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Alberta votes for change

Alberta votes for change

Jason Kenney’s UCPs defeated Rachel Notley’s NDP

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) will form Alberta’s next provincial government after winning a majority government in Tuesday’s election.

A party needs 44 seats to form a majority government in Alberta. The UCPs captured 63 seats compared to incumbent Rachel Notley’s NDPs, who only retained 24 seats.

The NDP did win enough seats to remain the Official Opposition.

While delivering his acceptance speech to supporters, the premier-elect promoted an Alberta that would make it easier for business to succeed.

“Tonight I send a message to businesses everywhere,” Kenney said. “If you want to benefit from what will be the lowest taxes in Canada, a government that will cut its red tape burden by at least one third, with Canada’s best educated population and a deep culture of enterprise and innovation, come to Alberta! Help us to renew the Alberta Advantage!”

Farmers are generally pleased with the election outcome.

Alberta now has a leader who will support ag and other important sectors, said Chris McQuid, a cattle and crop producer from Vermilion, Alta. The UCP won this riding.

“It seemed like there was appetite for change but I’m a little surprised at the size of the victory. I think the victory was called within a half hour,” he told “It’s a good day for Alberta and we’re looking forward to brighter days ahead. We at least now have a premier who will fight for the agriculture and oil and gas sectors.”

Kenney’s campaign promises included replacing Bill 6 with the Farm Freedom Safety Act.

Producers will appreciate having more choice and fewer administrative hurdles, McQuid said.

“I think we’re going to go back to a business-like approach and get rid of some of the red tape that made it difficult for farmers to conduct business in the province,” he said.

A new provincial government also means a new cabinet – including a new minister of agriculture and forestry.

The next ag minister could be Nate Horner, the MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, a correspondent for Global News projected after the election.

Horner is a rancher from Pollockville. He holds an ag degree from the University of Lethbridge and a diploma in ag business from Olds College.

Oneil Carlier, who served as Notley’s ag minister, lost his seat in Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland.

Chris Wattie/Reuters photo

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