Long-time Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski announced earlier this week that she would not be running for a sixth term of service.
After nearly 15 years, she said she would like to spend more time with her family and that she will continue to support whoever takes her place as MLA for Red Deer North.
“It is with mixed emotions and some sadness that I am announcing today that I will not be seeking a sixth term in the next election as the MLA for Red Deer North. I am, and will continue to be, a very strong supporter of the PC party and of Premier (Jim) Prentice,’” she said. “There is no doubt in my mind that history will see Jim Prentice as one of Alberta’s greatest premiers. I leave knowing that Alberta is in good hands.”
Jablonski’s career has been extensive. One of her most notable accomplishments was the passing of a private members bill – the Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act, which was introduced in July of 2006.
She has been the chairperson of such committees as the Cabinet Policy Committee on Community Services, the Alberta Mental Health Board Liaison and Advisory Committee, the Corrections Review Committee and recently served as co-chair for the Canada Relations Committee of Council of State Governments West.
Currently, she is the deputy chair on the Standing Committee of the Alberta Heritage Savings and Trust Fund, and was elected by the Legislative Assembly as the third speaker of Alberta’s 28th legislature – the first female speaker to reside over Question Period.
“The best work I do as an MLA is to serve the people of Red Deer north and to serve those in need,” she said.
“Most of the work by an MLA is things people don’t see – extensive reading and committee meetings. However, it is working directly with the people that is most rewarding. There are many generous people here that work directly with those in need to give them a hand up. Very little would be accomplished without the support of the people.”
Jablonski gave many thanks to those who had supported her over the years – volunteers, friends, caucus members and other colleagues. Her career took her through five Progressive Conservative party campaigns and two leadership races.
She also took the time to recognize the members of the Red Deer North PC Constituency Association who guided and assisted her throughout the years as well.
“To the people of Red Deer North, it’s been a great honour and a privilege. I am humbled and truly grateful for the opportunities that were granted to me as your representative. I look forward to the next chapter in my life as a citizen and volunteer in our great community.”
Moving forward, Jablonski said she will not be proclaiming support for any candidate over another – only that she looks forward to being able to assist whoever may resume her place. She said she doesn’t want to skew the City’s perceptions of any one candidate over another, and that it is up to the people to decide who they feel would best represent them.
“This would have been my sixth term, and I feel very confident with our legislature. However, there comes time where you need to spend more time at home with your family. I want to be home at night with my husband and I want to be here in Red Deer when my grandkids are being awarded with special recognitions or playing games where they want to see grandma,” she said.
“My decision was hard. I love serving the people. Whoever the new MLAs are, I will be able to support them, and encourage them and bug them to finish the projects we’ve started.”