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Alberta’s Official Opposition sworn in

WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta NDP's two dozen MLAs, including NDP Leader Rachel Notley, will be sworn in at a ceremony at the Alberta legislature on Monday. Notley joined Global News at Noon to talk about that, and her plan to keep Premier Jason Kenney accountable.

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.”

READ MORE: 47 new MLAs learn ropes of Alberta legislature on orientation day

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).

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Watch below: Alberta NDP MLAs sworn in 

Alberta’s Official Opposition sworn in
Alberta’s Official Opposition 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.”

READ MORE: Alberta carbon tax fight won’t affect Trans Mountain pipeline expansion decision: Trudeau

Notley said it’s imperative that the pipeline be paired with a legitimate, robust effort to address climate change.

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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.

READ MORE: Kenney says Alberta’s carbon tax will die 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.

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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

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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

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