In the 2012 Alberta election, Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Party, promised to reduce “dangerous pollutants” so that Albertans would not suffer from California and “Toronto-like smog” from vehicle tailpipes and smokestacks.
The Wildrose environmental policy also focused on energy conservation, which is important in reducing GHG emissions. “Having consumer rebates, so people can make home renovations, do energy audits, switch to micro-generation, get a new hybrid vehicle or natural gas, switch to natural gas powered electricity,” Smith said. “All of these things will have a really positive impact on reducing greenhouse gases, reducing overall toxic emissions and also saving Albertans a little bit of money.”
The adoption of this policy was not the winning strategy that the Wildrose party needed. The policy was undermined by Smith’s own statement during the campaign that the science on global warming was not settled. Given Smith’s personal views, the Alberta electorate began to doubt whether the Wildrose Party was sufficiently committed to environment issues. This change in opinion helped the Conservatives avoid an election defeat.