Editorial: An NDP win in Alberta – really?

Watching the Alberta provincial election unfold from the West Coast was initially a bland affair, but the NDP made history this week

Watching the Alberta provincial election unfold from the West Coast was initially a bland affair. Jim Prentice, the lifetime conservative and recent Progressive Conservative leader in that province, had inherited a mess from his predecessor, Alison Redford, whose laissez faire attitude to burning through public money led to a justified backlash and her resignation.

Our neighhours over the Rockies were then hit with tumbling oil prices late last year, thanks in part to an increase in U.S. oil production and a refusal by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations to curtail their output.

That meant Alberta companies in the oil sands were scrambling to cut costs on their expensive production to ride out the price fluxuation. (Remember when the oil sands were known as the tar sands? You can thank a successful PR campaign for that lingo shift.)

Prentice – as a novice Premier who worked a lifetime to rise to the top – needed to slice spending and raise taxes in the face of dismal oil revenue. He committed to an early election so his party could get its mandate to swing the axe.

But Prentice and his people never saw the Orange wave coming. In fact, nobody did. The pollsters hinted at the destruction of the 44-year Progressive Conservative dynasty midway through the campaign, but the memorable fake-out from B.C.’s 2013 election meant few were willing to bet on that unlikely outcome. Even Premier-elect Rachel Notley refused to trumpet the poll results before election night.

Yet here we sit with an NDP government in what many still call the most conservative province in Canada. Of course, Tuesday night’s election results clearly show Alberta is no longer the diehard conservative province we once knew. Now, a fresh crop of Alberta MPs will be delving into complex portfolios and the most severe financial crisis in that province in a generation. The election went from bland to unbelievable, but you can be sure an NDP government in Alberta will soon be shaking up the status quo.

 

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

Christian bookstore’s Victoria location marks 80 years in business

The store opened on corner of Douglas Street, View Street in 1939

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read