March 3rd, 2024

Alberta NDP says it will announce new leader to replace Rachel Notley on June 22

By The Canadian Press on January 27, 2024.

Leader of the NDP Rachel Notley gives her concession speech in Edmonton on Monday May 29, 2023. Alberta's Opposition NDP says it will announce a new leader to replace Rachel Notley on June 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

RED DEER, Alta. – Alberta’s Opposition NDP says it will announce a new leader to replace Rachel Notley on June 22.

The party announced the date on Saturday following meetings in Red Deer to set the rules and timelines of the leadership contest.

Notley said Jan. 16 that she would be stepping down after leading the NDP for almost a decade, including four years as premier from 2015 to 2019.

The party says in a news release that the leadership race will begin on February 5th and will conclude on the final day for voting, June 22 at noon.

Amanda Freistadt, chief returning officer of the Alberta NDP leadership race, says in the release that the NDP constitution requires a mail-in ballots as well as online voting, and the party will also provide a telephone option.

The release says the party will aim to post the finalized rules package on its website next week.

“We will announce the results at a special showcase on June 22, which will be a time for our party to gather to celebrate Rachel Notley’s legacy, and the renewed vision that will come with a new leader,” Freistadt said in the release.

The application and disclosure form for prospective leadership contestants will be available from the party beginning Monday.

Members must be in good standing by purchasing or renewing their membership by April 22 in order to vote in the contest.

Freistadt said the race will have a spending limit of $500,000 per contestant. Fees will total $60,000 per candidate.

Caucus members Rakhi Pancholi, David Shepherd, Sarah Hoffman and Kathleen Ganley are rumoured to be running.

Hoffman posted on social media late Saturday that she has resigned her positions as deputy leader, assistant whip, and municipal affairs critic for Edmonton and Calgary, effective immediately.

“I am filled with hope and optimism for the future of our party!” she said in the post on X, formerly Twitter.

Notley, who will remain as leader until a new one is announced, has said she will not endorse a candidate. She said she believed her decision to step down was in the best interests of the NDP, the party’s caucus as well as her “own preferences.”

She has ruled out running federally.

Her NDP lost the May 2023 election to Premier Danielle Smith’s United Conservatives after capturing 38 of the 87 legislature seats.

It was the second consecutive election loss for the NDP under Notley, which ended a 44-year Progressive-Conservative dynasty in 2015 with a surprise majority government only to be trounced four years later by Jason Kenney’s UCP.

Notley said in a post on the Alberta NDP’s Facebook page that the party’s team is “filled with voices ready to take the next steps to building a better future for Albertans.”

“I love this province and I know that our best days are still ahead,” she said in the post.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2024.

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