Alberta MLAs sworn in after historic election

Alberta's new MLAs were sworn in at the legislature this morning, nearly one month after the election that ended the Progressive Conservatives' 44-year power hold.

Nearly 70 new MLAs taking oath of office for first time

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stands beside Speaker Gene Zwozdesky as they prepare to swear in the new NDP MLAs. (Dave Bajer/CBC)

The members of Alberta's new government took their oath of office — many for the first time — this morning, officially becoming MLAs after the NDP's historic election win earlier this month.

"This is, without question, the longest swearing-in ceremony that I've ever been a part of," NDP Leader Rachel Notley told the crowd, alluding to her party's ride from four seats to 54.

I'm sure the emotions will overcome you ... as they have me on many occasions.-  Speaker Gene Zwozdesky

In total 85 of the province's 87 MLAs were set to take the oath of office Monday. One Calgary riding is under a judicial recount and the riding of Calgary-Foothills is vacant after former premier Jim Prentice resigned on election night.

Nearly 70 of these members are new to the legislature, including two party leaders: Brian Jean of the Wildrose and Greg Clark from the Alberta Party. 

Addressing the new MLAs, Notley said her new government "embod(ies) hope and optimism." However, she acknowledged that the fledging government would face challenges now that it held power.

"Keep your promises," she said. "Restore trust and integrity to government."

The MLAs were sworn in by Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, a long-time Progressive Conservative MLA who was defeated by NDP MLA Denise Woollard. 

Following the ceremony, Zwozdesky wished the new MLAs luck in their new role.

"I'm sure the emotions will overcome you ... as they have me on many occasions."

Wildrose sworn in as official Opposition

The Wildrose swore in their 21-person caucus later in the afternoon, once again becoming the official Opposition. 

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean gave an emotional speech to his new caucus following the ceremony.

"We did not get here by ourselves and we are not here for ourselves," he said.

Jean, who lost his son to lymphoma shortly before the campaign started, choked up as he asked MLAs to be grateful for the support from their families. 

"What you do for yourself dies with you. What you do for others lives for eternity."

Former NDP MLA to be sworn in as independent

Deborah Drever, the 26-year-old student elected for the NDP in Calgary-Bow, will be sworn-in as an independent MLA.

Drever was suspended from the NDP government caucus for at least one year over several controversial images and statements that came to light after the election.

Drever, Clark and Liberal Leader David Swann were sworn in at a separate ceremony later this afternoon. 

On May 5, the NDP led by Rachel Notley won a majority government, knocking the governing PCs to third-party status. The Wildrose Party will form the Official Opposition.

Notley and her cabinet were sworn in May 24. The legislature will meet on June 11 to select a new speaker. 


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