The Official Opposition was sworn in to the Alberta legislature on Monday afternoon.
The Alberta NDP won 24 seats in the April 16 election. The party’s two dozen MLAs, including NDP Leader Rachel Notley, were sworn in at a ceremony at the Alberta legislature.
“This will be the strongest Official Opposition that Alberta has ever seen,” Leader Rachel Notley said. “We are going to fight for workers’ rights, to protect properly funded classrooms and hospitals and we’re going to advocate for the best ways to create jobs and diversify our economy.
“Albertans gave us a job to do, and we are going to be their voice to hold the government to account and stand up for Alberta families.”
The ceremony also included Notley announcing her party’s critic roles. Some former cabinet ministers are critiquing departments they used to run. (Full list below).
Watch below: Alberta NDP MLAs sworn in
Before heading to the ceremony, the NDP leader appeared on Global News at Noon in Edmonton, where she touched on a number of the premier’s policies.
She said while in some ways the NDP and UCP actually have similar goals, the parties also have some different approaches to achieving those goals, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval being one of them.
“I think that we’re very close to getting the pipeline approved and what I really hope is that he [Kenney] just doesn’t mess it up,” Notley said.
“The bottom line is this: the federal government said that as a result of our plan — our climate leadership plan — and in particular, our plan to put an emissions cap on the oilsands, that they would support our push for a pipeline and that they would do whatever they could, up to and including buying it.
“And so they’re heading in that direction. What we need to make sure that Mr. Kenney doesn’t do is pick a fight with the rest of Canada, suppress the public support that currently exists for that pipeline and remove the emissions cap such that the federal government starts questioning their commitment to moving forward with that pipeline.”
Notley said it’s imperative that the pipeline be paired with a legitimate, robust effort to address climate change.
Also Monday, Kenney announced that a bill to eliminate Alberta’s carbon levy would be introduced next week, with a plan to scrap it by May 30.
Notley has previously said she will stay on as leader of the Official Opposition for the full four-year term, a decision she reiterated Monday.
“That’s what I said to Albertans, that’s what I said to my caucus,” Notley said.
“I really care about this province and I want to make sure that we can still make life better for Albertans. I care about our schools, I care about our class sizes, I care about our hospitals and we’re going to continue to fight to move forward with a number of the things that we were able to bring in.
“You know, sometimes progression isn’t linear. Sometimes you go forward and then you go back a bit and then you go forward. That’s politics, that’s democracy and that’s what I’m proud to be part of on behalf of all Albertans in whatever role they ask me to adopt.”
Monday’s ceremony comes after Premier Jason Kenney and his cabinet were sworn in on April 30. Kenney’s United Conservative Party won the remaining 63 seats — 55 per cent of the vote — in the provincial election.
A new session of the legislature is set to begin on May 21.
Watch below: Premier Jason Kenney and his cabinet sworn in
NDP critic representatives
Deron Bilous – House Leader, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
Jon Carson – Service Alberta
Joe Ceci – Caucus Chair, Municipal Affairs
Lorne Dach – Agriculture & Forestry
Thomas Dang – Infrastructure
Jasvir Deol – Multiculturalism
David Eggen – Whip, Advanced Education
Richard Feehan – Indigenous Relations
Kathleen Ganley – Justice
Nicole Goehring – Culture, Military Liaison
Christina Gray – Labour & Immigration
Sarah Hoffman – Deputy Leader, Education
Janis Irwin – Deputy Whip, Women, LGBTQ Issues
Rod Loyola – Transportation
Chris Nielsen – Red Tape Reduction
Rakhi Pancholi – Children’s Services
Shannon Phillips – Caucus Vice-Chair, Finance
Marie Renaud – Community & Social Services, Francophone Issues
Irfan Sabir – Energy, Natural Gas
Marlin Schmidt – Environment
David Shepherd – Health
Lori Sigurdson – Seniors & Housing
Heather Sweet – Deputy House Leader, Democracy & Ethics, Mental Health & Addictions