Danielle Smith Is Set To Be Alberta's New Premier & Here's Everything You Need To Know
Danielle Smith is set to be Alberta's new premier after winning the United Conservative Party leadership race.
Smith was officially announced as the new UPC leader on Thursday, October 6 after months of campaigning following the resignation of current premier Jason Kenney earlier this year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Smith on becoming the next Premier of Alberta.
\u201cToday we start putting Alberta First!!!\n\nAlberta, thank you for the trust you have placed in me. I am incredibly honoured to be your Premier and will work hard everyday to serve you. \n\nOur best days are ahead.\n#cdnpoli #abpoli #ableg\u201d— Danielle Smith (@Danielle Smith) 1665113105
She won with 53.8% of votes from UCP members, beating finance minister Travis Toews, who came second with 46.2%.
Smith — who has served as an MLA and was previously the leader of Albert's Wildrose Party — left politics in 2015, before announcing her return earlier this year.
"I'm back," Smith said in her first speech after the leadership results were announced.
"No longer will Alberta ask permission from Ottawa to be prosperous and free. We will not have our voices silenced and censored. We will not be told what we must put in our bodies in order to work or to travel," Smith added.
Outgoing Premier Kenney tweeted his congratulations to Smith on her victory and said there would be an "orderly transition" of power.
\u201cCongratulations to Danielle Smith on winning a majority of the vote in the UCP leadership, and to all of those who participated in the process for their commitment to the democratic process.\n\nThere will be an orderly transition.\u201d— Jason Kenney \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Jason Kenney \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1665113844
But if you're looking for more details on Smith, here's everything we know about her.
What are Danielle Smith's policies?
A key policy that Smith was running on is the Alberta Sovereignty Act, which would effectively allow the province to ignore federal laws that it thinks "violate the jurisdictional rights of Alberta" or "[breach] the Charter Rights of Albertans."
The controversial proposal has been met with criticism, including from Kenney, according to the Calgary Herald.
"The proposal is for Alberta basically to ignore and violate the Constitution in a way that is unprecedented in Canadian history," he said on his radio show in August.
"To not enforce the laws of the land, including federal laws, which include the Criminal Code, which is nuts," he added.
Where was Danielle Smith born?
Smith was born in Calgary, Alberta.
How old is Danielle Smith?
Smith is 51 years old.
Where does Danielle Smith live?
According to the UCP website, Smith currently lives in High River with her husband, David, and their two dogs, Caine and Colt.
Is Danielle Smith an MLA?
Smith currently doesn't have a seat in the legislature and she has already pledged not to call a snap election, according to the Globe and Mail.
She will look to gain a seat through a by-election in one of Alberta's rural ridings, and several UCP MLAs have already "offered" to give up their seats to allow her to run.
Smith has a long history in politics and was named the leader of the conservative Wildrose Party in 2009 before becoming an MLA for Highwood in 2012.
In 2014, she crossed party lines to join the Progressive Conservatives, before losing her PC nomination in Highwood in 2015, according to CBC.
Smith spent seven years away from politics, where she did a radio show and started a restaurant in a railway dining car in High River.
When does Danielle Smith officially become premier?
In her speech, Smith said she intended to travel to Edmonton on Tuesday, October 11 to be sworn in as premier.
However, the Alberta Government hasn't announced any official plans yet.