NDP Leader Rachel Notley to step down

by MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Alberta NDP leader and former Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley announced on Tuesday that she will not be leading the Alberta NDP into the next election.

Addressing media on Tuesday, Notley acknowledged there had been speculation about her future since the election, and after consideration of what she believed to be
in the best interests of the party, caucus, and her own preferences, she announced she would not lead the party in the next election.

“I have informed both the senior officers of Alberta’s NDP as well as my caucus and staff that upon the selection of a new leader, I will be stepping down from that role,” Notley said, noting October of 2024 would mark ten years since she became party leader.

“At the time, we were the fourth party in the legislature with a massive caucus consisting of four MLAs. Less than seven months later, we had a caucus of 54 MLAs, and Alberta’s first NDP government,” Notley said, going on to outline what she saw as the party’s accomplishments.

“Over the last decade, Albertans have given me a tremendous opportunity to serve in this role, and I am so grateful.”

Later in the day, Alberta NDP President Nancy Janovicek issues a statement on the party’s leadership race.

“In order to set the timeline and rules as expediently as possible for a transparent and fair process, we will hold a Provincial Council Meeting on January 27th in Red Deer,” Janovicek said.  “At that meeting, Council will determine the start and end date of the campaign period for the leadership contest. Alberta law requires the party to notify Elections Alberta of the particulars of the race before prospective candidates may register, so while there are many conversations happening within our party about what comes next, campaigning will not begin until the campaign period has been set by the party.”

Below is the complete text of Notley’s announcement speech:

Good morning everyone.

We’re gathered on the traditional territory of Treaty 6 and I also want to acknowledge the Metis people who share a deep connection to this land.

There’s been a great deal of speculation since the election as to my future. While politics to the south of us would suggest I have at least 20 years left in my political career, I think the advisability of that is debatable.

More to the point, having considered what I believe to be the best interests of our party, our caucus, as well as my own preferences, I am here today to announce that I will not be leading Alberta’s NDP into the next election.

I have informed both the senior officers of Alberta’s NDP as well as my caucus and staff that upon the selection of a new leader, I will be stepping down from that role.

This October will be 10 years since I was first given the honour of leading our party.

At the time we were the fourth party in the legislature with a massive caucus consisting of four MLAs. Less than seven months later we had a caucus of 54 MLAs, and Alberta’s first NDP government.

While many of those folks never expected to be elected… …let alone find themselves in a government cabinet, we scrambled, quickly, to live up to the immense privilege the people of Alberta bestowed upon us.

We didn’t get everything right. But we governed with integrity, an ambitious agenda and an earnest desire to make life better for Albertans.

While this is not the place to go down into a policy rabbit hole, I will highlight just a few of the things that make me proud.

We approved and built the Calgary Cancer Centre – a decision that was at least a decade overdue.

We stood up for the rights of working people – improving their access to unions, increasing their holidays, protecting their safety in the workplace …

…And we were the first jurisdiction in North America to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, making a real difference in the life of Alberta’s working poor and tens of thousands of young people and their families.

We secured Alberta’s first pipeline to tidewater in over 50 years, ensuring that the return to Albertans for the sale of resources we all own is permanently increased.

We eliminated coal-fired electricity in Alberta, thereby increasing the health of countless citizens, and at the same time kickstarting our renewable energy industry to be the fastest growing on the continent…

…all while significantly reducing our emissions in one fell swoop.

And, finally, in the midst of a recession caused by the international collapse in the price of oil (seriously folks, I did not cause that), we cut child poverty in half.

But, as I said, we didn’t get it all right. And Albertans told us so in April of 2019.

Now I thought about leaving then. And there are many reasons I did not. But the biggest is probably this: too many people were declaring that the Alberta NDP was done, and, more importantly, that Alberta was destined to revert back to being a one party conservative state.

And I knew that wasn’t true. And I also knew that it would be awful for Albertans if they came to believe that it was.

So four years later, last spring, we came so close to earning the right to lead Alberta again.

We received the highest percentage of the vote that the Alberta NDP ever has.

We won Edmonton,

We won the majority of seats in Calgary,

We increased our vote throughout the province and we elected the largest Official Opposition in the history of this province.

An opposition that is very very ready to take over the reins of government.

But it wasn’t enough. And that’s why it’s now time for me to leave.

But if there is any ONE accomplishment that I can leave behind me… it’s that we are NOT a one party province where Albertans have no real choice about how their province is run.

Albertans do not ever have to feel that elections and their opinions don’t matter.

It was that way when I started. It’s not that way anymore.

Not only do I leave Albertans with that electoral choice, I leave them with a caucus that is filled with expert, dedicated, diverse people, supported by the hardest working and most skilled political staff in the country.

Our NDP team will not stop fighting to make life better for all Albertans.

We will fight to protect and improve our healthcare, to stand up for our children’s right to a world-class education, to fix the housing crisis, to keep Albertan’s CPP safe, and
to confront the reality of climate change.

Roughly ten years ago today, I talked to my kids about how they’d feel if I decided to run for the leadership of the Alberta NDP.

Roughly 15, 12 and 10 years ago, I listened to my husband tell me he thought I should run for the leadership of the Alberta NDP.

In all cases, my family got a bit more than they’d bargained for. It’s been a crazy ride, but I could not have done it without them.

I was raised by both my father and my mother to believe that public service is something one should strive for throughout your life.

I wish they could have been here to see some of what we’ve accomplished.

Either way it would not have happened without the examples they both set – demonstrating daily the value of hard work, compassion for our neighbours and the importance of their social democratic convictions.

To all the volunteers, activists, donors, canvassers, past current and future in Alberta’s NDP — Thank you.

There would be no success without you. You are the strength and the foundation of our movement and I will be forever humbled by your selfless dedication to our province.

Short of having, raising, and debating with my family, the opportunity to serve this party and this province has been the honour of my life.

Over the last decade, Albertans have given me a tremendous opportunity to serve in this role and I am so grateful.

The people of our province are bold, friendly, open, caring and adventurous. I’ve learned so much from them. And the land we share is the most beautiful — and sometimes
the coldest — place on earth.

I also want to thank the people of Edmonton Strathcona, who have supported me since 2008. We live in and are part of a fabulous community that I am so proud to call home.

Thank you to all the Albertans I’ve met along the way – those who advised me, supported me, disagreed with me, and, yes, even campaigned against me.

We all love this province.

I love this province and I know that our best days are still ahead.

Thank you.



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