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 …]
THE NEW ALBERTA CABINET
- 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
WHO GOT THE LOUDEST APPLAUSE??
- Rachel Notley
- Sarah Hoffman
- Shannon Phillips
RACHEL NOTLEY’S SPEECH [10:39]
INTERESTED IN COPIES OF THESE IMAGES?
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/
DOOM AND GLOOM?
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.
http://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/king-dont-be-too-quick-to-dismiss-new-ndp-cabinets-abilityDave King was an MLA from August 1971 to April 1986. King, who in Victoria, is now with the Green Party of British Columbia.
WATCH DOGS VRS LAP DOGS
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:
Thanks Byron … these photos and cutlines are historical gems.
Good on you Buddy, I’m glad you went and did what you do best!!
Quite the historical event … and you were there!
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.
Nice photo essay, Byron. Keep up the great work, even though you’re retired … LOL.
Pingback: An Unlikely Hero | Byron Christopher
Great seeing you doing what you do best, and a fantastic report of the historical day.
Great photos Byron. Too bad I missed running into you at the event. What a crowd!