BRITISH COLUMBIA

Alberta NDP Election Win Bodes Well For B.C. Counterparts: Horgan

05/06/2015 03:38 EDT | Updated 05/06/2016 05:59 EDT
VICTORIA - The historic election win by Alberta's New Democrats has left British Columbia's Opposition leader gushing and Premier Christy Clark searching for common ground.

Rachel Notley's defeat of the more-than-40-year-long Alberta Conservative dynasty sent shock waves across Canada on Wednesday and a jolt of seismic proportions west of the Rockies.

"Albertans chose her," said Clark. "They made the choice and I think everybody around the country is going to respect that. She has every indication she wants to work with the rest of the premiers, whatever political stripe."

Clark said she sees common ground on energy issues with Notley who favours the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline project but opposes plans for the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Clark said she and Notley believe pipelines, which would move oil products between the two provinces, must have vast community and government support before proceeding.

"What I've heard her say is she believes Alberta's resources, if they come through B.C. from other places, need to acquire social license," said Clark.

B.C.'s Opposition NDP Leader John Horgan said he was ecstatic over Notley's win and he donned orange socks and an orange tie to celebrate.

Horgan, who is colour blind, said his wife helped him choose the orange NDP colours.

He called Notley's win a triumph of hope over fear and said it will help federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in the fall federal election and B.C.'s New Democrats in two years.

"I think this is a new day for the NDP across the country," Horgan said. "Tom Mulcair will benefit from this. I will benefit from this."

He said Notley's campaign focused on the needs and dreams of Albertans, while the Conservatives blamed people for the province's economic woes during an oil-industry downturn.

"This was people, progressive people, who said enough is enough," Horgan said.

Horgan dismissed concerns that Notley's campaign vow to raise corporate taxes, which he noted will match B.C.'s tax level, will drive business from Alberta.

"The world does not end when governments change, and we'll just have to see how premier-designate Notley manages the challenges that she's going to face as the leader of a government."

Horgan said he's heartened by Notley's plans to add value to raw materials, especially energy projects.

He said it appears the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project from Alberta to northwest B.C. was dealt a crippling blow by the NDP victory.

Alberta Conservative Leader Jim Prentice, who announced his political departure after conceding defeat, was the province's primary backer of Northern Gateway.

"If you don't have a champion in Alberta, then there is no champion I'm aware of," Horgan said. "The last person who thought this is a good idea was Jim Prentice and he's just walked exit stage right."

Clark said she is looking forward to developing a strong working relationship with Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

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