Decision day in Alberta: Voters head to polls in provincial election

Almost 700,000 votes have already been cast in advance polls

Almost 700,000 votes have already been cast in advance polls

Mr Kenney's rival for the top job in Alberta was the NDP's Rachel Notley.

Leader Jason Kenney, a former federal cabinet minister, will be the next premier of Alberta.

And depending on who the victor is, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have to deal with another conservative premier amid a federal election year.

Both Kenney and Notley blamed Trudeau for a lack of progress on new oil export pipelines, saying he was pressing for excessively stringent environmental standards at a time when energy producers were clamoring for more capacity.

Calgary may just be where the provincial election is ultimately decided.

Trudeau was asked in Kitchener, Ont., earlier Tuesday whether he was concerned about his climate plan should Kenney win.

The win could reverberate beyond Alberta, setting the party on a collision course with PM Justin Trudeau's Liberals over climate change.

The NDP ended decades of conservative rule in Alberta when it won a 2015 election, but inherited an economy hammered by a global crude price crash.

NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci hung on to the seat he won in Calgary in 2015.

The province of Alberta has seen an election full of personal attacks.

Nearly 700,000 people voted in advance polls, well above the record 235,000 who did in 2015.

The province, once a money-making dynamo thanks to sky-high oil prices, has been struggling for years with sluggish returns on royalties, reduced drilling activity and unemployment levels stubbornly above seven per cent in Calgary and Edmonton.

Jason Kenney says his government will have the lowest tax regime in Canada and will cut red tape.

Meanwhile, Notley has tried to make Kenney's character a campaign issue. A number of his candidates have either quit or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

On the margins of the campaign were the centrist Alberta and Liberal parties. Mandel became leader of the Alberta party in February 2018. He has even vowed a legal challenge of the tax if elected. The UCP's Flatla has made the carbon tax the focus of her campaign and has promised to repeal it in the first legislature sitting. Changes to overtime pay are to be rolled back.

In a tweet responding to the Alberta Teachers' Association direction that students be allowed to use a washroom of their choosing - now government policy - Kiryakos said her children "had a right to not be brainwashed into accepting perversions as alternative lifestyles".

The bill gives Alberta the power to reduce oil flows to retaliation for its opposition to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.