Seventy-two Progressive Conservative provincial politicians were in a jovial mood yesterday as they were officially sworn in at the legislature.
The reason: there are more of them and fewer of their opposition, after the Alberta Liberals and the NDP were handed major defeats in the March 3 provincial election.
Only 11 seats remained empty, two held by the NDP and nine by the Liberals
“Mr. Premier, you will have to correct me if I am wrong here because I am not from a farming background, but I believe this is what you would call a bumper crop,” joked Alberta Lt.-Gov. Norman Kwong in his speech after the swearing in ceremony in the chamber of the Alberta legislature.
“Albertans have chosen a new government and this government has chosen to lead this province forward into its second century,” said Premier Ed Stelmach during a speech to his MLAs yesterday.
Stelmach says his new and much larger caucus reflects the provinces “new energy,” along with its ethnic diversity.
“They all have new ideas and great enthusiasm,” he said.
The NDP, meanwhile, announced critic portfolios yesterday. NDP Leader Brian Mason has 12, including Health, Finance and Energy.
Newly elected NDP MLA Rachel Notley has 13, including Justice, Education and the Environment.
Kevin Taft’s nine-member caucus was already sworn in last week, but the NDP will be sworn in today.
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