In a surprising reversal, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice announced that the next provincial election will be held in spring 2016, not in 2015 as many Albertans expected.
“Three years ago, Progressive Conservative MLAs passed Alberta’s fixed election date law,” said Prentice. “I intend to honour the spirit of this law by holding the next election in 2016.”
The Election Amendment Act, 2011 created a fixed, three-month period in which provincial elections are held every four years.
“Establishing the fixed election period has benefits for all Albertans,” said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “Albertans are better able to plan to participate or involve themselves in the election process – as voters, as candidates, and as volunteers.”
Some critics believe the delay is a result of a recent poll showing a negative public reaction to the provincial budget and an NDP surge to above 40 per cent support in Edmonton.
Prentice also announced tough new climate change targets that will reduce Alberta’s carbon emissions by 50 per cent before the 2016 election is called.
“Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation and we will not fail in defeating it,” Prentice said. “That is why I am appointing Danielle Smith to lead this initiative as the first Chief Executive Officer of the new Alberta Global Warming Institute.”
“Albertans have put their trust in us and going forward, we will demonstrate beyond a doubt that our government will be the change that Albertans are looking for,” Prentice said.
[Happy April Fools Day!]