Danielle Smith wins Alberta UCP leadership, named premier-designate
After a night of delays, the vote counts came hard and fast, resulting in Danielle Smith being named the UCP’s new leader and Alberta's next premier.
“I’m back,” Smith told the room after taking the stage.
Smith said the night marked the beginning of a new chapter for Alberta.
“It is time for Alberta to take its place as a senior partner in building a strong and unified Canada,” she said.
“No longer will Alberta ask permission from Ottawa to be prosperous and free.
“We will not have our voices silenced or censored.
“We will not be told what we must put in our bodies in order that we may work or travel.
“Albertans, not Ottawa, will chart our own destiny on our terms, and will work with our fellow Canadians to build the most free and prosperous country on earth.”
Smith won on the sixth and final ballot of the night, defeating her closest challenger Travis Toews, a former minister under outgoing UCP leader and premier, Jason Kenney.
She had 53.77 per cent of the votes to Toews' 46.23 per cent.
Brian Jean, Rebecca Schulz, Todd Loewen, Rajan Sawhney and Leela Aheer were all eliminated in earlier rounds.
Smith thanked her fellow candidates, “for their commitment to our party, but also to democracy,” and said she looked forward to working with many of them.
She also thanked Kenney, saying he has fought for Albertans for decades in various capacities.
“First as an advocate for taxpayers, then as one of the most influential conservative cabinet ministers in Canadian history, then leading the charge on unifying the conservative movement, running and beating Rachel Notley's NDP, and then governing as premier for one of the most tumultuous times in Alberta history,” she said.
It apparently won’t be a long wait before Smith takes over the premier’s office.
She said Thursday night she would travel to Edmonton this coming Tuesday to be sworn in.
She said she “can’t wait” to get started.
“If there's one thing I've learned about Albertans, it is that we don't expect our leaders to be perfect, but we do expect them to stay humble, admit when they are wrong and to learn from their mistakes,” she said.
“I love that about our province and am grateful to have earned this second chance from you.
“I will never forget it, and I pledge to you tonight, I will not let you down.”
Loewen, after he was eliminated from the race, said he felt he gave some Albertans a voice in this campaign.
"There were a lot of Albertans that felt they were unheard the last three year," he told CTV News on Thursday.
"I had a lot of support across the province, of course not as much as I'd hoped and not as much as I needed, but we ran a good, hard campaign and we ran a positive campaign."
He says he is still proud of his campaign and that it was good to see so many Albertans buying memberships in the party.
"I'll congratulate (Danielle) happily."
Loewen was not alone in his acceptance as that the vote wasn’t going to go his way.
“I am a team player. I've said that all along. So we will spend every day for the next seven or eight months making sure that we see a conservative government elected here again in Alberta,” Schulz said following her elimination from the race.
Jean, shortly before he was ousted, said whatever comes, it’s a result of the membership speaking, and that’s what matters.
“The main thing is the members have had their say and this is what they want to have happen,” Jean said.
“We'll see where it leads, but we've got to make sure that whatever happens, we stay united.”
Originally, the UCP event and leadership results were expected to begin at 5:30 p.m. MT but were delayed.
More than 250 volunteers were called in to help count about 85,000 ballots, the vast majority of which were cast by mail.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
A veteran and former Paralympian told a parliamentary committee that a caseworker from the Veterans Affairs Canada offered her medical assistance in dying, a week after the veterans affairs minister confirmed that at least four other veterans were offered the same thing.
As Canada enters the fifth week of the flu epidemic, influenza activity is rising, with mainly young children and older adults facing the brunt of the strain, according to the latest FluWatch report.
'Maybe the bully could do some good': Canadian actor on fundraiser, and sale of 'A Christmas Story' house
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the house featured in the holiday film 'A Christmas Story' is up for sale. Leg lamp and all.
FBI Director Chris Wray is raising national security concerns about TikTok, warning Friday that control of the popular video sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government "that doesn't share our values."
A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said.
The Bank of Canada is expected to conclude a historic year marked by high inflation and aggressive monetary policy tightening with one more interest rate hike on Wednesday.
Myanmar's military-installed government has sentenced more critics to death, bringing the total to 139, and is using capital punishment as a tool to crush opposition, the UN high commissioner for human rights said Friday.
Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world's environmental problems through "hope, optimism and urgency."
America's newest nuclear stealth bomber made its debut Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon's answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China.
The cause of a suspicious death at an Edmonton encampment this week is being withheld for 'investigative reasons,' the city's police service said on Friday.
It was grannies' night behind the Edmonton Oilers bench at Rogers Place last Monday night. A group of friends from Whitecourt, Alta., attended the game against the Florida Panthers in grannies costumes and stayed in character all night.
Ponoka RCMP are searching for two people who witnesses saw flee from a vehicle that hit two people the afternoon of Nov. 30.
Bus drivers are speaking out about the terrible road conditions that put them in danger during this week's snowstorm.
The minister responsible for child care in B.C. reaffirmed that the province is looking at ways to increase wages for early childhood educators, as child-care subsidies kick in.
A Chilliwack senior came up with a sweet idea to spread some cheer in her community this Christmas season.
Two people are in custody after a shooting in the Fredericton area left two people injured and prompted police to issue an emergency alert in New Brunswick.
Four organizations representing Greater Moncton’s business community held a press conference Friday calling for urgent action in regards to downtown safety and the homelessness situation.
Nova Scotia’s latest Respiratory Watch data shows that in the last three weeks of November, lab-confirmed cases more than doubled each week.
For the second time this week, a threat of a shooting found written in a women's bathroom has forced the evacuation of a Victoria-area school. Saanich and Oak Bay police descended on the University of Victoria campus Friday morning after a message was found written in a women's bathroom in the school's Cornett Building.
BC Ferries says one of its largest vessels stalled midway between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland Friday afternoon due to a mechanical issue.
Heavy snowfalls and high winds are once again in the forecast for much of Vancouver Island as Environment Canada issued a new round of weather warnings Friday. The weather office says up to 15 centimetres of wet snow could accumulate on much of the island.
Students walked out of a Toronto high school they say has become the site of 'constant chaos' in which students detail deplorable conditions, teachers say it’s violent and parents are demanding action from the school board.
Police in Peel Region have released surveillance video of a suspect who attempted to cover a woman’s head with a bag and violently assaulted her in Brampton on Thursday evening.
Peel police say one construction worker is unaccounted for after an industrial accident in Mississauga on Friday afternoon.
Run, Hide, Fight: Quebec college aims to prepare students for active shooter as police investigate lockdown
Laval police parked a command post outside College Montmorency Friday with hopes to shed light on the shooting that sent four to hospital and pushed the school into lockdown. Meanwhile, Dawson College sent out a memo to students and staff on shooter preparedness, and Quebec's education minister pondered bumping up training in schools.
The fences are up, the flights are booked, and the programs are set –- Montreal will host thousands of people attending and presenting at the upcoming COP15 biodiversity conference at the Palais des Congres. Here’s what you need to know to get around.
Quebec's human rights commission was forced to close 194 discrimination complaints following the Supreme Court of Canada's Mike Ward decision, commission leaders revealed Friday while presenting their activity report for the year 2021-2022.
Ottawa police report 'surge' in vehicle thefts from malls, grocery stores and recreation centre parking lots
Ottawa police are urging motorists to be vigilant while parking at shopping malls, grocery stores, and recreation and sporting venues this holiday season, following an increase in daylight vehicle thefts.
At a time when there is a critical shortage of nurses in Ontario, the Arnprior Regional Hospital is taking a different approach to retain their staff.
In its weekly Respiratory Virus Snapshot, OPH says the wastewater viral signals show "moderate" levels of RSV and COVID-19, while the influenza levels are "high".
Kitchener firefighters were called to put out flames at a construction trailer early Friday morning, and inside, they found a body.
Woodstock police say new child porn charges have been laid against a former doctor.
Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for much of southwestern Ontario saying strong gusts are expected Saturday morning and continuing into the afternoon.
A man died Thursday morning in Saskatoon following a shooting, according to police.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council's Fairhaven Wellness Centre opens its doors and is nearly at capacity.
'We're going after the offenders': Sask. to suspend welfare benefits for 'serious' offenders with warrants
The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced legislation to suspend social assistance benefits to prolific violent offenders with active warrants, and to use information from the Ministry of Social Services to find those evading the law.
On Friday afternoon at the Sudbury Courthouse, two men pled guilty in an arson case that killed three people in a townhouse on Bruce Avenue in April 2021.
A Timmins doctor charged with sexual assault in July is facing several more charges after five more people came forward, police said Friday.
The Timmins and District Hospital's assessment clinic has been busy seeing people with respiratory illnesses.
The lawyer representing a Winnipeg man accused of killing four Indigenous women says his client 'absolutely' maintains his innocence and intends to plead not guilty.
School divisions in and around Winnipeg are dealing with a lack of bus drivers, which is leading to some routes being cancelled.
Dozens of people gathered Friday morning in Steinbach to search for a man missing more than a week.
Three local businesses in Regina announced they are closing their doors for good.
'Part of him with me': Sask. man fixing up grandpa's classic truck after finding it for sale on social media
A 24-year-old man from Preeceville, Sask. was reunited with his grandfather's classic, custom-made Ford truck after finding it on social media and plans to restore it to its former glory.
The Regina Police Service (RPS) is asking the public for information or video that could assist in the investigation into a building explosion in the north central area on Nov. 13.