Kenney's premiership to pose challenges, opportunities for Trudeau

While he said there are "populistic" elements in Kenney's platform-such as his proposed referendum on Canada's equalization plan that Navarro-Génie said won't change the federally controlled scheme-he wouldn't label Kenney a populist.

"He is clearly ringing their bell right now", said Day. The CBC projects 63 seats for the Conservatives, to 23 for the NDP. "He should begin the moment he takes office as Premier".

Of the 20 seats in the Capital City, the NDP won 19.

"To every Albertan out there who identifies as LGBTQ2SA+, know you will always have a champion in me and in the Alberta NDP and in the Alberta NDP opposition". Though the election in still months away, poll results hint that it may hurt his prospects, perhaps costing him a majority in parliament, or if things get worse, his party's hold on power.

He has also been adamant the UCP will not revisit abortion.

Marco Navarro-Génie, a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy who says he has been friends with the UCP leader for over two decades, believes Kenney's success at the polls was thanks in part to the fact that he is highly articulate and persuasive.

The UCP won Alberta by channeling anger over economic woes, blaming Trudeau and the Liberal Party for the slumping oil sector, channeling anger over canceled or delayed pipelines, and casting his government as an out-of-touch, out-to-get-Alberta, economic villain.

In Ontario, the most populous of the provinces, Premier Doug Ford killed a provincial cap-and-trade system after his election a year ago, forcing Trudeau's government to fully impose its carbon tax on April 1. "Help is on the way and hope is on the horizon".

Now that the time for campaign speeches has passed, Albertans will see if it is possible for Kenney to put the province back to work.

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Kenney has said his approach will be one of cooperation and diplomacy with all political leaders, but that he will leave no doubt about Alberta's determination to stand up for its bread and butter industry, particularly against those who benefit from it while opposing its growth.

His targets also included the federal government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Notley's perceived alliance the Liberal government in Ottawa, which he blamed for abandoned and moribund development in Alberta's energy infrastructure.

"In Ottawa, we have a federal government that has made this bad situation... much worse, killing two pipelines, including Energy East", Kenney said, only to be interrupted with roars: "Build that pipe!"

Striking a populist tone, he suggested, without evidence, that environmental groups who have opposed building pipelines to transport oil were backed by "foreign-funded special interests".

Kenney, along with most people watching the campaign, said Albertans voted for change.

"The Charter right to freedom of expression is fundamental to a free and democratic society".

UCP leader Jason Kenney campaigned on promises to make regulatory, economic and fiscal policy reforms, including a vow to cut the corporate tax rate to eight per cent from 12 per cent, eliminate the provincial carbon tax on consumers, cancel an NDP plan to lease hundreds of railcars to move oil and complete a review of the Alberta Energy Regulator to improve efficiency.

A year earlier, Notley's NDP had taken power in a shocking landslide that reduced the once-mighty Progressive Conservatives to 10 seats from 61.

  • Douglas Reid