Notley to ‘consider’ role as party leader after failing to form government a second time
Notley to ‘consider’ role as party leader after failing to form government a second time

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley says she will take some time to consider her role as leader after she failed to form government for a second time in last month’s election. 

On May 29, the Alberta NDP secured 38 seats to Danielle Smith’s United Conservative Party’s 49 seats. That marks the second time Notley failed to form government since her party was booted from government by Jason Kenney’s UCP after just one term in 2019. 

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Notley said she takes responsibility for the party’s loss.

“Like all leaders in our system of government, I think it’s good leadership to consider your role leading up to an election and to consider your role after an election,” Notley said. 

“I did that in 2015, (I) did it in 2019, (I) did it leading into 2023, and of course I’m doing it now.”

Notley said she will consider a range of factors as to whether she will stay on as leader that would take “too long to outline.” She said she doesn’t have a clear timeline as to when she’ll have an answer about her future in the party.

The NDP leader also said the party made “tremendous” ground in the recent provincial election in which it increased its seat count by 15 seats. 

“2,600 votes was the difference between us being in government and the other folks being in government,” she said. “We won every seat in Edmonton and we earned the majority of the ridings in Calgary. We captured ridings we’ve never held before.”

Notley also noted that the NDP unseated several UCP cabinet ministers. That includes Tyler Shandro, Jason Luan, Miranda Rosin, Jason Copping, and Kaycee Madu.

Notley said internal polling showed the NDP started the campaign a little behind, and ended the campaign in a similar position. She said she doesn’t regret focusing on Smith’s past comments on healthcare and Covid-19. 

Notley also said the Conservative’s attacks on her party’s link to the federal NDP shows they struggled to find issues to criticize. 

The UCP frequently points out that provincial New Democratic parties fall under the national NDP, and those who sign up as members of the Alberta branch automatically become members of the federal party as well. The federal NDP led by Jagmeet Singh has been under increased scrutiny for forming a coalition with the Liberal government, which is floundering in public opinion polls, for over a year. 

“That is not even remotely on my list of issues to consider,” Notley said when asked if she would seek to defederate the Alberta NDP.

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