Danielle Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Danielle Smith
Smith in 2014
19th Premier of Alberta
Assumed office
October 11, 2022
MonarchCharles III
Lieutenant GovernorSalma Lakhani
Preceded byJason Kenney
Leader of the United Conservative Party
Assumed office
October 6, 2022
Preceded byJason Kenney
Leader of the Opposition in Alberta
In office
April 24, 2012 – December 17, 2014
PremierAlison Redford
Dave Hancock
Jim Prentice
DeputyRob Anderson
Preceded byRaj Sherman
Succeeded byHeather Forsyth
Leader of the Wildrose Party
In office
October 17, 2009 – December 17, 2014
DeputyRob Anderson
Preceded byPaul Hinman
Succeeded byHeather Forsyth (interim)
Parliamentary constituencies
Member of the
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Assumed office
November 8, 2022
Preceded byMichaela Frey
ConstituencyBrooks-Medicine Hat
In office
April 23, 2012 – May 5, 2015
Preceded byGeorge Groeneveld
Succeeded byWayne Anderson
Personal details
Marlaina Danielle Smith

(1971-04-01) April 1, 1971 (age 52)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada[1]
Political partyUnited Conservative (since 2017)
Other political
Progressive Conservative (1998–2009; 2014–2017)
Wildrose (2009–2014)
  • Sean McKinsley
  • David Moretta
    (m. 2006)
Residence(s)High River, Alberta, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Calgary
  • Politician
  • journalist

Marlaina Danielle Smith ECA MLA (born April 1, 1971) is a Canadian politician, former lobbyist, and former columnist and media personality who has been serving as the 19th premier of Alberta and leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) since October 2022.

Smith attended the University of Calgary and earned degrees in English and economics. After briefly serving as a trustee for the Calgary Board of Education, she worked as a journalist in print, radio and television, during which she shared opinions on politics and healthcare. During this time she also worked as the director of provincial affairs for Alberta with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She entered provincial politics in 2009, becoming the leader of the Wildrose Party. Smith contributed to the growth of the party; the party formed the Official Opposition after the 2012 election. Smith won a seat in the Legislative Assembly for Highwood in that election, and served as leader of the Opposition until 2014, when she resigned to join the governing Progressive Conservatives (PCs). Smith was defeated in her bid for the PC nomination in Highwood for the 2015 election.

Between 2015 and 2022, Smith worked in talk radio and served as the president of the Alberta Enterprise Group. Upon Premier Jason Kenney's resignation announcement on May 18, 2022, Smith announced her campaign in the United Conservative Party leadership election. Smith's campaign gained national attention, particularly due to her proposals to extend Albertan autonomy. On October 6, Smith won the leadership on the sixth count. She was sworn in as premier on October 11 and became MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat on November 8, 2022. She led the UCP to re-election as a majority government in the 2023 general election.

Early life[edit]

Marlaina Danielle Smith[3] was born in Calgary on April 1, 1971,[4] and is the second of five children. Her father Doug Smith, is an oilfield consultant and previously a board member for the Wildrose Party.[5] She is named after the song Marlena by The Four Seasons.[6]

Growing up, her family lived in subsidized housing.[7] As a student she worked at McDonald's, at a bingo parlour and at restaurants bussing tables.[6]

Smith described her parents as "reliably conservative" in an interview with the National Post. When Smith was a grade 8 student, she said she came home praising a teacher who spoke positively about communism. Smith said she had family in Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union at the time, and her father argued otherwise.[8] "Then he realized we needed to talk a lot more around the dinner table," Smith told The Canadian Press in 2014.[8]

She is also a past member of the Girl Guides of Canada and was featured in a 2013 museum exhibit about prominent Girl Guides at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.[9] She is an admirer of Ayn Rand, John Locke and Margaret Thatcher.[8] She is a fan of the young-adult fantasy novel Eragon by Christopher Paolini, and once considered becoming a novelist in the science fiction and fantasy genres.[8][10]

Smith attended the University of Calgary and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1993 and economics in 1995.[8] The university had a strong culture of conservative and progressive political activism and debate when Smith was a student. Her fellow classmates included Ezra Levant; Rob Anders; Naheed Nenshi; and Kevin Bosch, who became an adviser to prime ministers Paul Martin and Justin Trudeau.[8][6] One of her classes was taught by former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed. The same class had Ian Brodie, who became chief of staff for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as a teachers' aide.[8] It was at the University of Calgary where she met Tom Flanagan, a conservative political activist and advisor, who was one of her professors while Smith studied economics. Flanagan became a mentor for Smith. In 1996, Flanagan recommended Smith for a one-year public policy internship with the Fraser Institute. He become her campaign manager during the 2012 Alberta general election.[6] She was active in the campus Progressive Conservatives and was eventually elected president of the club.[11] She also became involved in political campaigning and met her first husband, Sean McKinsley.[6]

After graduating with an English major, Smith briefly lived in Vancouver where she worked as a waitress and as an extra in movie and TV productions.[6]

Early political and media career[edit]

Calgary Board of Education[edit]

In 1998, Smith entered politics when she ran for the board of trustees of the Calgary Board of Education. She won, but less than a year later, the chairwoman complained that the board had become dysfunctional. In response, the provincial Minister of Learning, Lyle Oberg, dismissed the entire board after 11 months into their term.[11][6]

Years later, Smith said she had been far too strident during her tenure as a board trustee and said the experience taught her to be more tolerant of those with whom she disagreed.[12] Subsequently, Smith pursued work as an advocate for ranchers, farmers and other rural landowners with the Alberta Property Rights Initiative and the Canadian Property Rights Research Institute.[13]

Career as Calgary Herald columnist and talk radio host[edit]

After her time as a school board trustee Smith joined the Calgary Herald as a columnist with the editorial board. During the 1999–2000 writers' strike at the Herald, she crossed the picket line as a scab writer for the paper, at that time owned by Conrad Black.[14] Her columns included coverage of city hall and health reform, but also ventured into other topics. In 2003, she wrote a column supporting the legalization of sex work and proposed the creation of a red-light district in Calgary.[15] That same year, she also wrote an article titled "Anti-smoking lobby does more harm than good", in which she stated that smoking cigarettes can "reduce the risk of disease".[16]

She then went on to succeed Charles Adler as host of the national current affairs program Global Sunday, a Sunday-afternoon interview show on Global Television. She also hosted two talk radio programs focused on health policy and property rights.[11][13]

She met her second husband, David Moretta, who was an executive producer with Global Television at the time and would go on to be a former executive producer with Sun Media.[13]

In 2004, Smith was named one of Calgary's "Top 40 Under 40".[17]

In September 2006, she co-hosted the Calgary Congress, a national assembly of citizens and economic and constitutional specialists to consider basic federal reforms for Canada.[18]

Smith was hired by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in 2006, becoming a provincial director for Alberta.

Early political views[edit]

Smith supported Ted Morton in the 2006 PC leadership election. Morton lost to Ed Stelmach, and Smith became increasingly disillusioned with what she said were Stelmach's "free-spending ways".[11] Smith cited the 2008 provincial budget as a turning point where she determined that Stelmach's government had 'lost its way'.[19]

Early provincial political career (2009–2015)[edit]

Wildrose Party[edit]

Smith quit the PC party in 2009 and joined the Wildrose Alliance.[12] The Tories sent MLA Rob Anderson, one of the more fiscally conservative members of their caucus, to talk Smith out of it. Years later, Smith recalled that Anderson told her that despite the Tories' reckless spending and unwillingness to listen to the backbench, they were the only credible centre-right party in the province. Smith refused to stay, saying that there was no hope of restoring Alberta to fiscal sanity under the Tories, and that the Wildrose was the only credible chance at electing a fiscally conservative government. As far as she was concerned, she told Anderson, "This (Tory) government is beyond redemption. It's out of control."[20]

Later that year, Smith was recruited by Wildrose officials to run for the leadership of the party.[11][21] During the course of the leadership campaign outgoing leader Paul Hinman won in a by-election in the riding of Calgary-Glenmore.[22] His win meant he was one of four in the Wildrose caucus; by the time Smith was elected leader on October 17, 2009, support for the party had quadrupled since the 2008 election.[23][24] After Smith was elected leader, support for the Wildrose Party continued to grow.[25] Smith convinced three PCs who served in government to cross the floor to join the Wildrose Party: Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth, and later Guy Boutiller.[12]

In early 2011, she was featured in an episode of CBC Television's Make the Politician Work.[26]

2012 election[edit]

Smith in 2012

For most of the time before the 2012 provincial election, it appeared that Smith was poised to become the first woman to lead a party to victory in an Alberta election.[27] Numerous polls indicated that the Wildrose Party could defeat the governing Progressive Conservatives, who were also led by a woman, Premier Alison Redford. The PCs had governed the province since 1971, the second-longest unbroken run in government at the provincial level.[28][29][30]

The Wildrose Party won 17 seats[31] on 34.3% of the popular vote, and took over Official Opposition status from the Alberta Liberal Party. Smith was elected to the Legislature from Highwood, just south of Calgary, on the same day, defeating John Barlow, editor of the Okotoks Western Wheel.[11][32][33]

Political pundits suggested Wildrose lost their early polling lead over the Progressive Conservatives due to Smith's defence of two Wildrose candidates who had made controversial remarks. Allan Hunsperger, running in an Edmonton riding, had written a blog post claiming that gays would end up in a "lake of fire" if they did not renounce their lifestyle. Ron Leech had claimed he would have a leg up on the competition in his Calgary riding because he was white.[34] According to the National Post, Hunsperger and Leech's extreme views, as well as Smith's refusal to condemn them, cost her a chance of unseating Redford.[31] Ultimately, Wildrose was denied victory mainly because it was unable to get any foothold in the urban areas. It won only two seats in Calgary and was completely shut out in Edmonton.

In appraising the election results at the Wildrose 2012 annual general meeting, Smith advocated freezing out candidates who cannot respectfully communicate their views in future elections. Smith asked members to adopt a forward-looking policy platform for the next election.[35]

Rejoining the Progressive Conservative Party[edit]

Smith and Jim Prentice announcing that she and eight other Wildrose MLAs would be crossing the floor to join the Progressive Conservatives.

After Redford left politics in the spring of 2014 due to allegations of corruption, Smith's Wildrose party was initially the major beneficiary. However, this momentum stalled when former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice became PC leader and premier. Under Prentice, the PCs swept four by-elections in October.[20] Smith was dealt a second blow at the Wildrose annual general meeting, when an anti-discrimination resolution that she strongly supported was voted down while she was out of the room.[36]

On December 17, 2014, Smith announced that she, deputy leader Rob Anderson, and seven other Wildrose MLAs were crossing the floor to join the PCs.[37] Smith had criticized two other Wildrose MLAs for defecting to the PCs a month earlier; she had publicly stated that "there'll be no more floor crossings."[38] It was later revealed, however, that Smith and Prentice had been in talks about a possible merger for several months.[39] Smith said that several conversations with Prentice revealed that they shared much common ground, particularly on fiscal issues. Ultimately, she concluded that it made little sense for her to continue in opposition. "If you're going to be the official Opposition leader," she said, "you have to really want to take down the government and really take down the premier. I don't want to take down this premier. I want this premier to succeed."[40] Several weeks after Smith joined the Progressive Conservatives, in a Facebook post, she apologized for the anger caused by her move and for not consulting with Albertans before making the decision. At the same time, she stood by her decision to "unify conservatives" in the province, and indicated that she intended to seek the Progressive Conservative nomination in Highwood for the next election.[41][42][43]

Smith was defeated in her bid for the PC nomination in Highwood by Okotoks Councillor Carrie Fischer on March 28, 2015. Smith's defeat was attributed to her floor-crossing which angered many in her riding.[44] Fischer then lost to Wildrose candidate Wayne Anderson in the general election.[45]

Out of politics (2015–2022)[edit]

Talk radio[edit]

In the intervening period, Smith went on to host a talk radio program on CHQR in Calgary.[46] On January 11, 2021, she announced that she was leaving her talk show and Twitter, citing attacks from Twitter trolls, effective February 19, 2021.[47]

In July 2021, Smith wrote an opinion article supporting Jason Kenney's referendum on equalization payments, held on October 18, 2021.[48]


After she became premier, it was revealed that she made comments on April 29 during a Locals.com livestream about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Smith argued for a peace plan between Russia and Ukraine and advocated for Ukraine's neutrality. She also made subsequently deleted posts in March that questioned whether breakaway regions in Ukraine should be able to govern independently, and whether NATO played a role in the invasion, citing a conspiracy theory promoted by Tucker Carlson alleging 'secret U.S. funded biolabs' in Ukraine.[49] On October, 16, she issued a statement saying that she "stands with the Ukrainian people" and advocated for diplomacy to "spare millions of Ukrainian lives."[50] Smith also made posts on Locals.com critical of COVID-19 vaccines and questioned the legitimacy of reports that unmarked graves had been found in Canadian residential schools.[51]

In a social media interview on November 10, 2021, Smith said that she was not wearing a Remembrance Day poppy because politicians and public health officials had "ruined it for her" by taking away Canadians' freedoms through public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, and that citizens that had gone along with public health measures and been vaccinated had fallen for the "charms of a tyrant" in the same way that Germans had fallen for Adolf Hitler.[52][53] She elaborated, "That's the test here, is we've seen it. We have 75 per cent of the public who say not only hit me, but hit me harder, and keep me away from those dirty unvaxxed."[52][53] When the interview resurfaced in 2023, Smith apologized, writing "As everyone knows, I was against the use of vaccine mandates during COVID. ... However, the horrors of the Holocaust are without precedent, and no one should make any modern-day comparisons that minimize the experience of the Holocaust and suffering under Hitler, nor the sacrifice of our veterans."[52]

During her campaign for the UCP leadership, Smith conducted an interview with a Naturopathic physician during which they discussed lifestyle for the prevention of cancer and how Smith's health savings account proposal could help with that. She said "When you think about everything that built up before you got to stage 4 [of cancer] and that diagnosis — that's completely within your control and there's something you can do about that that is different."[53] NDP leader Rachel Notley and Smith's fellow candidates including Brian Jean criticized this comment, with Jean (who lost a son to cancer) Tweeting "You [Smith] saying to someone that their cancer is 'completely within your control' before stage four is insensitive, hurtful, and outright untrue. Please stop."[53]

Career as a lobbyist[edit]

In June 2019, Smith registered as a lobbyist for the Alberta Enterprise Group, an association where Smith was also the president.[54] At that time Smith lobbied the provincial government on behalf of industry for the RStar program.[55]

Premier of Alberta (2022–present)[edit]

UCP Leadership race[edit]

On May 18, 2022, Smith announced that she was launching a campaign to seek the leadership of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, after the resignation of sitting premier and UCP leader Jason Kenney.[56][57] Smith was perceived to be the frontrunner among party members in the race to replace Kenney according to internal polling released to the Calgary Sun.[58]

Smith's central policy was to enact what she called the Alberta Sovereignty Act if she became premier. The proposal argued for more autonomy for Alberta in Confederation and called on the provincial legislature to make determinations on when to ignore federal legislation infringing upon Alberta's jurisdiction.[59] Six of Smith's opponents in the leadership race criticized the act.[60] Jason Kenney described it as a "full-frontal attack on the rule of law", as well as a step towards separation and a "banana republic".[61]

On October 6, Smith won the UCP leadership vote with 53.77% of the vote on the sixth count—the contest was conducted using instant-runoff voting—to become the premier-designate.[62] She was sworn in as the 19th premier and minister of Intergovernmental Relations on October 11.[63] Preceded by Herbert Greenfield and William Aberhart in this regard, she was the just the last in a series of persons who have ascended to the premier's position without holding a seat in the legislature.

Smith's campaign ran a deficit of $26,792 after spending $1,389,829 on her successful campaign.[64]


After being sworn in as premier, Smith said that she would not impose any further measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta.[65][66] She also said that people who are unvaccinated should be protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act; alluding to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, she said that they have been "the most discriminated against group that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime",[67][68][69] had "faced the most restrictions on their freedoms in the last year", and that "we are not going to create a segregated society on the basis of a medical choice". The remarks faced criticism for alleged trivialization of discrimination faced by minority groups, for which Smith did not apologize.[65][66][70]

On October 24, Smith pulled Alberta from the World Economic Forum Global Coalition for Value in Healthcare, saying that she would not "work with a group that talks about controlling governments." "I find it distasteful when billionaires brag about how much control they have over political leaders," she said.[71][72][73]

As Smith was not a member of the Legislative Assembly when she became premier, she ran in a by-election for the southern Alberta seat of Brooks-Medicine Hat on November 8, 2022.[74] The incumbent, fellow UCP MLA Michaela Frey, resigned soon after Smith was elected leader and premier, and had encouraged Smith to run.[75] Longstanding convention in Westminster systems when the leader of the governing party is not a member of the legislature to either hold a general election or a by-election, often caused by a sitting member in a safe seat resigning in order to allow the newly elected leader a chance to enter the legislature. Smith won the by-election, with 54.5% of the vote.[76]

In late-November 2022, Smith backpedaled on her plan to introduce a bill that would add unvaccinated individuals as a protected class under the Alberta Human Rights Act. However, Smith continued to promote an intent for herself and her ministers to contact businesses and organizations that were still "discriminating" via COVID-19 vaccine mandates and ask them to "reconsider their vaccination policy in the light of new evidence". She stated that "most employers have made the responsible decision to not discriminate against their workers", and for people to inform their MLAs "If there is still discrimination".[77][78][79] In December 2022 the legislature passed the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act.[80]

The Alberta ethics commissioner started investigating Smith in April, 2023 for her alleged interference with the administration of justice.[81] Smith had previously promised pardons for those guilty of COVID-19 violations and indicated she was in regular contact with Crown prosecutors.[82]

In the 2023 Alberta general election, Smith led the UCP to a significantly reduced majority government, defeating the New Democratic Party led by Rachel Notley.[83][84] The election campaign was close and one of the fiercest in Alberta's history.[85] Smith was re-elected in her riding.[86] Smith had inherited a 16-seat majority from Kenney, but saw it slashed to four. Notably, the UCP was knocked down to second place in Calgary, which had been the power base for the centre-right in Alberta for years, and was completely shut out of Edmonton. However, the UCP swept all but four seats outside Edmonton and Calgary. Smith thus became the third woman to lead a party to a win in an Alberta general election, after Redford and Notley.

Political views and public image[edit]

Smith has been described as "libertarian on moral issues" by The Globe and Mail in 2012,[12] a "populist Conservative" by Politico in 2023,[87] and as "far-right" by The New York Times in 2023.[88] In a 2023 interview with the Calgary Sun, she self-identified as a "caring conservative".[89]

Smith shared a mentor, political scientist Tom Flanagan, with former Reform Party leader Preston Manning and former prime minister Stephen Harper. She has an affinity towards Manning's movement and Harper's government.[12] Smith distanced herself and the Wildrose Party from Flanagan in February 2013, after he made controversial remarks over child pornography.[90][91]

She is pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage.[92] While she was a columnist with the Calgary Herald, she argued in favour of legalizing sex work.[15] During her UCP leadership campaign in 2022, Smith gave alternatives to in order to allow transgender athletes to compete in preferred gender categories.[93] While she was leader of the Wildrose Party, Smith supported conscience rights legislation for health care workers[94] and opposed publicly funding gender-affirming surgeries.[95]

A Wildrose insider told Calgary Herald editorial page editor Licia Corbella in 2014 that Smith had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the number of social conservatives supporting the Wildrose Party while she was leader.[96] Smith herself told CBC News that the defeat of the anti-discrimination resolution led her to seriously consider returning to the PCs.[36]

Smith has been described as media-savvy and adept at presenting a professional and polished image.[97]

Smith has been criticized for making false claims about a cure for COVID-19, E. coli and statements blaming stage 4 cancer patients for their diagnosis.[98][99][100][69] She has since apologised for making statements on E. coli.[98]

Controversies about ancestry claims[edit]

Smith has made claims about her ancestry that have been debunked by genealogists and Canadian immigration records.

Her paternal great-grandfather was Philipus Kolodnicki, whose name was anglicized to "Philip Smith" upon arriving in Canada.

In October 2022, she claimed Kolodnicki left Ukraine after the First World War, which ended in 1918, to escape communism. She said her political beliefs were "largely born out of a complete distrust of the socialism from which my great-grandfather fled."[101] In a 2012 profile in The Globe and Mail, Smith claimed Kolodnicki was a Ukrainian immigrant who arrived in Canada in 1915.[12][19]

Immigration records reviewed by The Toronto Star showed Kolodnicki arrived in Canada in 1913, before either the First World War or the 1917 October Revolution. Kolodnicki also listed his nation of origin as Austria and his race as Ruthenian, a term that at the time referred to the ancestors of modern Ukrainians, Belarusians and Rusyns.[101]

Beginning in 2012, Smith publicly claimed she had Cherokee roots through her great-great-grandmother, Mary Frances Crowe. Smith also claimed Crowe was a victim of the Trail of Tears and forcibly relocated to Kansas in the 1830s.[102] An investigation from APTN National News looked over U.S. census records and found Crowe was born in 1870 in Georgia, about 20 years after the U.S. government forced the Cherokee out of their homelands.[102]

Kathy Griffin, a Cherokee genealogist in Texas who worked with APTN, could not find proof that any of Smith's ancestors were members of the historical Cherokee tribes, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma, or the Cherokee Nation. Smith's ancestors also did not appear on the Dawes Roll, a U.S. registry cataloguing members of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole.[102]

Following APTN's story, Smith's press secretary said Smith had not done a "deep dive into her ancestry" and "heard about her heritage from her loved ones".[103]

Electoral history[edit]

2023 general election[edit]

2023 Alberta general election: Brooks-Medicine Hat
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Danielle Smith 13,315 66.49 +5.83
New Democratic Gwendoline Dirk 5,477 27.35 +9.46
Alberta Party Barry Morishita 1,233 6.16 -0.77
Total 20,025 99.54
Rejected and declined 92 0.46
Turnout 20,117 56.85
Eligible voters 35,385
United Conservative hold Swing -1.82

2022 by-election[edit]

Alberta provincial by-election, 8 November 2022: Brooks-Medicine Hat
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Danielle Smith 6,919 54.51 -6.15
New Democratic Gwendoline Dirk 3,394 26.74 +8.85
Alberta Party Barry Morishita 2,098 16.53 +9.60
Alberta Independence Bob Blayone 225 1.77 +0.80
Wildrose Independence Jeevan Mangat 56 0.44
Total valid votes 12,692
Total rejected ballots 45
Turnout 12,695 35.51 -30.27
Eligible voters 35,872
United Conservative hold Swing -7.48
Elections Alberta[105]

2022 United Conservative leadership election[edit]

2022 United Conservative Party leadership election
Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
Danielle Smith 34,549 41.3 34,981 41.4 35,095 41.7 38,496 46.2 39,270 47.7 42,423 53.77
Travis Toews 24,831 29.4 25,054 29.7 25,593 30.4 26,592 31.9 30,794 37.4 36,480 46.23
Brian Jean 9,301 11.1 9,504 11.3 10,157 12.1 11,251 13.5 12,203 14.8 Eliminated
Rebecca Schulz 5,835 6.9 6,108 7.3 6,784 8.0 6,972 8.4 Eliminated
Todd Loewen 6,496 7.7 6,512 7.7 6,596 7.8 Eliminated
Rajan Sawhney 1,787 2.1 2,246 2.7 Eliminated
Leela Aheer 1,394 1.6 Eliminated
Total 84,193 100.00 84,405 100.00 84,225 100.00 83,3177 100.00 82,267 100.00 78,903 100.00

2012 general election[edit]

2012 Alberta general election: Highwood
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Alliance Danielle Smith 10,094 52.59% 40.74%
Progressive Conservative John Barlow 8,159 42.51% −22.60%
Liberal Keegan Gibson 547 2.85% −11.05%
New Democratic Miles Dato 392 2.04% −1.26%
Total 19,192
Rejected, spoiled and declined 50 33 10
Eligible electors / turnout 32,659 58.95% 17.86%
Wildrose Alliance gain from Progressive Conservative Swing −20.56%
Source: "63 - Highwood, 2012 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Chief Electoral Officer (2012). The Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the 2011 Provincial Enumeration and Monday, April 23, 2012 Provincial General Election of the Twenty-eighth Legislative Assembly (PDF) (Report). Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 378–382. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 6, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.

2009 Wildrose leadership election[edit]

2009 Wildrose Alliance Party leadership election
Candidate Votes[106] %
Danielle Smith 6,295 76.77
Mark Dyrholm 1,905 23.23
Total 8,200 100


  1. ^ "Danielle Smith: Facts about Alberta's new premier, United Conservative Party leader". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. October 7, 2022. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith". CBC News. March 19, 2012. Archived from the original on May 4, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  3. ^ "Candidate – Marlaina Danielle Smith Campaign 2015". Elections Alberta. Archived from the original on October 7, 2022. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  4. ^ Sharpe, Sydney (April 14, 2012). "Danielle Smith: Is she Alberta's Sarah Palin, or the future of Canada?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  5. ^ Henton, Darcy (March 27, 2012). "Mr. Smith, do you really know what the Wildrose is up to?". Calgary Herald. Retrieved August 21, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Markusoff, Jason (October 6, 2022). "The reinvention(s) of Danielle Smith: How Alberta's next premier talked her way out of political oblivion to become the Great Right Hope". CBC News.
  7. ^ Verma, Sonia (November 12, 2010). "Danielle Smith: 'My life will fall under the microscope'". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on February 10, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Dawson, Tyler (April 27, 2023). "The comeback queens: Rachel Notley vs Danielle Smith in the battle for Alberta". National Post. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  9. ^ "Guides change with times". Red Deer Advocate. October 1, 2013. Archived from the original on March 1, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Fong, Petti (April 20, 2012). "Alberta election: The education of Danielle Smith". The Toronto Star. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Wood, James (April 1, 2012). "Party leader profile: Wildrose Party Danielle Smith". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Sharpe, Sydney (April 16, 2012). "Danielle Smith: Is she Alberta's Sarah Palin, or the future of Canada?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on April 16, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. March 19, 2012. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  14. ^ "The 1999-2000 herald Strike, 20 Years Later". January 12, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  15. ^ a b "And the First Big Issue is – Prostitution? Read Redford's attack, Smith's old column". Calgary Herald. March 26, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  16. ^ Magusiak, Stephen (July 26, 2022). "Danielle Smith Claimed Smoking Cigarettes Had Positive Health Benefits". PressProgress. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  17. ^ "Top 40 Under 40 Alumni". Avenue Calgary. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  18. ^ "The Calgary Congress 2006". Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  19. ^ a b "Danielle Smith Wildrose Leader profile". Calgary Herald. April 1, 2012. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  20. ^ a b Bennett, Dean; Strojek, Sylvia (December 20, 2014). "Rise And Fall Of Alberta Wildrose Party Inextricably Linked To Danielle Smith". Huffpost Alberta. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "Two announce bid for Wildrose Alliance leadership". CTV News. The Canadian Press. June 7, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  22. ^ Shaw, Stewart (September 15, 2009). "Tories stunning defeat sends strong message to Stelmach". CTV News. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  23. ^ "Provincial Vote Intention Alberta Public Opinion Study – Fall 2009" (PDF). Lethbridge College. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  24. ^ "New Wildrose leader ready to take on Stelmach Tories". CBC News. October 18, 2009. Archived from the original on October 7, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  25. ^ "Albertans eyeing Wildrose Alliance". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 29, 2009. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  26. ^ Doyle, John (January 22, 2011). "Forget royal weddings. Give me the Queen of Punk". The Globe and Mail.
  27. ^ Cosh, Colby (April 20, 2012). "One wild rise for one wild rose". Macleans. Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  28. ^ MacArthur, Mary (March 26, 2012). "Alberta vote shaping up to be closest one seen in decades". The Western Producer. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  29. ^ McLean, Tanara (March 26, 2012). "'Break from the past': Wildrose leader". Edmonton Sun. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  30. ^ Thomson, Graham (March 26, 2012). "Thomson: Countdown to April 23 vote starts today". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  31. ^ a b Blaze Carlson, Kathryn (April 24, 2012). "Social issues sank Wildrose during campaign, experts say". National Post.
  32. ^ "Barlow loses Highwood". Okotoks Online. April 23, 2012. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  33. ^ "Western Wheel contact page". Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  34. ^ Graveland, Bill (April 20, 2012). "Alberta Election 2012: Danielle Smith Defends Controversial Candidates Ron Leech And Allan Hunsperger". Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  35. ^ Wingrove, Josh (November 24, 2012). "Looking to the future, Wildrose leader pushes for a more progressive approach". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  36. ^ a b "Danielle Smith speaks out on defection to the Tories". CBC News. December 18, 2014.
  37. ^ Mas, Susana (December 20, 2014). "Danielle Smith defends floor crossing as 'a victory' for Wildrose Party". CBC News. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  38. ^ Ibrahim, Mariam (November 26, 2014). "Wildrose leader vows 'no more floor-crossings'". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  39. ^ "9 Wildrose MLAs, including Danielle Smith, cross to Alberta Tories". CBC News. December 17, 2014.
  40. ^ "Alberta's Wildrose leader and eight members join Prentice government". The Star. Edmonton. The Canadian Press. December 17, 2014. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020.
  41. ^ CBC News (January 24, 2015). "Danielle Smith apologizes for anger caused by defection". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  42. ^ Smith, Danielle (January 24, 2015). "Facebook post to supporters". Facebook. Archived from the original on January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  43. ^ Graveland, Bill (January 24, 2015). "Danielle Smith apologizes for not allowing debate on her floor-crossing". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  44. ^ "Danielle Smith loses PC nomination in Highwood to Carrie Fischer". CBC News. March 28, 2015. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  45. ^ "Alberta Election 2015: Wildrose's Wayne Anderson wins Highwood". Global News. April 29, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  46. ^ "Roger Kingkade sacked, Danielle Smith moves into the coveted morning slot on QR 770". Puget Sound Radio (Press release). July 4, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  47. ^ Smith, Danielle (January 18, 2021) [14 January 2021]. "Danielle Smith: I'm Leaving Twitter and Radio Because I've Had Enough of the Mob". Opinion. National Post. Canada. Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  48. ^ Danielle Smith (July 2021). "Alberta Referendum will help Albertans kickstart national conversation about unfair Equalization". Todayville Red Deer. Archived from the original on August 16, 2021. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  49. ^ Short, Dylan (October 15, 2022). "Danielle Smith under fire for past online comments on Ukraine invasion". Calgary Herald. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  50. ^ Di Donato, Nicole (October 16, 2022). "Alberta premier under fire for 'misinformed' comments on Russia's invasion of Ukraine". CTV News. Calgary. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  51. ^ Herring, Jason (October 16, 2022). "Facing heat on Ukraine, Smith decries 'politicization' of conflict". Calgary Herald. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  52. ^ a b c Dryden, Joel (May 8, 2023). "In resurfaced video, Danielle Smith said the vaccinated fell for 'charms of a tyrant' referencing Adolf Hitler". CBC News. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  53. ^ a b c d Bennett, Dean (May 8, 2023). "Danielle Smith apologizes for comments linking COVID vaccinated to Nazi followers". Global News. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  54. ^ "Alberta premier's lobbying record holds clues to her governing agenda, observers say | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  55. ^ "CityNews". edmonton.citynews.ca. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  56. ^ "Former Alberta Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith announces UCP leadership bid – May 19, 2022". YouTube. CPAC. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  57. ^ Tran, Paula (May 19, 2022). "Ex-Wildrose leader Danielle Smith reannounces UCP leadership bid as next step in Alberta politics". Global News. Archived from the original on May 19, 2022. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  58. ^ Bell, Rick (August 5, 2022). "Bell – Danielle Smith, what her latest poll numbers tell her and us". Calgary Sun. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  59. ^ Gunter, Lorne (July 29, 2022). "GUNTER – Danielle Smith's proposed sovereignty act sucks all the oxygen from the UCP leadership room". Calgary Sun. Archived from the original on July 29, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  60. ^ Dawson, Tyler (September 6, 2022). "Alberta Sovereignty Act would impose constitutional order on 'lawless' Ottawa, Danielle Smith says as more details released". National Post. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  61. ^ Kanygin, Jordan (September 6, 2022). "Danielle Smith's proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act would create a 'banana republic': Kenney". CTV News. Calgary. Archived from the original on September 6, 2022. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  62. ^ White, Ryan (October 6, 2022). "Meet Danielle Smith: UCP leader and Alberta's next premier". CTV News. Calgary. Archived from the original on October 7, 2022. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  63. ^ "Danielle Smith sworn in as Alberta's 19th premier". edmontonjournal. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  64. ^ French, Janet. "Premier Danielle Smith raised nearly $1.4 million for UCP leadership campaign". CBC News. CBC. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  65. ^ a b Leavitt, Kieran (October 11, 2022). "On first day in office, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith calls unvaxxed people the 'most discriminated against group that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  66. ^ a b Franklin, Michael (October 11, 2022). "Unvaccinated are 'the most discriminated group,' Alberta premier says". CTV News. Calgary. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  67. ^ Leavitt, Kieran (October 11, 2022). "On first day in office, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith calls unvaxxed people the 'most discriminated against group that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 12, 2022. "They have been the most discriminated against group that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime," Smith said Tuesday during her first media availability as premier of Alberta.
  68. ^ French, Janet (October 11, 2022). "New Alberta premier says unvaccinated 'most discriminated against group' after swearing-in". CBC News. Retrieved October 12, 2022. "They have been the most discriminated against group that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime," Smith said of unvaccinated Canadians at the press conference.
  69. ^ a b Robinson, Rebekah (November 16, 2022). "Covid misinformation ignites a battle over blood in a Canadian province". Coda Media. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  70. ^ Taniguchi, Kellen (October 13, 2022). "No apology from Danielle Smith over comments on discrimination of unvaccinated people". Calgary Herald. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  71. ^ Tran, Paula (October 24, 2022). "Alberta Premier Danielle Smith cancelling health consulting agreement with WEF". Global News. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  72. ^ Bennett, Dean (October 24, 2022). "Premier Danielle Smith to end agreement with World Economic Forum". CTV News. Edmonton. The Canadian Press. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  73. ^ "Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she distrusts World Economic Forum, province to cut ties". CBC News. October 24, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  74. ^ Herring, Jason (November 9, 2022). "Premier Danielle Smith wins byelection that gives her seat in Alberta legislature". National Post. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  75. ^ Sarah Moore (October 8, 2022). "Danielle Smith will run in Brooks-Medicine Hat byelection". CBC News.
  76. ^ Bennett, Dean (November 8, 2022). "Danielle Smith captures victory in Brooks-Medicine Hat byelection". CBC News. The Canadian Press.
  77. ^ Leavitt, Kieran (November 28, 2022). "Alberta's Danielle Smith and her ministers are personally calling event organizers, businesses to urge them to reconsider vaccine mandates". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  78. ^ Franklin, Michael (November 28, 2022). "Critics say Smith is bullying businesses over COVID-19 policies". CTV News. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  79. ^ Bennett, Dean (November 28, 2022). "Smith's bill to protect Alberta's unvaccinated won't be introduced in legislature". Global News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  80. ^ Bennett, Dean (December 8, 2022). "Alberta passes Sovereignty Act, but first strips out sweeping powers for cabinet".
  81. ^ Dryden, Joel. "Alberta's ethics commissioner investigating whether premier interfered with administration of justice". CBC. CBC News. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  82. ^ Bennett, Dean (January 12, 2023). "Alberta premier reverses course on promise to seek pardons for COVID-19 health violators". CTV News. CTV. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  83. ^ Williams, Nia; Bracken, Amber; Shakil, Ismail (May 30, 2023). "Alberta premier Smith takes aim at Trudeau after winning provincial election". Reuters. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  84. ^ Austen, Ian (May 30, 2023). "Alberta Election Sees Conservatives Keep Power After Hard-Right Turn". The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  85. ^ Taylor-Vaisey, Nick (May 28, 2023). "In Alberta, a bruising campaign invites political chaos". POLITICO. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  86. ^ "CityNews". edmonton.citynews.ca. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  87. ^ Taylor-Vaisey, Nick (May 28, 2023). "In Alberta, a bruising campaign invites political chaos". Politico. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  88. ^ Austen, Ian (May 29, 2023). "Alberta's Vote Will Test American-Style Far-Right Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  89. ^ Bell, Rick (May 26, 2023). "Bell: INTERVIEW. Danielle Smith insists she's a caring conservative". Calgary Sun. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  90. ^ Woods, James (March 1, 2013). "Wildrose dumps campaign manager Tom Flanagan over child pornography comments". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on March 3, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  91. ^ "Wildrose Leader Smith condemns Flanagan's child porn remarks" (Press release). Wildrose Party. February 28, 2013. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  92. ^ Graveland, Bill (April 10, 2012). "Wildrose Leader says she is pro-choice and supports gay rights". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  93. ^ McDermott, Vincent (September 5, 2022). "Pride YMM calls Brian Jean's comments on transgender athletes in women's sports 'transphobic'". Fort McMurray Today.
  94. ^ "Wildrose Party's idea of "conscience rights" is discriminatory". The Globe and Mail. April 9, 2012.
  95. ^ "Sex-change surgery funding gets mixed reaction in Alberta". CBC News.
  96. ^ Corbella, Licia (December 17, 2014). "Corbella: Danielle Smith leads a bounty of mutiny". The Province. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015.
  97. ^ Den Tandt, Michael (April 16, 2012). "Danielle Smith and Wildrose ride the wave". The Province. PostMedia News – via PressReader.
  98. ^ a b "Wildrose leader apologizes for XL beef tweet". CBC News. October 22, 2012. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  99. ^ Rieger, Sarah (March 22, 2020). "Alberta talk radio host deletes tweet with false claim that there's a 100% cure for coronavirus". CBC News. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  100. ^ Bennett, Dean (July 27, 2022). "Danielle Smith faces criticism of sovereignty plan, cancer remarks in UCP leadership debate". CBC News. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  101. ^ a b Noakes, Taylor C. (November 19, 2022). "Analysis | Her Indigenous heritage questioned, was Danielle Smith also wrong about her Ukrainian great-grandfather's journey". The Toronto Star. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  102. ^ a b c Paradis, Danielle. "Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she has Cherokee roots, but the records don't back that up". www.aptnnews.ca. APTN. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  103. ^ Dawson, Tyler (November 18, 2022). "Alberta premier says she didn't do 'deep dive' into ancestry after Cherokee claims questioned". National Post. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  104. ^ "52 - Brooks-Medicine Hat". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  105. ^ "By-Election November 8, 2022 - 52 - Brooks-Medicine Hat". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  106. ^ "Danielle Smith wins race to lead party". The Globe and Mail. Edmonton. October 17, 2009. Archived from the original on December 19, 2022. Retrieved December 19, 2022.

External links[edit]