a minor centrist faction. Third, Kenney’s inner circle believe Albertans crave conservatism; internal polling shown to Maclean’s indicates they prefer ditching the carbon tax and reducing spending rather than hiking taxes and piling on debt; they believe cuts need not affect front-line public services. A key UCP platform author is Mark Milke, a former senior fellow at the conservative Fraser Institute (and occasional Maclean’s columnist). In his newly released book, Ralph vs. Rachel, Milke writes that the post-Klein premiers “were little different from Canada’s perennial interventionist political collective, the New Democratic Party.”

Finally, this all speaks to Kenney’s own values. While he maintains he’s evolved from (or at least doesn’t want to act on) his earlier socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage, he proudly touts his days as an anti-tax gadfly and head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which used to prod Klein to be more fearlessly conservative.

Provincial conservatives aren’t the only ones uniting behind Kenney. The federal Conservatives are keen to help the former Harper cabinet minister sweep Alberta next spring, after they’d long been split between Alberta’s PC and Wildrose factions. He’s the Canadian conservative movement’s most articulate messenger, and many of their number hope he’ll help combat the carbon tax. Restoring such a stalwart in the mythical conservative heartland, then, is a keenly sought prelude to ousting Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister—and one that’ll provide a much needed tactical rehearsal for next fall’s federal campaign.

For the NDP, this Alberta election won’t be the national project the last one was. In 2015, heavyweights from the Manitoba government and the Layton and Thomas Mulcair camps flew in for a training run. This time, federal leader Jagmeet Singh’s camp is threadbare, while the only other New Democrat government is John Horgan’s in Victoria, which Notley banned her team from helping during B.C.’s last campaign due to the Horgan NDP’s anti-pipeline stance. Trudeau’s Liberals would love to retain Notley as a provincial ally, but as much as Kenney is treating Trudeau like a campaign punching bag (an old Alberta pastime), he would be doing Notley no favours by punching back. For an Alberta New Democrat these days, getting help from the federal Liberals is about as politically appealing as buddying up to the B.C. NDP—like choosing between drinking bleach and ammonia.

Notley’s team will fight on undeterred against the mightiest archconservative foe they’ve had in Alberta in ages. Warnings about dire spending cuts, privatization and tax cuts for the wealthy are a key part of the NDP’s defence against Kenney—all classic NDP positions from their opposition days. “We run the risk of rerunning the worst of the Klein years,” says Gil McGowan, long-time head of the Alberta Federation of Labour. (Public-sector and private unions remain the core of Alberta NDP’s base; a former AFL executive authored the party’s 2015 platform.)

New Democrats also assert that Albertans are more progressive than the conservative stereotype suggests. Between their win and past PC victories over Wildrose, they note, voters have repeatedly chosen the party that pledged to safeguard the public sector over one vowing to cut it. Notley’s party says it can balance the budget by 2023; UCP by 2024. Her backers also argue, accurately, that the economy has been recovering, and that the NDP has restrained program spending growth better than past Tory governments. Still, thanks to continuing oil-sector sluggishness, unemployment levels remain ugly while stagnant government revenue has kept deficits high. And party insiders concede that if the election is about the carbon tax, they’ll almost certainly lose.

Fearing they’re outflanked on the economy, Notley’s side has relentlessly attacked Kenney, a former immigration minister, as an extremist on social issues, highlighting would-be candidates and party members with records of racist or homophobic comments—along with some things Kenney himself has uttered. A similar ploy worked to repel the Wildrose Party in 2012, preserving the PC dynasty. But by most indications, Kenney has a long way to fall before he risks losing. Prentice, days before losing as premier in 2015, declared that Alberta “is not an NDP province.” Kenney and his Conservatives are confident Prentice had a point, one brief historical blip notwithstanding.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Kenny will win by a landslide but his pipeline won't be built any faster unless the Government changes in BC.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( despite Kenney's hopes , I think the next alberta election will be very nasty . the left has never had total control over alberta before and don't expect them to give it up easily knowing it might be a long time before they ever get it back )

Kenney hopes 2019 election will be 'respectful, policy-based debate'

UCP leader reflects on 2018, looks ahead to spring election in year-end interview

Kim Trynacity , Michelle Bellefontaine · CBC News · Posted: Dec 27, 2018 7:00 AM MT | Last Updated: an hour ago

UCP Leader Jason Kenney speaks with CBC provincial affairs reporter Kim Trynacity in a year-end interview. (Peter Evans/CBC )

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney says he hopes the tone of the spring provincial election will be respectful and focused on policy, not a nasty exchange of personal attacks.

"Obviously there's going to be some clash," Kenney told CBC provincial affairs reporter Kim Trynacity in a year-end interview.

"Obviously I'm going to disagree with some NDP policies, and vice versa, but I think what would be really neat [is] if we actually showed the rest of the country how to have a respectful, policy-based debate in the upcoming Alberta election."

​Kenney became leader of the UCP in October 2017 after leading the successful push to unite the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties.

He was sworn in as the MLA for Calgary-Lougheed in January and took his seat as leader of Alberta's Official Opposition at the start of the spring session in March.

The UCP has maintained a wide margin of support over the governing NDP in a number of polls, suggesting Kenney would become premier if the election was held today.

However, Kenney has been dogged by critics who suggest he will make 20-per-cent cuts to government spending if he becomes premier — an allegation he denies — and change policy to please his social-conservative supporters.

As UCP leader, Kenney has faced fresh controversy on a weekly basis, from nomination candidates outed for holding racist or homophobic views to his own past statements on same-sex marriage and abortion.

On the final day of the fall session, Kenney urged Notley to call the election for early March, the earliest time possible under Alberta's fixed-election-date legislation.

Notley has not said which way she will lean nor what factors will influence her decision. The election needs to be held between March 1 and May 30.

'Historic vote'

Whenever the vote is held, Kenney said the election will be historic. Voters will have a chance to pass judgment on the province's first NDP government, he said.

"The choices we make next year will be, I think, profoundly important, not just for Alberta but for Canada," he said.

Asked about the tone of the campaign, Kenney said he has always praised Notley for her public service and has encouraged supporters to show her respect.

While it's true Kenney doesn't engage in direct attacks on Notley, the UCP leader has supporters and allies on social media who have stepped in.

The Unite Alberta Twitter account run by Kenney's political staff has gone after anyone seen as sympathetic toward the NDP, including Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, and Duncan Kinney, executive director of Progress Alberta.

The account recently singled out journalists, claiming Kenney is being treated unfairly compared to Notley.

Kenney shakes hands with UCP MLAs after being sworn in as MLA for Calgary-Lougheed in January. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

When asked whether political leaders should intervene when they see supporters engaging in personal attacks, Kenney said it's best to lead by example.

"A lot of people are just angry about the situation Alberta is in right now and sadly some of them lash out at their leadership in ways that are unacceptable. I've consistently denounced that," he said.

"You know, I don't hold Premier Notley responsible for angry people on the left saying vicious personal things about me and I don't expect her to police angry people on Twitter.

"I think it's up to leaders to set the right tone and and lead by example and that's certainly what we've tried to do."

Kenney has already formed a transition team to take quick action if the UCP wins power next spring.

He intends to repeal the carbon tax and appoint a minister in charge of cutting regulations that Kenney feels "add no value to Alberta but are impairing or impeding investment."

While he wants to keep new measures that ensure employees can take compassionate leave and be protected from workplace harassment, Kenney wants to repeal some elements of the NDP government's changes to labour legislation.

Kenny points to restaurant owners who are required to pay staff for holiday Mondays even if the restaurant is not open.

He also wants to bring back secret ballots for union-certification votes regardless of how many people are verified members.

The NDP's labour code changes eliminated that requirement if 65 per cent of employees are union members.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( I think it will be a challenge for these smaller parties to actually win seats in the next alberta legislature , there current mla's mostly come from defections or people out of caucus . they didn't actually win these ridings under there banner )

'We're ready to go:' Smaller Alberta parties talk next election

Emma Graney
Updated: December 28, 2018

Alberta’s legislature this year was more diverse than usual when it comes to political parties. Postmedia spoke with leaders of the minor parties who hold seats in the legislature for their thoughts on 2018.

Alberta Party: Stephen Mandel

Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel took the helm of the Alberta Party in February with a sizable 66 per cent of the vote, defeating Calgary-South East MLA Rick Fraser and Calgary lawyer Kara Levis.

In a year-end interview, Mandel called 2018 a “fascinating and challenging year.” He said it was a huge learning experience when it came to provincial politics and getting publicity, but he’s also pleased with the “spectacular” quality of Alberta Party candidates for 2019.

“We’re ready to go,” he said of the election, with finishing touches coming to his party platform this weekend.

“We have some real gems in there. We think we have some interesting ideas on the economy, on helping people and on being more reasonable … and I think we’ll do better than people expect us to.”

Freedom Conservative Party: Derek Fildebrandt

Fildebrandt’s the first to admit 2018 didn’t start off so well. Banished from the UCP caucus and relegated to the back corner of the legislature floor after a series of missteps, by the end of the year he had started his own party and been acclaimed as leader.

“I started to really get my mojo back and I realized that, historically, Albertans have not been comfortable with just two options — a big government establishment party and a big business establishment party — and that there is an appetite for something else,” he said in a year-end interview.

Fildebrandt said his party has built itself up from its beginnings as a “ragtag band of rebels” to lay out its major election platform of “equality or independence” recently.

Overall, the Strathmore-Brooks MLA has somewhat of a philosophical take on 2018: “Everything happens for a reason, even if you don’t understand it at the time.”

Liberal Party: David Khan

Alberta Liberal Party Leader David Khan classifies 2018 as a difficult year, but said in a year-end interview he’s proud of the work his party has done in opposition.

Between the economy, job losses and the oil differential, he said, 2018 has been tough on many Albertans, “but we’ll fight through it.” Still, he would like to see an end to the sharp political differences and talk of separation.

As for 2019, Khan is excited about putting forward his party’s vision when Premier Rachel Notley calls the election. He said the Liberal platform will likely concentrate on jobs, the economy and, of course, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

“The party I think has been re-energized under my leadership, and we have an invigorated support base,” he said.

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Is Alberta headed for an early provincial election ?

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