Red Deer South MLA Cal Dallas announced Friday that he won’t be letting his name stand for the Tory nomination for the next provincial election, expected this spring.
“I’m here to share with you I’ve made a decision and advised my constituency board this morning that I’m not going to seek the upcoming nomination for the Progressive Conservative party that’s going to happen somewhat imminently,” he said during a press conference at the Black Knight Inn.
“I was incredibly honoured and privileged to serve the residents of Red Deer South for the past seven years. It’s humbling, it’s hard work and it’s an incredible experience. There’s nothing I’ve done before or since I’m sure that will measure to that in terms of a life experience.
“As I reflect on the last seven years I don’t think I would have ever expected to serve four Premiers as a Parliamentary Assistant, Minister of the Crown and Legislative Secretary but I have, and it was all a privilege.
“Essentially, I’ve also got complete confidence in our premier and the cabinet we have today and our caucus in the plans being made in terms of moving ahead – the challenges we have in front of us.”
Dallas said he was also confident in the “capacity and resiliency” of the province.
“I can assure you that while we might face some choppy waters over the next while, that we have the leadership and the backbone as Albertans to persevere and succeed in that.”
Dallas said that when he first started as an MLA, “The best case scenario you could hope for is to do two terms as an MLA. You recognize in the first term that there is a tremendous amount of learning, a tremendous amount of relationship learning to do, and you have to make sure you understand the complexities of the community issues you are advocating for and really build the skill sets.
“Beyond, it’s a big ask of the community to support you again, and I had that support, I was very fortunate. I realize I’ve been very fortunate to do two terms.
“I’ve done the very best I could. There is always unfinished business, but this is a time to create new opportunities for representation for Red Deer.”
Dallas also pointed out that he only made the decision quite recently. “You are always torn. It’s actually quite emotional. You have a lot invested in this.
“I will work diligently until the day an election writ is executed, and then I’ll worry about what is next after that.”
And while he’s not exactly certain about what the next step is, he welcomes the change of direction and the opportunity to spend more time with his family. Dallas also said he was very grateful to his family for their support over the years.
“Finally, I want to give a special thank you to my wife Jackie, and all of my family who bore much of the burden of public office the past seven years,” he added in a release. “My hope is that they can share some satisfaction in knowing that as a family we made positive contributions to the future of our great province.”