Supporters react to polling results at the United Conservative Party (UCP) provincial election night headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – A right-of-center party that champions the energy industry swept to power in Canada’s main oil-producing province of Alberta on Tuesday, setting up a fight with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over climate change just months ahead of a federal election.
Television networks predicted the United Conservative Party of Jason Kenney had as expected easily defeated the left-leaning New Democratic Party government of Rachel Notley amid frustration over the economy and a beleaguered energy industry.
In an often belligerent campaign, Kenney promised to stand up for Albertans against Trudeau and other politicians he said were taking the province and its oil and gas for granted.
Notley’s government introduced a carbon tax to help cut emissions of greenhouse gases, a measure Kenney promised to scrap. Trudeau says he will impose a price on carbon on any province without a plan to fight climate change.
Kenney, a 50-year-old former federal Cabinet minister, vowed to take more decisive action on jobs and the economy. Both Kenney and Notley blame Trudeau for a lack of progress on new oil export pipelines.
The NDP ended decades of conservative rule in Alberta when it swept to power in the 2015 election, but inherited an economy hammered by a global crude price crash.
Writing by Nia Williams and David Ljunggren; Editing by Steve Scherer and Peter Cooney