Next Alberta Premier Rachel Notley Takes Up Father's NDP Legacy

By Bennett, Dean | The Canadian Press, May 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

Next Alberta Premier Rachel Notley Takes Up Father's NDP Legacy


Bennett, Dean, The Canadian Press


Next Alberta premier was born into NDP politics

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EDMONTON - Incoming Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made history Tuesday by defeating a campaign of fear and anger with a laser-focused populist message that government is about making life better for Albertans one family at a time.

"Community means knowing in your heart that our families are better off when all our families are better off," Notley, 51, told more than 1,000 cheering supporters in Edmonton two days before the vote.

Observers said Notley ran a near-flawless campaign with the highlight being her victory over Premier Jim Prentice in the televised leaders debate. Under constant attack by Prentice, she calmly stuck to the facts, smiled warmly at the camera, and suddenly made "Rachel Notley" a familiar name across the country.

She delivered an unwavering message of creating jobs through tax incentives, promoting oil-refining jobs at home and restoring cuts to health care and to classrooms.

When the Tories responded in the campaign's late stages with attack ads, warning that an NDP government would stifle entrepreneurism and kill jobs, she responded with a message of optimism, exhorting Albertans to embrace a new path rather than run from it.

It has been a short but stellar rocket ride for Notley, the daughter of Alberta NDP pioneer and one-time party leader Grant Notley. She won the party leadership in October, taking over from Brian Mason while still in her second term as the member for Edmonton-Strathcona.

Her tenure has been short, but her political roots run deep.

She was born on April 17, 1964, the oldest of three children, to Grant and Sandy Notley, and grew up in Fairview in northern Alberta.

She wasn't even 10 years old when she went on her first protest march. It was in the early 1970s, in Edmonton, with her mother.

"She took me on some anti-war demonstration. I honestly can't even remember what it was," said Notley in an interview last year.

"I remember walking across the High Level Bridge and thinking, 'Wow, this is really a very long walk.' You know, I was a kid."

What stuck with her was the energy of people coming together to try to change things. …

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