Alberta is a province renown for its political dynasties.
Since its founding in 1905, only five parties have ruled, with the Progressive Conservatives reigning for a staggering 44 years between 1971 and 2015.
But when it comes to oilsands policy, the province’s compass has been set by two premiers: Peter Lougheed and Ralph Klein. Both took distinct approaches, with Lougheed emphasizing managed development assisted by public funding, while Klein allowed industry to largely set the terms of engagement (including far lower royalties and the fast tracking of environmental reviews).
It might seem like ancient history. But it arguably matters more than ever given the complex politics of the current Alberta NDP government, which is juggling a cap on oilsands emissions while also advocating for increased production.