Rachel Notley’s annus horribilis: The one-year anniversary of Alberta’s NDP government

, Financial News

The past year has been rough and unlucky for Notley, an annus horribilis with its own demands.

Rachel Notley’s one-year anniversary since leading the NDP to victory in Alberta came and went without much notice this week, the occasion stolen by the catastrophic fire raging in the oilsands.

True to the NDP base, inside and outside the province, Notley came from nowhere to rise to power May 5, 2015, with an agenda packed with promises to re-engineer Alberta’s economy away from its dependence on oil, boost green energy, toughen climate change policy, dial down pipeline lobbying, and revamp energy regulation. She even imposed a hefty carbon tax for which she received no mandate. Industry feared for its future.

Then reality took the wheel.

The past year has been rough and unlucky for Notley, an annus horribilis with its own demands. Oil prices tanked faster, lower and for longer than anyone anticipated, ravaging government budgets, killing jobs and scaring investment. Diversification remains a long game. Climate change policy is progressing slowly, marred by many difficulties, such as who will pay for shutting down coal power plants and build wind energy. Pipelines have become more urgent because Alberta needs new customers and higher oil prices.

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