Alberta’s political leaders were among the many around the world who congratulated Joe Biden on his United States presidential victory on Saturday.
In a statement released Saturday afternoon, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney sent his best wishes to Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris on their victory, and noted the close relationship between Alberta and the U.S.
“The United States is by far Alberta’s largest trading partner. With a history of American immigration to Alberta, the cultural and social ties between Alberta and the United States are also very strong,” Kenney said.
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NDP Leader Rachel Notley congratulated Biden and Harris, while highlighting Harris becoming the first woman of colour to be elected as an American vice president.
“Vice President-elect Harris has made history as the first woman of colour in the White House showing women and people of colour all over the world that their voices matter,” she said in her statement.
Notley also used the opportunity to direct criticism at Trump and his term as president.
“The best political leadership, regardless of partisanship, must include public service over self-interest, honesty over deceit, respect for women over misogyny, inclusion over racism, and unity over division. Today all the right values won,” she said.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson praised Biden on his win while condemning Trump’s behaviour.
Kenney said he is looking forward to working with Biden and his team to ensure economic growth for Alberta and the United States.
“Canada and the United States must work closely together to protect lives and livelihoods through the COVID crisis, and to return our economies to growth,” Kenney said. “Alberta looks forward to doing our part in advancing that growth agenda, working with the next U.S. administration and Congress.”
The Keystone XL pipeline project, one the Alberta government has invested in both politically and financially, is arguably what has the most at stake for the province in terms of the U.S. presidential election outcome.
In 2017, Donald Trump gave the pipeline new life when he gave the U.S. $8-billion project a presidential permit. Once complete, the pipeline will transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska before the product makes its way to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Despite Trump’s permit, the project has since continued to face legal and regulatory hurdles, and Biden has promised to kill it if elected president.
Notley said the best way for Kenney to help move the project forward is to “abandon his refusal to address climate change, denounce climate change deniers in his caucus,” and reduce the province’s emissions.
“From within that context, we will be in a better position to advocate for the continued construction of this pipeline,” Notley said in a statement Saturday.
Iveson expressed optimism over Biden’s election and what it will mean for Alberta.
“The U.S. is Alberta’s largest trading partner and important ally in our goals to accomplish action on climate change, achieve economic prosperity, and build a more inclusive society. I’m relieved to see us moving closer to those goals together again,” Iveson tweeted.
— With files from Global News online journalist Phil Heindenreich