Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr says he is committed to the decision that he made in 2019 to not run in the next provincial election.
Orr has served as Minister of Culture and Status of Women since July of 2021, and last week Calgary-Foothills MLA Jason Luan was named the new culture minister.
“I’ve been very clear to everyone in the riding. My intent all along has been this would be my last term. I’m currently the oldest guy in the legislature and I’m going to retire,” said Orr, 68, who was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2018.
He said when the local United Conservative Party nomination process begins for the 2023 election, we’ll see who puts their name forward.
His advice to the next Lacombe-Ponoka MLA was to be patient because things take time and a lot of work.
“You’re not going to win everything. You take the wins you can get and keep working on the ones you can’t. Stay positive. Stay optimistic. Keep building for the future,” Orr said.
“Alberta has some really fantastic people and I really think that in spite of all the conflict and negativity out there, I think Alberta has a great future. There’s lots of opportunity in this province.”
Orr said he has focused on building consensus. Constituents have different views that need to be taken into consideration.
“We live in a society that’s becoming increasingly polarized for all kinds of reasons. I think it’s important that we actually listen to each other and try to understand each other’s points of view, and find common ground and build positively on that.”
In a Facebook post, Orr said while he was a minister, government offset costs for sport registration fees for families, established Alberta Day, worked with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation to bring cultural objects back home, and partnered with Manitou Asinîy-Iniskim-Tsa Xani Center to return the Manitou Stone back to eastern Alberta.
In his riding, Orr said he has worked with Gull Lake Watershed Society on declining water levels, assisted in efforts to upgrade the Calnash Ag Event Centre, and lobbied on behalf of Blackfalds for needed highway upgrades and a registry office.
He said the greatest thing about his job was meeting so many incredible Albertans.
“There are so many positive people out there doing things, not looking for glory or praise. They’re just out there. They’re helping out with nonprofits. They’re volunteering. They’re creating incredible new innovative businesses.”