Alberta Premier Rachel Notley NDP

Out of the Blue: Notley’s Orange Chinook howls through Alberta

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

It sounds strange, but get used to it, because Albertans have spoken.

History was made last night as an Orange Chinook howled through Alberta. The articulate and likeable Ms. Notley led Alberta’s New Democratic Party to elect 53 MLAs in the 87 seat Legislative Assembly, sweeping away the 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives. Led by Jim Prentice, the PCs were trying for a 13th consecutive majority government but were reduced to 11 MLAs (and in one constituency, Calgary-Glenmore, the NDP and PC candidate appear to be tied). Mr. Prentice resigned as leader and MLA in his concession speech, which means another by-election will need to be held in Calgary-Foothills within six months.

Conservatives can be pleased that a resurgent Wildrose Party, led by Brian Jean, elected 20 MLAs, more than the party elected in the 2012 election. Mr. Jean will serve as leader of the Official Opposition. The tiny Alberta Party can also be proud that it elected its first MLA in Calgary-Elbow, leader Greg Clark. Liberal leader David Swann survived re-election in Calgary-Mountain View, but Edmonton-Centre Liberal Laurie Blakeman went down to defeat.

It would be a mistake to believe this election signals Albertans have shifted to the political left.This election was not about ideology and Albertans remain largely politically moderate. This defining narrative of this campaign was trust and accountability, and on this issue Albertans turned away from the PCs and embraced Ms. Notley’s moderate platform. The “time for a change” narrative was too strong for the PCs to stop.

The new Assembly will be filled with rookies from both the NDP and Wildrose. The new 53 MLA NDP Government caucus is expected to have at least 25 women, a record in Alberta (and perhaps in Canada). Many new political careers began last night and many political careers ended, Mr. Prentice and former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel being two notable PCs who lost big in this campaign.

There are many unknowns facing this new government, including how to transition a new party into power. The last time this happened was 1971.

(I will publish an expanded post tomorrow, it’s now 1:02 am and I am heading to bed after a very exciting election night)

Alberta Election 2015 (results from abvote.ca)
Total seats (popular vote)
NDP: 53 (41%)
Wildrose: 20 (24%)
PC: 11 (28%)
Liberal Party 1 (4%)
Alberta Party: 1 (2%)

13 thoughts on “Out of the Blue: Notley’s Orange Chinook howls through Alberta

  1. Sara-Anne Peterson

    The last time I was home the schools had been closed in three towns and the kids were bussed hours and hours, even the little ones, and people were angry. This was before the bottom dropped out of the petro price, when Alberta really was the richest province in Canada. Roads were bad. Health care needed money.

    I think people began to look at Norway, Dubai, The Emirates and to think: “We ben robbed.” Maybe we should have listened to Trudeau and not allowed ourselves to be manipulated by the oily folks.

    My Father who was born in the Cypress Hills in 1896 and my Mother who was born in Fort Vermilion in 1897 would both say Alberta’s riches were being stolen away.

    Reply
  2. Fluffy the Cat

    And now the fun begins… dissecting the PC party internals, to Jim’s flaws, the impact of the Edmonton plutocracy pronouncement, appointed cabinet ministers etc. will all give way to a very close watch of Rachel’s first steps. That and how she will manage a bureaucracy and civil service that mirrors a generation and a half of PC influence. The Foothills byelection could be very interesting if things don’t go well for the NDP in the first 100 days. Will Albertans be like the person who wakes up in Vegas after a wild weekend – married to a stranger?

    Reply
  3. Julie Ali

    Now that Premier Rachel Notley is in power may be we can have some forensic audits done. I am interested in the following matters:

    1) Contracts to the same corporations over and over; surely there are other corporations in Alberta than the ones that always seem to get the major share of the contracts? I think a review of the bidding process is required.

    2) Elimination of corporate and union donations at both the provincial and municipal levels. We don’t want a Katz type subversion of democracy ever again in Alberta; we also don’t want to be the major corporate subsidy provider to all the donors of political parties. It will be nice to have our politicians remember who the citizens of Alberta are–their employers.

    3) Review of the legislation for all the offices of the advocates in Alberta to expand their work. Why does Patient Relations at AHS do nothing for families despite their mandate? Why do we go to the Health advocates and they don’t have the money and staff to help us? Why is the Alberta Ombudsman unable to enforce his findings? This is such a sham of their offices. And don’t think the child and youth advocate office is any better. We need legislation for the advocates’ offices with major teeth.

    We especially need the review of all child deaths in Alberta. This will be helpful to ensure that prevention is predominant in child fatalities especially in the child welfare system.

    4) Royalty review to increase the rent on our resource properties. Why has the oil and gas industry being getting trillions and we’re not?

    5) Fracking review. We need to have fracking tracers in the fracking concoctions to prove to us that the fracking of Alberta isn’t (as per the industry advertisements) contaminating our water. I mean I find it odd that the fracking of Alberta has been 100% accident free but certainly the fracking tracers will confirm this perfect operation history of the industry and if there are accidents, citizens don’t have to go bankrupt like Jessica Ernst to prove the liability of the operator and the negligence that resulted in well water on fire.

    6) Continuing care audit. I want to know what value we are getting for our money in continuing care. I am especially interested in how much profit is being made by not-for profit and for -profit operators. Why? If the privatization of continuing care in Alberta has mediocre performance with outright non-compliances that are not revealed to us by AHS and Alberta Health then it is my opinion we should do continuing care in the public sector. My handicapped sister has been in the long term care situation with very poor oversight by the auditors at AHS and Alberta Health. This sort of negligent performance by government and the public agency entrusted with the oversight of our most vulnerable citizens is not acceptable. If we have to take back continuing care from the private sector to ensure compliance with the standards as well as ethical performance of work then so be it. Let us make continuing care public and not private.

    7) Education funding review. Special education students like my younger son languished for years while the school system farted around. Part of the problem was a lack of money but there is also a lack of performance by the school systems in Alberta. This won’t change in my mind until the funding of special education students is increased. What we don’t pay for as a society for our most vulnerable kids–will come back to bite us as increased payouts when these kids become adults. We need to enhance the supports and services to these kids who will fall through the cracks in our society -which by the way are major for the most handicapped people in Alberta. These handicapped people–like my handicapped sister are labelled as the problem. But is this true? If you are unable to communicate like the rest of us–you are very vulnerable. My handicapped sister was not able to communicate that her BiPaP machine was not put on for two adverse events at the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwoods. She was unable to tell us that her BiPaP machine was showing a high priority low pressure warning for five days. She was unable to tell us when her oxygen stroller was out of oxygen or was set at an inappropriate setting. When you lack insight this makes you a victim and yet what is done by the operator? She is evicted from the facility and I am banned. If you tell the truth in continuing care in Alberta you are banned. AHS is supposed to have an appeal process for residents by law and yet will not disclose to us if they have this policy/procedure. It is so 1984 at AHS that we have to FOIP and pay for everything even the Continuing Care policy/procedure manual. My handicapped sister is unable to pay for this sort of FOIPing of the information. She is now in the Grey Nuns Hospital. She is a hostage of the former failures of the PC government (Alberta Health) and AHS. When will we have a review of patient rights at AHS? I would say now.

    Yesterday was W11-D76 Tuesday May 5, 2015 Election Day.
    Today is week 11–day 77 of my handicapped sister’s eviction from the Good Samaritan extended care at Millwoods. I am pretty sure this sort of junk will end pronto under Premier Notley.

    8) The end of spin. The Public Affairs Department from the Klein error on has been the Ministry of Spin. Now let it be reviewed and audited. Let it become the Ministry of the Truth.

    9) Review of the Trespass Law that is being used to shut up mummies who yap about proven non-compliances in continuing care. Why am I banned? Because I told the truth and sounded the alarm. The non-compliances I pointed out have been looked at by Alberta Health and more non-compliances have been found. AHS is doing a respiratory review. Protections for Persons in Care are checking into the case of my handicapped sister. And yet she is still evicted without an appeal process in place and I am still banned. This junk is anti-democratic and should end now.

    10) Tapcal fund review. I am curious who paid into this fund to keep the oil monarchs in power forever and ever.

    Reply
  4. Dan McAvena

    When are they going perform a forensic audit of the Alberta Treasury ? To stop the golden handshakes and the raiding of the fridge, And try to get a handle on the amount of active paper shredders on the Legislative Grounds in Edmonton. Curious ……

    Reply
  5. andrew struthers

    With those popular vote numbers now is the time to start talking electoral reform. You’ll have a sympathetic opposition, you’ll appear magnanimous, you could set a template for federal reform and you can avoid the stranglehold that the Brian Jean Common Sense Revolution will have four years from now following the next provincial election.

    Reply
  6. Rural gal

    This was an anti PC vote above all!
    Just above half on the popular vote,

    But they do have some things in common with WR such as the forensic audit! Cannot wait for that to start. I would suggest they stop the paper shredders.

    Just like the 100% profit for one sole source contract in High river after the flood, while over 700 files remain open for disaster recovery program. How could that be? Would like to know answer to that one- paying a mortgage on a patch of dirt where a house once stood is troublesome!

    Reply
  7. An

    So, I was just wondering, if J.Prentice quits his privileges to represent Calgary Foothills constituents at the Legislative Assembly before the swearing in ceremony, wouldn’t the rights be handed to the next candidate with the highest number of votes?

    Reply
  8. Jordan

    No. The person who placed second still lost to him. Whether he was sworn in makes no difference. We saw this in New Brunswick last year, the successful Liberal candidate narrowly won his seat and then resigned before being sworn in. A by-election was held shortly after. In St. John’s in the early 2000’s a candidate died days before the election but managed to win her spot on council due to many votes already being cast. A by-election for her spot was later held.

    Reply
  9. Ray Giguere

    On Tuesday night, Albertans were treated to the very best reality TV show ever – The Alberta Election! It was filled with real human drama, the evisceration of an evil beast, the exceeding of expectations, the rise of hope, and the eventual emergence of a very likeable and capable new leader. Congratulations to Rachel Notley and her well run campaign and her ability to finally break through into the rest of Alberta.

    Jim Prentice’s resignation speech was the second best thing. What a hypocrite! He set the stage for the PC demise, then dragged Albertans into a premature election he couldn’t possibly lose, lost miserably, then exited stage right without any thought or comment regarding the repercussions of his incompetence. At least the tomb-like atmosphere in the Calgary hotel suited the deflated dynasty of entitlement. He managed to go from appointed/anointed “King of Alberta” to unemployed in 1 year. Very classy, Jim.

    Good riddance to Steven Mandel, Gene Zwodetsky, Heather Klimchuk, Heather Forsyth, Danielle Smith, Gordon Dirks, Yvonne Fritz, Jonathan Denis, and the rest of the dinosaurs.

    Memo to Steven Harper – you are next.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *