This article from Reuters explains what happened.
The left-wing New Democrats won election in the Canadian province of Alberta on Tuesday, ending the 44-year run by the Progressive Conservatives amid promises to review oversight of the oil and gas sector in the home of Canada’s oil sands.
At the end of a month-long campaign, the New Democratic Party (NDP), which has never held more than 16 seats in the 87-seat provincial legislature, will lead a majority government. It held a commanding lead in early results, leading or elected in 54 seats at 9 p.m. local time while the Conservatives were ahead in just 13, according to CBC TV.
The NDP is expected to be far less accommodative to the Western Canadian province’s powerful energy industry.
NDP Premier-elect Rachel Notley has proposed reduced support for pipeline export projects and a review of oil and gas royalties in the resource-rich province, and energy shares on Canadian stock markets are expected to react negatively to her party’s victory.
The NDP had promised to hike corporate tax rates by two percentage points to 12 percent if elected, but its promise to review the amount of royalty payments due the province from oil and gas production made some investors nervous.
Alberta’s oil sands are the largest source of U.S. oil imports.
The Conservatives had won 12 straight elections, but support for rookie Premier Jim Prentice plunged during the campaign and right-wing voters split support between the Conservatives and the younger, more conservative Wildrose Party, which appeared on track to be the official opposition.
The Alberta “Progressive Conservatives” are almost as leftist as the NDP. The only real conservatives in Alberta are the Wildrose.
This Canadian Press looks at specific NDP policies:
The NDP have won a majority in Alberta. What could Alberta look like moving forward? Leader Rachel Notley campaigned on having the wealthy pay more to fund better health care and education. Here’s a look at some of the party’s key platform planks:
— A Resource Owners’ Rights Commission to review the royalties oil companies pay to the province with any amount earned above the current rates going into savings.
— A boost in the corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 and hour by 2018.
— More tax brackets on high earners than the Tories are proposing: A 12 per cent tax rate on income between $125,000 to $150,000; 13 per cent on income between $150,000 to $200,000; 14 per cent between $200,000 and $300,000 and 15 per cent over $300,000. The NDP also plans to roll back the Tory health levy.
— The creation of 2,000 long-term care spaces over four years.
— A ban both corporate and union donations to political parties.
That last one looks like a conservative policy, since big corporations and unions are both leftist. So there’s a silver lining to this cloud. I’m sorry for my Canadian friends who will have to live with this, but the mistake was made last election, when they chose the Progressive Conservatives over Wildrose. One thing is for sure, Alberta supplies a lot of our oil here, so this NDP win will raise oil prices, and it’s going to put pressure on American families. Maybe we should be drilling for our own oil?