Prentice takes the reins

EDMONTON — Alberta premier-designate Jim Prentice began the job of righting the listing Progressive Conservative ship Sunday by announcing his transition team. Prentice, in an email, announced his five-member team to take him to the premier’s office.

  • Sep. 8, 2014 5:06 a.m.

EDMONTON — Alberta premier-designate Jim Prentice began the job of righting the listing Progressive Conservative ship Sunday by announcing his transition team. Prentice, in an email, announced his five-member team to take him to the premier’s office.

It is headed by Tim Hearn, the former chairman and CEO of Imperial Oil. The team will also include government house leader Robin Campbell and former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel, who has said he may run for office under a Prentice government.

“This is a group of talented, principled, and well respected Albertans who will assist in the transition to a new Progressive Conservative government,” said Prentice in a news release. “Under my leadership we will restore the bond of trust between Albertans and their elected officials, and return to sound conservative fiscal principles.”

Also Sunday, Prentice learned the last obstacle to a smooth transition to the top job had been erased.

Defeated candidate Thomas Lukaszuk joined with Ric McIver in saying they won’t challenge the results of an electronic voting campaign won by Prentice but marred by computer and phone foulups.

Lukaszuk said he’s not happy, but won’t stand in the way.

“That ship has sailed,” said Lukaszuk in an interview.

“There was a system. An outcome was achieved, and I’ll let it be.”

Prentice, 58, defeated Lukaszuk and McIver handily in results announced Saturday.

The former Calgary MP and cabinet minister for Prime Minister Stephen Harper took 77 per cent of the 23,386 votes, well over the 50 per cent plus one needed for a first-ballot victory.

McIver finished with 12 per cent and Lukaszuk 11 per cent.

But it was not without controversy.

Over two days of voting, there were scores of complaints: voters not receiving the required PIN codes, jammed phone lines and frozen computer downloads.

Party executive director Kelley Charlebois has said while the system had problems, the result reflected the true sentiments of the party.

Lukaszuk said all is not well.

“I firmly disagree with the party. The electronic vote was not a success by any standard. But at the end of the day it was what it was,” he said.

Charlebois said he expects party members will discuss the electronic voting experiment at the annual general meeting in November.

McIver told reporters after the vote Saturday that he, too, is moving on.

“What matters is Albertans get to decide, and they decided,” said McIver.

“It wasn’t the decision that I asked for, but it was the decision they made.

“And I always said, ’You get the government you deserve when you elect me, and you get the government you deserve when you don’t elect me.”’

He said he plans to continue working for the caucus and will seek re-election in Calgary-Hays under the PC banner in 2016.

Lukaszuk also said he will work on whatever position Prentice appoints him to, and is eyeing a run for the PCs in the next election in 2016 in his Edmonton-Castle Downs riding.

Prentice has promised substantive changes quickly to fulfil campaign promises to realign a caucus and government knocked off kilter under former premier Alison Redford.

Redford resigned in March amid revelations she had used tax dollars to spend lavishly on trips and office perks, including a pricey penthouse suite on top of a government building.

Prentice, based in Calgary, still needs to win a seat in the legislature. He has promised to do so quickly, but has not said where he’ll run.

Redford’s seat in Calgary-Elbow is open.

PC backbencher Neil Brown has offered to step down to let Prentice run in Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill.

No date has been picked for Prentice to be sworn in as premier.

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

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

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

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

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

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

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

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