Outgoing Alberta premier, longtime Alberta politician Dave Hancock resigns seat

Premier Dave Hancock — the political wise man and warhorse of Alberta’s governing Progressive Conservatives — called it quits Friday, saying it’s time for renewal under incoming leader Jim Prentice.

EDMONTON — Premier Dave Hancock — the political wise man and warhorse of Alberta’s governing Progressive Conservatives — called it quits Friday, saying it’s time for renewal under incoming leader Jim Prentice.

“Timing is everything in politics. And there’s something to be said for going out on top … leaving the stage while people are still clapping,” said Hancock.

“I don’t know if they’re still clapping,” he joked. “But I’m leaving the stage.”

Hancock made the announcement at Government House. By his side was his wife, Janet, along with daughters Janis and Janine and grandson Kai. His son Ian was in British Columbia.

Hancock, 59, said his resignation from his Edmonton-Whitemud riding and from the legislature would be finalized in the coming days.

He was picked by the PC caucus in March to become the province’s 15th premier after Alison Redford resigned. She quit after her lavish expenses sent the PCs plunging in the polls and dried up her support in caucus.

Prentice, a former Calgary MP, won the party’s leadership race last weekend and is expected to be sworn in as the new premier Monday.

He has promised a clean sweep of government to eradicate the spending scandals and to restore integrity and fiscal accountability.

Hancock, an member of the legislature over five elections dating back to 1997, said he had been mulling his future for months, but decided this week he would go.

“The reality is you can’t have two premiers,” he said. “The new leader has got to be able to take the leadership role, and that means I’ve got to step out.

“While I’m still passionate about (politics), logic says this is the time (to go).”

He said Prentice’s call for party, caucus and government renewal resonated with him.

“You can’t refresh and renew unless some of the people who have been there for a while step out.

“I’m the longest-serving cabinet minister in the province and I’ve been in lots of portfolios, so I’m hardly a new face, although I’m still an agent of change.”

What’s next? he was asked.

“I have no idea. I haven’t been without a job in 45 years. This is a new experience for me. I don’t know if I even know how to do a resume.”

Well-wishes flowed in from Hanock’s fellow members of the legislature and from the opposition side of the house.

“I have always admired the premier’s extensive understanding of public policy, and his passion for issues like education and children’s literacy which have bettered our province,” said Prentice in a news release.

NDP Leader Brian Mason said the office of the premier “demands a great deal of time and commitment, and certainly Dave has fulfilled his role admirably.”

Liberal Leader Raj Sherman said Hancock helped persuade him to get into politics.

“His argument, put simply, was that those who wish to make a difference have a duty to step up and try to make that difference,” said Sherman.

Hancock, a lawyer by profession, has held almost every position with the PCs since, as a teenager, he became inspired by the campaign of Peter Lougheed in 1971.

He was PC youth president, party president, an legislature member, house leader and cabinet minister (in health, education, advanced education, human services, intergovernmental and aboriginal affairs), deputy premier and finally premier.

He ran unsuccessfully to replace former premier Ralph Klein in 2005, but did not run in the leadership race won by Prentice.

He met his future wife while at a PC youth conference election. She worked for his opponent, but when she heard Hancock speak, she marked her X for him.

He won by one vote.

On Friday, in what at times was an emotional speech, he thanked her for more than that.

Hancock’s voice broke when he spoke about the steep price the demanding life of politics exacts on loved ones.

“Very few people understand the toll that politics takes on family,” he said.

“It’s a consuming job — and finding that balance between family and your province is probably the most challenging task.”

Then he turned to Janet.

“Love you,” he said quietly, but the microphone picked it up anyway.

“Couldn’t have done it without you.”

Just Posted

Blackfalds firefighter battling cancer

A volunteer firefighter in Blackfalds for 15 years, Dave Sutherland now battling… Continue reading

Red Deer transit users are concerned about the future

But recreation centre users are glad facility hours were maintained

Community cardiac awareness dinner and show to be held

Continued focus to bring cardiac catheterization lab to Red Deer

Red Deer businesses react to 2.02 per cent tax increase for 2018

Chamber would prefer zero increase, while DBA thinks it’s reasonable

Bring on the rodeo says Red Deer County mayor

Canadian Finals Rodeo’s move to Red Deer good for whole region, says Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

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