UFCW Canada Local 401 President Doug O'Halloran (centre), with Deron Bilous the newly elected MLA for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview (right), and UFCW Canada national representative Andrew Mackenzie on election night.
Alberta's provincial election was the campaign that pollsters couldn't get right. For weeks the political pundits were predicting a big win for the ultra right wing and anti-labour Wildrose Alliance. However, on election night most Albertans settled for the government they already knew, as 44% of voters opted for the Progressive Conservatives.
In the last week Wildrose leader Danielle Smith raised concerns about her party by failing to condemn racist and homophobic statements from two of her candidates as well as stating that she doesn't believe climate change is real.
Despite the worrying antics of Alberta's two conservative parties, the election produced one positive outcome. Brian Mason and the Alberta NDP doubled their seat total by electing two new MLAs who will now join Mason and Rachel Notley in the provincial legislature. While many Liberal voters turned to the Progressive Conservatives to stop the Wildrose from forming government, NDP supporters stayed true to their beliefs by ensuring that progressive Albertans have a stronger voice with an expanded NDP caucus.
UFCW Canada Local 401 was a key supporter of Brian Mason and the NDP and worked hard to elect New Democrats in order to defend the interests of workers and all Albertans. Local 401’s support was a crucial factor in the successful election of the rookie NDP MLA for Edmonton Beverly Clareview, Deron Bilous.
So even though Albertans have another Conservative majority government, they can take solace in the fact that the new and larger NDP caucus is ready to stand up for workers.