EDMONTON—Danielle Smith was sworn in as Alberta’s premier in a ceremony at the Government House in Edmonton on Oct. 11.
The ceremony came just five days after Smith won the United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership contest on the sixth ballot, beating outgoing premier Jason Kenney’s former finance minister Travis Toews.
Alberta Lieutenant-Governor Salma Lakhani said Kenney offered his resignation, which she accepted and asked Smith to form government.
“I thank you for your willingness to serve our province and its people,” Lakhani said.
“Best wishes to you as you assume the very important responsibilities in your role as premier and thank you to all who serve the people of Alberta.”
The short ceremony also included a blessing from former Enoch Cree Nation chief Billy Morin, who will act as Smith’s special advisor on indigenous relations.
In her remarks, Smith said Alberta’s best days are ahead.
“Alberta is truly one of the best places in the world to live and work and raise a family,” she said.
“You can come here from any walk of life and any corner of the world, and if you’re willing to put in hard work then you’re going to thrive. There’s just so much opportunity.”
The new premier said she promises to protect Albertans’ rights and freedoms, uphold Alberta’s provincial areas of jurisdiction, and demonstrate compassion for Alberta’s most vulnerable during the cost-of-living crisis.
“We are Albertans,” she said. “We also have heart and compassion that matches the size of our mountains.”
Smith was the only of the seven UCP leadership candidates who doesn’t have a seat in the Alberta Legislature. On Oct. 9, she announced she would run in a Brooks-Medicine Hat byelection after UCP MLA Michaela Frey resigned and encouraged Smith to run. The riding is a safe seat for the UCP.