The business community as well as those with interests in the Oilsands are watching in anticipation and apprehension as NDP takes over the reigns in Alberta.
But seeking to assuage fears, NDP Alberta premier Rachel Notley, in her first full day on the job, extended an olive branch to the energy industry and promised there will be no special treatment for unions.
Notley said she will work with oil and gas and other business leaders to assure them her government will be a partner in building the province.
Notley and her team began their transition to power Wednesday after four decades of Progressive Conservative rule.
She must name a cabinet out of her 53-member caucus, many of whom are new to politics.
The NDP had four legislature members and the PCs had 70 when former premier Jim Prentice dropped the writ last month on what proved for him to be a disastrous campaign that left his party in third place with 10 seats.
Notley has promised to hike income taxes for the wealthy and increase Alberta’s corporate income tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent — the lowest in Canada.
She has also promised to review whether Albertans are getting value for money on oil royalties, and to set up a panel to determine if more oil refining jobs can be created within the province.
Notley has also said she would take a less hands-on role in stumping for certain pipeline proposals — unlike past Progressive Conservative premiers who actively promoted such projects as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway.
Energy stocks took a beating. Major oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) was down six per cent, while Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) were down about three per cent.