An Overview of the Alberta General Election Results and UCP Targets for Indigenous Peoples

It's time to put partisanship, division, and personal and political attacks in the rear-view mirror, according to premier-elect Danielle Smith. The provincial election in Alberta, Canada has come to a close, and results continue to pour in from a razor-thin race. Approximately 1.7 million people cast ballots in the election, with voter turnout reduced to 62 percent compared to 67.5 percent in 2019. Elections Alberta counted only 1.1 million votes among 2.8 million eligible voters, and the UCP was leading in 50 ridings, while the NDP was ahead in 37.


The United Conservative Party (UCP) is projected to be victorious in their campaign and has won the provincial election, forming a majority government. Danielle Smith was able to hang on as Alberta’s premier, but with a reduced majority for her government, holding 49 out of 87 seats whereas the NDP has been declared the winner in 38 ridings. In Smith’s victory speech, she acknowledged the campaign was challenging and supported by a well-funded and coordinated NDP, and promised to serve all Albertans, despite how they voted. Danielle Smith now has four years to continue what she started and make good on the promises she made.

Rural Alberta’s ridings remained solidly blue today, but the NDP made gains in urban areas and unseated several of Danielle Smith’s cabinet ministers, including former health minister Jason Copping (Calgary-Varsity), former mental health and addiction minister Nicholas Milliken (Calgary-Currie) and deputy premier Kaycee Madu (Edmonton South West). The UCP cabinet ministers who retained their seats include Adriana Lagrange (education), Rebecca Schulz (municipal affairs), Nate Horner (agriculture), Rick Wilson (Indigenous relations) and Nathan Neudorf (infrastructure). The NDP dominated in Edmonton as three Calgary NDP incumbents – Kathleen Ganley, Irfan Sabir and Joe Ceci – were each re-elected. The NDP displayed a great performance during the election, allocating total votes and placing second-best for seats won. Rachel Notley will continue as leader of the New Democrats despite turnout as she attempted to win over conservative voters by minimizing her carbon-pricing policies and underscoring healthcare reforms and costs-of-living relief.

Alberta has a long-standing capricious relationship with the federal government as it defends the profitable energy industry and other areas of concentration. Smith’s government previously passed the controversial Alberta sovereignty act and deliberated opting out of the Canada Pension Plan to implement a provincial version. These proposals were not part of the UCP platform during the campaign, and the repercussions remain to be seen, when or if Smith’s government invokes the sovereignty act – a move that would likely initiate court challenges while damaging efforts between Ottawa and the provinces to work together on solving national issues, such as healthcare funding.

The UCP set out clear promises during their campaign, and many that Albertans will hold the government accountable for. The UCP’s pledges include creating a new tax bracket that will deliver an additional $760 for individuals earning more than $60,000 a year, extending the halt on the provincial fuel tax, following a public healthcare assurance, introducing a 25 percent discount for seniors on personal registry services, camping fees and medical driving exams, as well as allocate the proposed compassionate intervention act, and finally, dedicate $80 million over four years to acquire recreation facilities.

UCP Targets for Indigenous Peoples

On election day, there were 60 active wildfires, thus, Elections Alberta made new arrangements for thousands of displaced voters by creating mobile voting stations at evacuation centres, as well as alternative polling locations for First Nations and communities such as Drayton Valley and Chipewyan Lake that had been affected by the wildfires.

The government of Alberta is committed to collaborating with Indigenous partners and should continue to be a priority for the province. The main concerns from Indigenous peoples in Alberta deal with local economic opportunities, healthcare and building infrastructure, such as the importance of the recent agreement signed by the UCP government with three First Nations to implement a 218-kilometre economic corridor connecting Fort McMurray to Peerless Lake. Along with committing to enhancements to AIOC, the UCP platform incorporates an additional $25 million for Indigenous equity venture capital funds. Other concerns specific to Indigenous peoples in the UCP platform include building greater addiction treatment centres in partnership with Indigenous communities, and utilizing Swan River First Nation as a location for affordable seniors housing as the UCP commits to $1 billion over the next three years across the province.

The votes have been cast, ballots have been counted. Now, the real work will begin as Danielle Smith and the UCP has four years to make right on their promises and commitment to the province and Indigenous peoples.


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