On Tuesday night the left leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) was
elected to govern the Province of Alberta. The NDP's victory
ended 80 years of conservative governments in Alberta that began
with the election of the Social Credit Party in 1935.
Highlights of last night's historic election include:
Alberta's centre right Progressive Conservative Party was
defeated after being in power for over 44 years
The NDP went from 4 of 86 seats in the Legislature to 53
The NDP leader, Rachel Notley, will become the fourth Premier
of Alberta in the last four years. Ed Stelmach resigned as Premier
in 2011 after his new royalty framework had a detrimental effect on
the Province's economy. Allison Redford resigned as Premier in
2014 due to controversy over her use of provincial assets for
personal matters. And Jim Prentice resigned last night following
the Conservative's defeat after only eight months in
The NDP victory creates uncertainty for Alberta's energy
sector at a time when it is already struggling with drastically
reduced revenues following the collapse of oil and natural gas
The NDP's initial challenge will be to calm nervous oil and
gas producers. They have concerns that the NDP is
inexperienced in governing and Ms. Notley may have difficulty
finding a strong cabinet from the NDP's newly elected MLAs.
In addition, the NDP has been more closely associated with
energy workers than the managers of energy companies and has
criticized the Conservatives for being too friendly with the energy
sector. The NDP campaigned on:
In addition to increasing the tax rates on wealthy individuals
raising the provincial corporate rate from 10% to 12%. That
increase would raise the total corporate tax rate from 25% to 27%
which would reduce after tax income by 3%
Undertaking a review of the Province's royalty regime.
Although promising that review Ms. Notley has not committed to
change royalty rates. Presumably in any such review the NDP
will be mindful of how unsuccessful Mr. Stelmach's new royalty
framework was for Alberta and the potential negative impact on
capital spending and employment in the industry that may result
from any changes.
Stopping the Province's support for the proposed Keystone
and Northern Gateway pipeline projects that are intended to provide
access for Alberta oil to export markets.
Ms. Notley has however committed to bring a fresh approach to
developing new markets for Alberta's oil and gas. In this
regard the NDP will continue to back the Transmountain expansion
and Energy East pipeline projects. The NDP view these
projects as being more likely to succeed than Keystone and Northern
Gateway. And Ms. Notley has said that Alberta's environmental
policies will be reviewed to address concerns from export markets
like the United States that Alberta has not been aggressive enough
in reducing GHG emissions, although costs from additional
regulation in this and other areas may be a burden on the
Ms. Notley also reached out to the energy sector in her victory
speech indicating her awareness of the importance to the Province
of a healthy resource industry.
How the NDP agenda will be implemented and its impact on
Alberta's energy sector will be made clear in the budget that
the NDP will be under pressure to prepare and present as soon as
In preparing the budget, the NDP will face the same economic
challenges that the Conservatives faced as a result of low oil
prices and plunging Provincial royalty and tax revenues and will
have to make hard choices that will likely disappoint many,
including some of its supporters.
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In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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