Redford’s fresh start

There was excitement in the air during the recent Premier’s dinner in Red Deer, as newly-minted leader Alison Redford outlined her vision and plans for the province.

Indeed, it’s a new era for the party in many ways. Redford will no doubt bring her own unique leadership style to the province, and has already brought about significant change – one example being the prompt reversal of the cutting of millions in funding to education in Alberta.

During her recent talk, she also connected with the audience right off the bat, pointing out that she was first elected to an ‘official office’ in Red Deer back in 1983 when she was elected president of PC Youth of Alberta.

The dinner also marked a turning point for Red Deer’s two MLAs – one appointed to cabinet while the other finishing her role among that select group.

Red Deer south MLA Cal Dallas has been appointed Minister of Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal Relations. Dallas, who was first elected in 2008, is ready for the role after his already extensive work in government. Prior to this role, he served as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Finance and Enterprise and parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Environment.

Dallas also serves as a member of the Treasury Board and the Cabinet Policy Committee on Energy, the Public Accounts Committee, the Regulatory Review Secretariat, the Standing Committee on the Economy and the Standing Committee on Private Bills among others.

On the departure side, Mary Anne Jablonski, who was elected to her fourth term as MLA in 2008, was removed from her post as Minister of Seniors and Community Supports.

For all of her work in this regard and in the bigger picture, she should be congratulated. Jablonski has worked hard on a number of fronts over the years including serving on committees ranging from the Alberta Mental Health Board Liaison and Advisory Committee and the Corrections Review Committee to the Committee on Collaboration and Innovation and the Crystal Meth Task Force Committee.

Meanwhile, Redford herself is nothing if not strongly focused. But she knows what to bring into the conversation. During the dinner she talked about things near and dear to the hearts of Albertans – health and education, the economy, the improvement of public services and the importance of guarding the well-being of families. She spoke about establishing policies that help families cope in an “increasingly complex society” that demands more of everyone.

Her past international experiences have also influenced her political view; she emphasized both global thinking and global connecting as keys to Alberta’s future success.

Ultimately, Redford appears to be reaching out to those who didn’t support her initially while polishing up the Tories’ image, keeping the party faithful happy and resolutely setting out on her own path.

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP arrest man with imitation firearm

Man pointed firearm at several staff members before fleeing to a nearby restaurant

WATCH: Red Deer commemorates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Citizens take part in activities throughout the week

Red Deer RCMP investigate armed robbery at pharmacy

Suspect wielded a handgun, demanding staff member to open the safe

WATCH: Mellisa Hollingsworth highlights Special Olympics Celebrity Breakfast

Olympic Bronze Medalist from Central Alberta shared her journey with a packed house

Court full as schools, parents dispute Alberta gay-straight alliance law

Justice Centre argues keeping parents out of the loop violates freedom of religion and expression

WATCH: Loads of summer events await Central Albertans

From CentreFest to Westerner Days, there will much to explore this season

After World Cup lineup photographed, England urges media to help team

Now the England camp is actually asking media: Are you with us or against us?

MISSING: Police hoping to locate man reported missing

Ponoka RCMP looking to public to help find Joseph Desjarlais

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Privacy questions linger two years after Canada-U.S. terror list deal struck

Two years after Canadian and U.S. security agencies signed an updated agreement officials consider privacy risk

Manitoba MP was allegedly abusive at Red Cross shelter

Canadian Red Cross has filed a complaint that Liberal backbencher MaryAnn Mihychuk ignored protocol

A look at what Canadian teams might do in the 1st round of the NHL draft

Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton in top 10 of upcoming draft

Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Western lowland gorilla, 46, died in her sleep in California

Most Read