Local politician pleased with Tory leadership vote

One local MLA is looking forward to the future with a new Premier-elect at the helm.

Red Deer South MLA Cal Dallas said he is excited for what’s next to come now that Alison Redford has been elected Alberta’s new premier.

“This is an exciting time for the party. I think what I took away from this election is the focus that has been put on the future,” he said. “We have gotten focused on the future and that’s where we want to stay.”

Dallas added caucus is scheduled to meet this week.

“Premier Redford has had extensive discussions with Albertans and she has promised some changes. Our job is to execute those commitments and that means significant change,” he said.

Dallas said he is also pleased with the participation from Red Deer voters in the election.

Meanwhile, Redford has been busy connecting with Albertans on the media circuit since her stunning victory last weekend.

She told CBC radio her party is “happy and strong. We got up Monday morning ready to start making some of those decisions that a new government needs to make.”

Redford also said she is beginning to establish her cabinet and “to do what I said I would do in the campaign which is to talk about change in this province.”

In last weekend’s vote, leadership contender Gary Mar, who was heavily favoured to win, placed second followed by Doug Horner.

Results of the vote count weren’t finalized until early Sunday morning. Redford then addressed supporters pointing out that voters had showed they wanted ‘change’.

Redford also pledged to make good on promises including improving health care and education. “We are also going to take a disciplined approach to spending.

“This party, our party, has given us the Heritage Fund, a party that is unafraid to invest in new technology that opened up the oilsands, that has pioneered new approaches to justice, to health care and to research and development,” she said. “This is a party that Albertans can trust with their future.

“To fellow conservatives in this room and across this province, Alberta has been blessed with tremendous advantages. Unheard of opportunities. And it’s our responsibility to make Alberta the best place in the world.”

Mar called on party members to get behind Redford.

“Let’s unite tonight in celebration of the new leader of our party,” said Mar. Horner agreed. “This province has a tremendous future. Now we have a tremendous leader.”