The Current

NDP victory creates uncertainty for Alberta's oilpatch

Alberta's premier-designate Rachel Notley has said it's time for "large profitable corporations" to contribute more and balance the budget. In this province, she can only be talking about one major industry. Today, we look at what an NDP Alberta means for oil and gas and why markets aren't feeling the love.
The Alberta oil industry is in uncharted waters for the first time in four decades, with NDP's Rachel Notley as premier-designate. It has big oil worried that their once cozy relationship with the government may no longer be the case. (REUTERS/Amber Bracken )
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My message is that I look forward to working with everybody, with all job creators in Alberta.  I have always been very committed to ensure that we maintain a competitive economic environment and investment environment.- Rachel Notley, AB Premier-Designate

Some comforting words there for Alberta's oil and gas industry from the province's premier-designate. But perhaps not enough to calm the markets. 

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association says they are open to working with new NDP government. (Matthew Brown/Associated Press)

Despite assurances that Rachel Notley and her NDP are on the same team as Calgary's resource execs, energy stocks have taken a hit on the TSX since the NDP's election victory this week. It could have something to do with a promise to raise the corporate tax rate, from 10 to 12 per cent. Or Rachel Notley's recent comments on oil and gas royalties.

I think its always a good time to review them. It may not be a good time to look at changing them.  For years Albertans have been left at this process. We have the lowest royalties in the world and we have done nothing to encourage upgrading of our resources to encourage more stable long term jobs for Albertans.- Rachel Notley, AB Premier-Designate

We did reach out to Alberta's NDP. We wanted to know more about what kind of policies it has in mind for that cornerstone of the province's economy. We have not heard back.

Stephen Ewart keeps close tabs on the oil industry - Both what it says, and what it does. He is the Calgary Herald's energy columnist and he's also a former communications consultant for oil patch players Cenovus Energy and Encana. Stephen Ewart was the onetime communications manager for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. He joined us from our Calgary studio.


This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Marc Apollonio.