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Brad Wall's departure highlights changing political landscape of Western Canada

Brad Wall's departure highlights changing political landscape of Western Canada
From CBC - August 11, 2017

Once it was western alienation. Now it's westernregeneration.

Western Canada is in the midst of a significant changeover in its politics as Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, Canada's longest-serving premier,makes room for someone else.

Wall saidThursday renewal would be good for his province and his party. He has led Saskatchewan since 2007 and the Saskatchewan Party since 2004. But Wall is far from the only political leader in Western Canada about to be replaced.

The parties that form the Official Opposition in all four western provinces are in the midst of leadership races.

Christy Clark stepped down as B.C. Liberal leader last month after her minority government was defeated by the NDP.

In Alberta, the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties merged to form the United Conservative Party (UCP). Among those vying for the new party's leadership are former Conservative MPs Brian Jean and Jason Kenney.

New Democrats in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are also looking for new leaders after their defeats in 2016 provincial elections. The Manitoba NDP will choose its next leader in September, while their counterparts in Saskatchewan will make their choice in May.

The Manitoba Liberals, the third party in the province'slegislature, arealso runninga leadership campaign, while the Alberta Liberals chose their new leader, David Khan, in June.

To thecentre, right or left?

It all makes for a lot of change coming in the political landscape, with potentially significant shifts in the region's politics.

The B.C. Liberals, a coalition that includes federal Liberals and Conservatives, could choose to goeither to the centreground the New Democrats, in an alliance of their own with the provincial Greens, may struggle to holdor to the right in order to differentiate themselves from the new government.

In Alberta, the next leader of the UCP will have a big role in decidingwhether it goes to the right, where the Wildroseonce stood, or the centre, the traditional territory of the PCs.

Aglittering prize

Nationally, musical chairs

Trudeau losesa critic

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