Skip to main content

Danielle Smith sworn in as Alberta's next premier

It's official: Danielle Smith has been sworn in as Alberta's 19th premier.

In a ceremony at Government House in Edmonton Tuesday morning, the former Wildrose party leader was sworn in by Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani.

Smith won the United Conservative Party's leadership race to replace Jason Kenney on the sixth and final ballot with 53.77 per cent of votes, defeating her closest challenger Travis Toews, the former finance minister.

In May, Kenney received 51.4 per cent support from party members in a leadership review — enough to technically remain in the UCP's top job — but resigned, indicating it did not represent "adequate support to continue on as leader."

Smith becomes Alberta's eighth premier since 2006 and the third woman to hold the province's top job — a Canadian first.


"I am truly humbled and honoured to serve," she said. "Like many Albertans, I've always believed that freedom is foundational."

Smith said she would stand up and protect Alberta's Charter rights and "exclusive rights" over areas of provincial jurisdiction.

"Albertans have been through so much over these last two-and-a-half years," she added. "Our rights and freedoms have been tested. I will ensure as head of this government that those rights and freedoms are protected."

Danielle Smith is sworn in as Alberta Premierby Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro and Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta Salma Lakhani, in Edmonton, on Tuesday October 11, 2022 (The Canadian Press/Jason Franson).

She described Alberta as the land of opportunity and how her government would act "swiftly" to ensure the most vulnerable have support during the current inflation crunch.

"We are Albertans. Yes, we are entrepreneurs and business people and fiscally prudent, but we also have heart and compassion that matches the size of our mountains," Smith said. "Albertans demand a government that reflects that compassion, especially at these times."

The new premier then spoke to Canadians, asking them to "partner with Alberta" to build a "prosperous and unified" country.

"Together, we can be the solution to the world's energy security crisis, provide affordable energy to those in need and do so while providing the most environmentally responsible energy to our fellow Canadians and our friends and allies around the world," she added.


Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Smith announced she would run in a byelection in the southern Alberta riding of Brooks-Medicine Hat after the incumbent MLA resigned from the post.

Following Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Smith revealed the byelection will take place on Nov. 8. Shortly after, Alberta's chief electoral officer issued the writ authorizing the contest.

Following any election, Alberta requires a certification period to verify the results, meaning the earliest Smith estimates she could sit in the legislature, should she win, would be Nov. 29.

She hopes to then have a four-week fall sitting of the legislature, ending Dec. 22.

In a letter to the UCP caucus last week, Smith said she would be directing members to "refrain from conducting further ministerial business" until around Oct. 24.

Smith also pledged to meet individually with members to discuss the "most pressing" priorities for their respective constituencies.

A retreat is then scheduled for Oct. 17 to 19 in Sylvan Lake to focus on "teambuilding, unity and positioning caucus as central to the policy development and legislative process."

A new cabinet will then be sworn-in on Oct. 24. The UCP also have their annual general meeting on Oct 21 to 23.

Smith closed the letter informing caucus about the plan for the coming weeks by saying Albertans "want and expect" the UCP to "succeed going forward."

"I would propose our caucus operate from a clean slate moving forward," she wrote. "Politics and governing are difficult and exhausting.

"Along the way, mistakes will be made by good people. I encourage us to address past grievances privately and directly with the colleague who may have wronged you, come to peace with them, forgive and move forward together with unity and mutual respect." Top Stories

Stay Connected