On Tuesday, 5 May 2015 Albertans elected their first New Democratic Party Government. Under the leadership of 51-year-old Rachel Notley, the NDP crushed a Progressive Conservative Government that had been running the show in Alberta for 44 years.

On a warm Sunday afternoon — 24th of May 2015 — on the steps of the sandstone Legislative Building in downtown Edmonton — Notley introduced her 11-member cabinet to a cheering crowd of more than 3,000.

Well over a decade had passed since I’d covered anything at the Legislature. I took the advice of two broadcast buds — retired CBC announcer Dennis Sherbanuk and CISN announcer Randy Marshall — who said, “History is being made, Christopher — get your ass down there!”

And so I did, arriving with a small recorder and a camera, both digital of course. Gone forever are the days when I’d lug a bulky cassette tape recorder and a 35mm camera …

I can’t recall ever seeing so many people at the Legislature — certainly such joyous folk. In years gone by — we’re talking 1980s and 90s here — I’d witnessed mobs of placard-waving, shouting protestors who felt they’d been screwed over by the Alberta Government. These people were ticked off and — truth be known — they were devoid of hope. I could see it in their eyes.

For the thousands of women and men who showed up to witness the outdoor, swearing-in ceremony — a changing of the guard, if you will — it was the complete opposite. It was a magical-like gathering, a celebration, one filled with spontaneous applause and fist pumps. These people were happy — and full of hope.

Arnim Joop of Millwoods Mosaic Incorporated, an Edmonton media outlet, described the huge gathering as like being at a rock concert.

The last time I saw people in Edmonton so pumped was 25 years earlier — to the day, actually — when the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

The people at the swearing-in were also casual — and real. Everyday folk. Put it this way, I didn’t notice any “suits.” The pictures tell it all. Click on them and, like magic, they’ll fill your screen!

[In this post, you can also hear Rachel Notley’s speech to the crowd …]

Click to enlarge to read the man's shirt

The event started at 2PM, but the crowds began arriving long before then. The writing on the back of the man’s t-shirt reads, “Courage my friend, it is not too late to make the world a better place.”Tommy Douglas. [Click to enlarge] [1]

It was a warm day ... 26 degrees Celsius. A good time to check out the pool.

It was a warm day … 26 degrees Celsius. A good time to check out the wading pool in front of the Legislature, also known as the Leg [“ledge”]. [2]

Click to enlarge

[Click to enlarge] [3]

NDP media handler and [to the right] the push-up man. More on him later.

An official [in sunglasses], a TV cameraman from Global … and to the far right, the ‘push-up’ man. More on him later. [4]

The NDP cabinet on the steps of the Legislature

The 12-member NDP cabinet standing on the steps of the Legislature. [Click to enlarge] The woman [red hair] standing to the far right of the table is the Chief Justice of Alberta, Catherine Fraser. [5]


  • Premier Rachel Notley [Edmonton-Strathcona] – Premier; Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Brian Mason [Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood] – Deputy-Premier; Minister of Infrastructure; Minister of Transportation
  • David Eggen [Edmonton-Calder] – Minister of Education; Minister of Culture and Tourism
  • Deron Bilous [Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview] – Minister of Municipal Affairs; Minister of Service Alberta
  • Joe Ceci [Calgary-Fort] – President of Treasury Board; Minister of Culture and Tourism
  • Margaret McCuaig-Boyd [Dunvegan-Central-Peace-Notley] – Minister of Energy
  • Sarah Hoffman [Edmonton-Glenora] – Minister of Health; Minister of Seniors
  • Kathleen Ganley [Calgary-Buffago] – Minister of Justice and Solicitor General; Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
  • Lori Sigurdson [Edmonton-Riverview] – Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education; Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
  • Oneil Carlier [Whitecourt-Ste Anne] – Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Shannon Phillips [Lethbridge West] – Minister of Environment and Parks; Minister Responsible For The Status of Women
  • Irfan Sabir [Calgary-McCall] – Minister of Human Services


  1. Rachel Notley
  2. Sarah Hoffman
  3. Shannon Phillips

Rachel Motley - Woman of the hour, day, month, year.

Rachel Notley – Woman of the Hour – Day – Month – Year [Click to enlarge] [6]

N sign crowd


A cameraman with Global Television works the crowd.

The news media had its own spot. Notice the cameraman lifting the heavy camera high above his head. [8]

This sheriff was extremely courteous. He had his hands full but was always polite.

This sheriff was extremely courteous. The man had his hands full but was always polite. My guess is that he had good parents. [9]

Ah, a drink of water ...

Ah, a drink of water … click to enlarge. Notley with the former Alberta NDP leader, Brian Mason. [10]


The inscription reads: 29th Session

The inscription reads: “29th Legislature.” Click to enlarge. [11]

woman with dog


Alberta's new cabinet leaves the steps of the Legislature to greet people in the crowd.

Alberta’s new cabinet leaves the steps of the Legislature to ‘work’ the crowd. Nice touch. [Click to enlarge] [13]

Rachel Notley greets a tall NDP supporter. Click to enlarge.

A man with a white hat towers over Rachel Notley as she moves through the crowd. [Click to enlarge] [14]

woman wheelchair

Wheelchair bound? No problem … [15]

The man with the blue shirt seems to be saying,

The man with the blue shirt seems to be saying, “Where have I seen you before?” Dude, you were my parole officer for 10 years! Doing just fine, thank you. [16]

View from the front steps of the Legislative Building.

View from the front steps of the Legislative Building. These people didn’t just vote NDP, they voted ‘Change.’ [Click to enlarge] [17]

The new Premier is in demand ...

TV cameras galore: The new Premier is in demand. [Click to enlarge] [18]

crowd 3 from steps

[Click to enlarge] [19]

This is the man featured in an earlier shot. He passed me his camera and asked me to take a photo of him as he did push-ups in front of the crowd. A little different, but what the hell.

This is the man featured in an earlier shot. He passed me his camera and asked if I’d snap a photo of him as he did push-ups on the steps of the Legislature. I said sure, it’s been years since I’ve seen that on the Legislature steps. [20]

Another look at the crowd. Click to enlarge.

Another look at the large crowd. [Click to enlarge] [21]

There was no shortage of cameras.

No shortage of cameras. [22]

Notley crew


Rachel button


Smiling lady with hat


Older man with child


Former Edmonton Mayor Jan Reimer greets former NDP MLA Alex MacEachern.

Former Edmonton NDP MLA Alex MacEachern greets former Edmonton Mayor Jan Reimer. [27]

This man took the time to tell me he personally knew Alberta icon Grant MacEwan.

This gentleman said he knew Alberta legend Grant MacEwan. [28]

In memory of Rachel Notley's father, Grant Notley, who died in a plane crash in 1984. See my post:

In memory of Rachel Notley’s father, Grant Notley, another Alberta legend. Grant died in a plane crash in 1984. See my post: https://byronchristopher.org/2012/10/17/remembering-paul/ [29]

4 smiling women steps


band playing

Music by ‘100 mile house,’ an Edmonton based folk group. Husband and wife duo Denise MacKay and Peter Stone plus Scott Zubot.  [31]

A better shot of NDP faithful Alex MacEachern

NDP faithful Alex MacEachern [32]

Keep Calm and Notley on


crowd steps columns


proud parents

Two very proud parents. [35]

More people take to the pool ...

More take to the pool. The new NDP Government is about to do some wading of its own. [36]

Brian Hodgson [left], Sergeant-at-Arms, Alberta Legislature.

Brian Hodgson [left], Sergeant-at-Arms, Alberta Legislature. [37]

Getting ready to enter the Leglisture ...

Lining up to enter the Legislature. [38]

Brian Mason, Alberta's newest Minister of Transportation. Before he became an MLA, Brian was an Edmonton City Counsellor ... and before that, a bus driver with Edmonton Transit.

Fist-pumping Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Transportation, has always been in the driver’s seat. Prior to becoming an MLA and Leader of the Alberta NDP, he was an Edmonton City Counsellor — and before that, a bus driver with Edmonton Transit. [39]

One tired puppy with his/her best friend.

One tired puppy with her best friend. [40]

Man hugging


3 smiling ladies


girl in pool



If you’d like copies for a non-commercial venture, please let me know and I’ll send them your way. No charge. The images — which are high resolution — are all numbered.

If you’d like copies for a profit-making venture, a donation would be appreciated to a registered charity of your choice. Thanks much.

You can contact me by email or phone … the info is all at this site: https://byronchristopher.org/about/


There’s been some talk that Alberta’s economy will tank now that the New Democrats are in power.

Time will tell. The party’s over … and now the real work begins. In 2019, Rachel Notley’s NDP will get its first report card when Albertans return to the polls.

For a unique perspective on pre-judging the new NDP cabinet, check out this 23 May 2015 article in the Calgary Herald by Dave King, former Alberta cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative government of Peter Lougheed.



Dave King [c 1984] when he was Alberta’s Minister of Education.   [Photo credit: Dennis Wall]

Dave King was an MLA from August 1971 to April 1986. King, who in Victoria, is now with the Green Party of British Columbia.


Veteran Canadian journalist Ezra Levant and his crew [http://www.therebel.media/?utm_campaign=latest_ndp&utm_medium=email&utm_source=therebel] are shining the spotlight on the new Alberta Government, focusing on hiring practices that can only be described as sleazy, brain-dead patronage appointments. The shenanigans would make a great screenplay for The Twilight Zone.

The mainstream media is avoiding a critical issue by not reporting on this. You’re surprised, right?

Check out this piece by Levant about the anti oil-lobbyist appointed to a very senior position in Alberta’s Energy Department:


8 thoughts on “Revolution!! Alberta Style

  1. A great report on the change of Goverment in Alberta. Now we hold our breaths to see how they perform and come through on their promoses!!!

    Blessings as you keep covering these events.


  2. Pingback: An Unlikely Hero | Byron Christopher

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