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Albertans are voting on Monday in the provincial election in the top oil-producing province in Canada, and the result of what is expected to be a very close race could direct Canada's federal emissions and climate policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for years to come.
Incumbent Alberta Premier Danielle Smith of the United Conservative Party (UCP) is seeking re-election, but polls show that victory could go either way—to the conservatives or to former premier Rachel Notley's left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP).
Smith is opposed to almost every climate policy proposal from the federal government, arguing that she and her party would stand for what they believe are Alberta's interests, not Trudeau's.
When she was elected to lead UCP last autumn, Smith pledged to work for a prosperous oil-rich province without asking the federal government for permission to produce and export energy. Her campaign has focused on an Alberta First slogan and against the overreach of the federal government.
Alberta, Canada's oil-rich province, has been looking to boost the production of oil and gas. At the same time, Canada's federal government has adopted in recent years legislation aiming to reduce emissions and make Canada a net-zero economy by 2050.
Notley, for her part, agrees with some of Trudeau's policies, but she also opposes a proposal to cap oil and gas emissions.
Smith said on the eve of the election that "Rachel Notley confirms same old alliance with Justin Trudeau."
"Our province deserves leadership that stands up for Alberta and our interests- not Trudeau's," the current premier of Alberta said.
Notley, premier between 2015 and 2019, urged voters to give her and her party a mandate to fix the healthcare crisis.
"Our health care is on the brink of collapse. It won't survive another four years of UCP chaos," she said on Sunday.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com