Alberta PC MLA penning ‘behind the scenes’ book on Redford, politics

Get ready for Redbook.

EDMONTON — Get ready for Redbook.

Alberta legislature member Thomas Lukaszuk says he is starting work on a “behind the scenes” book on his political days and on life under former Tory premier Alison Redford.

“Until I write my book … no one will really know what has truly happened and how many courageous MLAs there actually have been dealing with the situations of the day — and how much worse things could have been,” Lukaszuk said in an interview.

“I think it will be interesting to some.”

Lukaszuk and many of his Progressive Conservative caucus colleagues were sharply criticized for not standing up to Redford over self-indulgent spending and, according to some reports, the belittling of staff.

The book is in its infancy, said Lukaszuk, adding he isn’t through with political life and plans to run again for the PCs in 2016 in his riding of Edmonton-Castle Downs.

“I’m not sure when it will (be completed),” he said. “(But) I’m going to start jotting down notes.”

Redford has never publicly commented on the scandals that felled her premiership except to say “mistakes were made.”

Lukaszuk, 45, says the book will also be about his struggles in Canada after coming from Poland, along with his years under former Tory premiers Ralph Klein and Ed Stelmach.

In the meantime, the four-term member of the legislature said he is returning to life as a backbencher under new Premier Jim Prentice.

Lukaszuk, along with Calgary’s Ric McIver, challenged Prentice for the party leadership this summer after spending scandals forced Redford to resign as premier in March.

Prentice, a former Conservative MP and cabinet minister, won the party vote handily almost two weeks ago, with a 77 per cent first ballot majority.

Lukaszuk, a longtime cabinet minister under Stelmach and Redford, was forced to quit his portfolio as jobs minister to run for the leadership.

Earlier this week, Prentice announced his new cabinet, putting McIver in Lukaszuk’s old job and leaving Lukaszuk on the backbenches.

Lukaszuk said he was not surprised. The government, he said, needs to distance itself from recognizable faces of the Redford era.

“The premier has also put together a much more socially conservative cabinet, so I saw the writing on the wall,” he said. “(McIver) probably ideologically fits better than I would.

“I am very passionate about a number of social issues that I still believe need to be addressed.”

Prentice has not said why Lukaszuk did not make the cabinet cut.

Lukaszuk said he will now focus on his caucus duties, catching up on constituency work and pushing for changes and improvements to programs like maintenance enforcement.

His leadership bid was a longshot from the get-go. He launched it by himself from an Edmonton coffee shop and criss-crossed the province on a low-budget campaign.

In the days before the vote, he was blindsided by leaked documents showing he ran up a $20,000 cellphone bill while helping out a cabinet colleague while on vacation in Europe.

He said while that leak still rankles, he enjoyed talking to thousands of Albertans, and shaking thousands of hands.

Maybe too many hands.

“I developed an elbow pain. I’m going to see a doctor about it, just from shaking hands,” he said.

But of the campaign, he said: “I don’t regret a minute of it. I would have done it all over again if it was to start tomorrow.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read