Commentary – What will we see in 2023?

Richard Froese

Well, another year is almost behind us and it’s on to the next!
What will the news be in 2023?
That’s the big question everyone wants to know as we open a new year on the calendar.
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, 2023 is a provincial election year. Voters head to the polls on or before May 29 to elect the next government.
Alberta already has a new premier since the last election held on April 16, 2019 when Jason Kenney and the new United Conservative Party (UCP) defeated the New Democratic Party government and Leader Rachel Notley in a landslide.
Kenney resigned as premier and UCP leader May 18 but remained in the role until Danielle Smith became the new premier on Oct. 11 after she won the UCP leadership on Oct. 6.
The election campaign unofficially started when Smith became the premier. Both the UCP and the NDP are in election mode.
Locally, the race in the Lesser Slave Lake region has taken an unusual twist. UCP candidate Pat Rehn won the seat in the 2019 election. Now, others are seeking the UCP nomination, including Martine Carifelle, who served as Rehn’s constituency assistant from the time he was elected until Carifelle resigned in September 2022.
Rehn has not had a good record with municipalities, organizations and communities.
Will Rehn be replaced as MLA by his former assistant, or could he be replaced by the person he defeated in the last general election? Danielle Larivee could not only win Lesser Slave Lake but the rest of the NDP could very well form the next Alberta government, according to recent polls.
Smith’s priority “to fight” the Canadian government with her proposed Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act has not resonated with most Albertans. Her sovereignty act has been vocally opposed by Indigenous, municipal and business organizations.
The act is not a priority by most Albertans. It seems the premier is out of touch with the priorities of the people in the province.
Shortly after Smith became premier, polls indicated the new leader was not well supported by Albertans. Pollsters say that political parties usually see a surge in support with a new leader.
Not so with Smith!
When the NDP was in power from 2015-19 many experts wrote off the NDP, never to return to rule again.
But voters may not have a choice at election time but to oust a party where the leader is not listening to citizens.
Will voters across Canada also go to the polls? Recent news reports stated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may call a federal election in the spring.
That’s all Albertans want or need!
Just when Alberta is focused on a provincial election, Trudeau may toss a wrench into the mix.
Canadians are also concerned about the economy. They want to know what governments and businesses are doing to control and reduce inflation and high costs. Canadians want government to work on the economy, jobs and health-care services.
Speaking of health care, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh may pull the party’s support for Trudeau. Back in March, Singh and Trudeau signed an agreement that the NDP would support the minority Liberal government until 2025. However, on Dec. 12, Singh announced that the NDP is ready to pull out if Trudeau and the Liberals don’t address the national health-care crisis.
What happens to that is anybody’s guess.
That’s some food for thought!

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