Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
Danielle Smith was elected as the new Leader of the United Conservative Party and Premier-designate of Alberta. Winning with 53.8% of the vote on the sixth ballot, Smith beat out her six rivals. Danielle Smith will be sworn in as Premier today and has announced she will run in a by-election in Brooks-Medicine Hat to earn her seat in the Legislature following the resignation of MLA Michaela Frey.
Smith’s campaign narrative was based on the premise that Albertans had started to see their personal freedoms eroded throughout the pandemic – not only due to actions by former Premier Jason Kenney, but also the federal government – and needed a leader who was not afraid to stand up to Ottawa’s overreach.
During her acceptance speech, Smith stated she would stand up to the Liberal-NDP coalition in Ottawa and took aim against Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley for not speaking out against her federal counterpart Jagmeet Singh for his role in supporting the Prime Minister’s tax hikes and harm caused to Alberta families.
Over the weekend, we saw Danielle Smith’s most senior advisor, Rob Anderson, advise that Smith’s proposed Sovereignty Act would not violate Supreme Court decisions – a softening from her previous campaign position.
Smith’s victory represents a significant shift in the Confederation and will have lasting effects on the state of federal-provincial relationships for years to come.
Around 3,500 homes on Prince Edward Island are still without power, 18 days after Hurricane Fiona hit the island. Hurricane Fiona struck PEI on September 24th, knocking out power for all 82,000 Maritime Electric customers. Maritime Electric currently has 267-line crew across the province, many of whom came from across Canada to assist with restoration efforts. The restoration pace has slowed across the province, as line workers are working in more challenging and remote areas. H-Line, a company supporting Maritime Electric, had an accident with one of its line crew on Sunday. One of H-Line’s staff went to the hospital after suffering a significant shock while working in Murray River.
BC NDP Leadership Race Gets Ugly
The BC NDP leadership race has entered a challenging period, as the party has begun aggressively vetting new signups to root out “fraudulent” sign-ups and to ensure memberships were not signed in bad faith. Many believe that the NDP is preparing to disqualify climate activist Anjali Appadurai as a candidate, which would mean David Eby could become premier much earlier than the December 3 conclusion of the leadership race.
The NDP’s internal investigation into Appadurai’s campaign has included party officials asking the BC Greens to share its membership list with an independent mediator – a request that was turned down – to analyze both parties’ memberships for overlaps. Party officials have also scoured social media and contacted new members directly to look for evidence that new NDP members were previously affiliated with the Greens. The investigation is the result of Appadurai’s campaign, via Dogwood BC, assertively pursuing former and current BC Green members and telling them to temporarily suspend their BC Green membership to vote for Appadurai and then return to the BC Greens if she loses the leadership. While it’s not against the rules to switch from one party to another, NDP rules prevent membership in two parties simultaneously.
In an Oct. 6 Twitter post, Appadurai said she’s “disturbed to hear that new NDP members are being aggressively questioned and subjected to some sort of a loyalty test. All new members should be welcomed to the party with open arms.” If Appadurai is disqualified, it will anger thousands of supporters who joined the party to vote for climate policies and say the BC NDP has lost its way on climate change. However, the party also has serious – and legitimate – concerns that outside forces are gaming their leadership race. With the premier’s chair at stake, it is not something to be taken lightly. Regardless of the outcome, this situation is a political nightmare for the BC NDP with potential long-term consequences.
The Ford government is set to introduce new measures to speed up housing projects across Ontario. Once the legislature resumes, the province is expected to eliminate development fees on affordable housing and will look to further streamline all municipal planning processes. The upcoming changes are part of the government’s plan to construct 1.5 million homes over the next decade.
Justin Trudeau will take the stand at an inquiry analyzing the government’s use of the Emergencies Act.
On February 14th Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since it’s passing in 1988. Under the direction of Ontario Court of Appeal Justice, Paul Rouleau, the inquiry will seek to determine why the Liberal Government had opted to utilize such legislation to quash the protests that took place earlier this year. Justin Trudeau is expected to take the stand and testify during the inquiry.
Mayoral candidate John Tory released a video message and platform over the weekend ‘reaffirming’ his commitment to investing in Toronto’s parks. His commitment includes creating spaces for public art, securing funding for the historic Port Lands Flood Protection Project, and increasing the operational budget for city parks, forestry, and recreation. The announcement has been met with some ire from residents online, who have recalled the millions the City allocated to clear homeless encampments at three parks in the summer of 2021.
The advance voting period for the upcoming Oct. 24 municipal election began on Oct. 7 and will run until Oct. 14, 2022. Those who opt to cast their ballot ahead of the election can do so across 50 locations in the city. Toronto residents can find who is running in their ward and their voter information on the City’s MyVote app. There are 13 days until municipal elections will be held on Monday, October 24, 2022, across Ontario.