David Staples: Not one Edmontonian in Danielle Smith's cupboard, however a significant nod to the town's issues

Smith’s cupboard will current a much less argumentative face than what we noticed below former Premier Jason Kenney

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People in Alberta’s capital metropolis are rightly fearful that there’s not one Edmontonian in Premier Danielle Smith’s new cupboard.

In fact, that is no shock. We voted in solely New Democrat MLAs.

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However Smith’s new cupboard picks may properly present some hope for big-city residents who concern that rural Albertans out-of-touch with city sensitivities will rule the United Conservative roost for the subsequent 4 years.

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Smith’s cupboard will current a much less argumentative face than what we noticed below former Premier Jason Kenney.

For one factor, Smith promoted reasonable Searle Turton of Spruce Grove to a key put up. Turton, who served for a decade on Spruce Grove council, isn’t the type to face up within the Legislature and rant in regards to the stupidity of Trudeau Liberals and all those that voted for them. As a substitute, he continually reaches out to others, meets with people who disagree with him, and tries to search out widespread floor.

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Turton already acquired a heat social media welcome from long-time Edmonton metropolis councillor Andrew Knack, who famous: “He’s very deserving of being a Minister and sit up for working with him.”

Turton, the brand new Minister of Kids and Household Companies, will get main help on the Edmonton file from Ric McIver, Smith’s Minister of Municipal Affairs.

McIver may be gruff — I recall him barking loudly at me after I advised Alberta counties ought to share extra of their pipeline and industrial taxes with close by cities and cities — however it’s an OK sort of gruff. From his time in authorities and on Calgary metropolis council, McIver is aware of big-city politics. If Calgary or Edmonton’s left-leaning councils get too out of whack with their calls for and schemes, McIver can act because the UCP hammer. However typically he’ll hammer what rightly deserves to be nailed.

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One closing nod to Edmonton and big-city issues is Smith’s decide of Calgary’s Mike Ellis as deputy premier and the Minister of Public Security and Emergency Companies. Ellis’s background as a metropolis cop offers him credibility in the case of legislation and order, however throughout his time in authorities he additionally demonstrated a coronary heart for addicted Albertans, pushing the restoration mannequin for addicts as onerous as any Alberta chief.

Some people are already blasting Smith for not having sufficient ladies and non-white ministers, however Smith’s base and plenty of Albertans aren’t a lot within the color of the pores and skin of her ministers as they’re with the content material and character of UCP insurance policies. There are lots of unanswered questions on that rely, each potential for good work but in addition for coverage and communications screw-ups.

For instance, can Smith’s Vitality Minister Brian Jean and Surroundings Minister Rebecca Schulz group up with Smith to successfully battle the Trudeau-Singh alliance on a few of Ottawa’s extra dangerous and preposterous schemes, similar to attempting to power Canadian electrical grid to go web zero by 2035 and bringing in a discriminatory emissions cap on our oil and fuel business?

Jean has confirmed to be a legislature star below Smith, whipping up a constructive picture of Alberta business at each alternative. As for Schulz, she’s calm in debate and is likely to be simply the fitting individual to barter with federal Surroundings Minister Steven Guilbeault.

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In fact, many Canadians have purchased the scary story that Smith is a loopy individual and a Trump wannabe. However as a substitute of Kenney’s razor-sharp, aggressive and partisan assaults, Canadians will get a brand new look from Smith, Jean and Schulz. I predict the trio’s collective cool — and the UCP coverage e book full of significant plans to decrease emissions whereas sustaining considerable and inexpensive vitality — will distinction properly with Trudeau and Guilbeault’s alarmism and wild-eyed proclamations.

One different huge coverage query: Can new Schooling Minister Demetrios Nicolaides succeed the place Adriana LaGrange failed in the case of bringing in a brand new and smart social research curriculum that may please nearly all of Alberta mother and father?

When she led Alberta schooling, LaGrange struggled with curriculum implementation and too usually got here throughout as defensive in debate. Some Albertans are already fearful {that a} pro-life chief similar to her is now in control of well being, however Smith made a decisive assertion on abortion at immediately’s press convention: “We won’t be altering legal guidelines relating to a girl’s proper to decide on.”

Did the Premier tamp down that individual concern?

Relaxation assured, new and totally different fears will come up.

We dwell in frightened occasions, in spite of everything, the alarm amplified by social media.

That mentioned, if the moderates within the UCP maintain sway, and if Smith continues together with her personal affordable strategy of late, one potential future is a sane path forward for her celebration in representing Edmonton and Alberta.

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