The left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) shocked Canada this week by winning the provincial election in Alberta, home of the notorious tar sands.
The Alberta oil sands are what is mined for bituminous crude and has come to the forefront of politics in the United States because of the contested Keystone XL pipeline, which would take oil from that region and carry it down, 800,000 or more barrels a day at a time, to the Gulf Coast in Texas. The energy sector was bracing for fallout.
The win ended a 44-year reign by the Conservatives, whose Jim Prentice was so badly trounced that he quit politics, the Associated Press reported.The new head of the provincial government is Rachel Notely, NDP Party leader in Alberta.
“Rachel Notley's NDP government is expected to have a different approach to managing corporate Alberta, in general and the oilpatch, in particular,” CBC News reported. “Energy royalties are on the table, corporate income taxes will increase, and bitumen pipelines will lose at least some direct government support.”
Also in jeopardy is Enbridge Corp.’s Northern Gateway pipeline, said CBC News. First Nations across Alberta and British Columbia have been fighting to stop that project, which would wend its way across British Columbia to the pristine coast, where its contents would be picked up by tankers headed for international markets, mainly Asia.
The results also threw into question any certainties or predictions about the upcoming federal elections scheduled for October, AP said.
Indigenous groups in Canada had not yet commented by Thursday May 7 on the provincial election, which took place on Tuesday May 5.