Alberta Votes 2023: Learn more about Danielle Smith
Danielle Smith was officially sworn in as Alberta's 19th premier on Oct. 11, 2022, succeeding Jason Kenney as the leader of the United Conservative Party.
Her short term as premier is not her first foray into provincial politics; Smith has represented three political parties in the legislature – the UCP, Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives.
She was elected as the leader of Alberta's Wildrose party in 2009 and earned a seat in the legislature in 2012.
Polling had Smith's Wildrose poised to form government in 2012, but Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives won.
Smith faced off against the PCs for nearly three years, sparring over spending and taxes.
But as 2014 ended, Smith led a floor-crossing to the PCs, bringing eight Wildrose caucus members over to then-premier Jim Prentice's party.
However, she then lost the PC nomination in the run-up to the 2015 election, and the party finished third, behind the NDP and Wildrose.
Punted from politics, Smith moved back to media, an industry she had worked in previously.
Smith worked writing columns and hosting a daily radio talk show before becoming a lobbyist with the Alberta Enterprise Group in 2019.
However, when then-premier Jason Kenney's popularity plummeted, Smith turned back to politics
Facing off against several of the UCP members she now calls colleagues, Smith won the party's leadership on the sixth ballot in 2022.
Here's a look at some of the promises announced by the UCP over the past few months:
- Create a new tax bracket that would deliver about $760 more for everyone making more than $60,000 a year. Those making less would see a 20 per cent reduction to their provincial tax bill;
- Extend the pause on the provincial fuel tax, with savings of 13 cents per litre at the pump, until the end of 2023;
- Put into legislation a guarantee not to increase personal or business taxes without approval from Albertans in a referendum;
- Contribute $330 million toward a new National Hockey League arena project for the Calgary Flames;
- Follow a public health-care guarantee that no Albertan would have to pay for a doctor out of pocket;
- Introduce a 25 per cent discount for seniors on personal registry services, camping fees and medical driving exams; and
- Bring in the proposed compassionate intervention act, allowing people with severe drug addiction to be forced into treatment.
(With files from the Canadian Press)