No coronation: Ric McIver says he’s staying in PC Alberta leadership race

Former cabinet minister Ric McIver says he will not drop out of the Alberta PC leadership race to allow perceived front-runner Jim Prentice to win by acclamation.

Former cabinet minister Ric McIver says he will not drop out of the Alberta PC leadership race to allow perceived front-runner Jim Prentice to win by acclamation.

“I announced my intentions. My announcement stands,” McIver, who represents the constituency of Calgary-Hays, said Tuesday in an interview.

“I love this province and I’m very committed to serving Alberta, and I look forward to hearing from Martha and Henry and all the ordinary Albertans.”

Media speculation of a McIver withdrawal roiled Monday after the other declared candidate in the race, Ken Hughes, pulled out to support Prentice.

“With all due respect to the media, they don’t get to decide who the leader of the party is, nor do the MLAs and nor do the insiders,” said McIver, who resigned as infrastructure minister to enter the race.

“Who gets to decide are ordinary Albertans who choose to take a (PC party) membership.

“And I would invite all of them to take part, because it’s their voice that needs to be heard.”

The campaign to replace former premier Alison Redford as party leader and premier officially begins Thursday.

McIver, a longtime Calgary alderman before he entered provincial politics, announced last week that he would run.

Prentice, a one-time Calgary MP and cabinet minister under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has not formally announced his candidacy. But the 57-year-old has let it be known through intermediaries that he will soon enter the contest.

McIver, 55, suggested that while he has heard arguments from insiders that he should step aside, it’s just the normal cut and thrust of politics.

“With every campaign there’s a certain amount of gamesmanship,” he said. “And I’m sure for anyone that is in favour of a particular candidate it would be nice to have only their candidate in the race.

“But that doesn’t change the fact I have committed to being in the race. I will stick with what I’m doing.”

Patricia Misutka, campaign co-chair for Prentice, said the Prentice team never believed it would be a one-horse race.

“I don’t think anybody ever expected otherwise, certainly in terms of the people putting together the Prentice campaign,” said Misutka.

“There’s never been any conversation that anticipated anything except a competition.”

So far, 14 Tory MLAs have committed to supporting Prentice, including cabinet ministers Doug Horner, Diana McQueen, Fred Horne, Jonathan Denis, Robin Campbell and Greg Weadick.

Jobs Minister Thomas Lukaszuk has said he is still considering a run at the top job.

The first candidate to officially declare was Hughes on April 11, who left his post as municipal affairs minister to enter the race. Hughes promised to stay in, even when Prentice let his intentions be known two weeks ago.

On Monday, Hughes, 60, said he’d had a change of heart and would support Prentice. “That was then, this is now,” he said.

All candidates must pay a $50,000 non-refundable fee. Voting takes place Sept. 6. If there are more than three candidates and no candidate receives more than 50 per cent support at that time, the top two move on to a runoff vote on Sept. 20.

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month