Alberta, Saskatchewan go Tory Blue, must confront Liberal minority

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney had called a Liberal minority the worst case scenario

Helge By poses for a picture taken by his wife Candace at Conservative Party HQ on Election Day in Regina on Monday October 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

Alberta and Saskatchewan were painted a solid Conservative blue on Monday, but leaders must now wrap their heads around getting resources to market with a Liberal minority government in Ottawa that will need the help of other parties to remain in power.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney campaigned for federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and had called a Liberal minority the worst case scenario for Alberta, given the Bloc Quebecois, NDP and Greens stated antipathy to new pipeline projects.

When federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced recently that he would effectively give provinces vetos over projects that cross boundaries, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe Tweeted a “Liberal-NDP government would be a disaster for Western Canada.”

Political scientist John Soroski said that since the Liberals came close to the 170-seat majority mark, the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the British Columbia coast is likely secure with the Conservatives helping out.

But he noted the federal carbon tax on provinces and Bill C-69, the controversial legislation that overhauls the approval of resource projects, are likely here to stay.

“There could’ve been worse outcomes,” said Soroski with Edmonton’s MacEwan University. “There’s some degree of uncertainty here (with the minority), but I think it’s manageable.”

The Calgary and Edmonton chambers of commerce, in a joint statement, urged politicians of all stripes to keep working to help Alberta’s lagging economy.

“We can make bold choices now to boost competitiveness or risk watching from the sidelines as other nations compete and win,” said Edmonton Chamber of Commerce president Janet Riopel.

In the longer term, however, Soroski noted that the result will likely increase Western alienation, especially as the Liberals will likely need to give heavier weight to interests further left on the political spectrum.

“There’s going to be an enhanced sense of conflict with Ottawa,” he said.

Both provinces did their part in the vote to help the Conservatives in the election, wiping out tiny beachheads the NDP and Liberals held and knocking out two cabinet ministers.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi lost to Conservative Tim Uppal in Edmonton Mill Woods, while longtime Liberal Ralph Goodale, the Public Safety Minister, was beaten by Conservative Michael Kram in Regina Wascana.

“The work I did on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the consultation I did with the Indigenous communities to fix a broken process and have that project move forward … is something that I am so proud of,” Sohi told supporters Monday night.

Goodale said any one campaign is only temporary.

“There will be new challenges to face in the weeks and months and years ahead. And there will be opportunities for all of us … not just to celebrate victories elsewhere but also to reassemble, to celebrate the rejuvenation, recovery and victory once again of the Liberal candidates in Regina Wascana.”

Edmonton Centre Liberal Randy Boissonnault and Calgary Centre Liberal Kent Hehr also got washed away in the Conservative blue wave.

READ MORE: Liberals return with minority government in Election 2019

“The voters spoke. I think there was some frustration out there on the Trans Mountain pipeline. There was some frustration in how the economy was going. And simply put, it was a difficult election for anyone in Saskatchewan and Alberta,” Hehr told his group of volunteers.

Alberta retained one speck of orange, with newcomer Heather McPherson retaining the NDP seat in Edmonton Strathcona.

Kenney, a former Conservative MP and cabinet minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, made it plain that a Liberal government, particularly one beholden to the NDP or Greens, would be debilitating to Alberta’s — and by extension Canada’s — economy.

Minority governments tend to have shorter shelf lives than the full four year terms of majorities.

Soroski said Kenney needs to put the personal enmity with Trudeau aside for now and “ride this out and make sure the (Trans Mountain) pipe gets in the ground.”

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake businesses satisfied working in town, survey

The Chamber surveyed 100 local businesses and found 82 per cent are satisfied working in Sylvan Lake

UPDATE: Sylvan Lake RCMP on scene at serious, multi vehicle collision

There is no access westbound on Aspelund Road from the intersection.

Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce urges for end to rail blockades

Chamber President Keri Pratt urged the MP Blaine Calkins to help bring an end to the disruptions

Sylvan Lakers take a frozen dip for a cause

The annual Polar Bear Dip held during Winterfest is a fundraiser for organizations around town

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Two goals by Ben King pushes Rebels over Tri-city

7-5 game a high-scoring, runaway according to Rebels forward Chris Douglas

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Alberta doctors getting ready for court fight against new pay, benefits deal

United Conservative government says Alberta doctors make more than physicians in other provinces

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Most Read