Signs advertising a Calgary Ward 1 polling station as Albertans casted their ballots on Oct. 18. (Photo: Eric Tanner)

It has been just over two weeks since municipalities across Alberta cast their ballots in civic elections on Oct. 18, electing new local councillors, school board trustees, and of course, mayors.

These votes resulted in sweeping municipal changes, including Calgarians electing Jyoti Gondek and Edmontonians electing Amarjeet Sohi as their respective mayors, both becoming the first Punjabi mayors of major cities in Canada. 

However, Albertans were tasked with more than finding their next civic leaders. Voters were assigned three questions by the provincial government. These included selecting three new Senate of Canada nominees and two referendum questions on a year-round daylight savings time and the scrapping of federal equalization payments. 

Provincial senate nominees

With 13 potential candidates running, voters were to voice their preferences for Alberta’s next three Senate of Canada nominees on the provincial ballot.

As votes were tallied, Albertans selected three new CPC nominees, with Pam Davidson, Erika Barootes and Mykhailo Martyniouk gaining provincial recognition for when future Senate vacancies occur.

Alberta’s new Senate of Canada nominee results. Courtesy of Elections Alberta.

However, it is important to note this vote does not guarantee nominees a position when the senate is faced with a vacancy. Federal senate members are instead appointed by the prime minister, with all qualified applicants in their respective positions eligible for the nod.

Alberta is the only province to hold elections for senate nominations.

Referendum questions

Across the province, Albertans were also tasked with answering two referendum questions: whether or not to implement a year-round daylight saving time and the removal of provincial equalization payments from the Constitution. 

Unlike the fluoride question on Calgary’s municipal ballot, these referendum questions are binding and will decide how the province handles these respective topics going forward.

Results came down to the wire in the province’s deliberation whether or not to adopt a year-round daylight savings time.

With just under 1.1 million Albertans making their voices heard on this contentious debate, 50.2 per cent of the province decided against implementing a permanent daylight savings time, with the end result being decided by just over 5,000 votes.

Albertans narrowly voted to keep daylight savings time the same. Courtesy of Elections Alberta.

The province was far less divided on removing federal equalization from the Constitution, with over 61 per cent of Albertans voting in favour of discontinuing the practice.

Provincial voters leaned in favour of axing Constitutional equalization payments. Courtesy of Elections Alberta.

Full results of the Senate nominations and referendum results can be located at Elections Alberta’s website.

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Elections editor and reporter for the Calgary Journal.