By Gillian Slade on April 30, 2019.
A visibly emotional Drew Barnes said he is disappointed that he is not part of the government’s cabinet considering he is one of the more experienced people in the Legislature.
“I’m of course disappointed that my background and position did not result in a ministerial position now,” said Barnes UCP MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat. “I still feel that Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party (UCP) is the government Albertans need at this time to once again make Alberta the best place in Canada to live, work and raise a family.”
Barnes says he was offered a non-ministerial role but it was one he felt he was not suited to and so he declined. He says uppermost in his mind has been representing Cypress-Medicine Hat and the decision he made was with that in mind.
“It is important that Jason Kenney and the new cabinet remember how important Cypress-Medicine Hat is and our needs down here,” said Barnes.
Related: A breakdown of Kenney’s cabinet
Barnes was first elected Wildrose MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat in 2012 . More recently he has been the UCP MLA after Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta (PC) merged in 2017.
He has been critic for a number of portfolios including, finance, health, transportation and infrastructure.
“I would have been delighted to have served in any of those portfolios……,” said Barnes. “At this point in time my focus is on Alberta and Cypress-Medicine Hat.
When Danielle Smith and eight other Wildrose MLAs crossed to the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta in December 2014, Barnes stayed with the Wildrose. He ran for the leadership of the party a few months later, losing to Brian Jean in the May 2015 vote.
When the Wildrose merged with the PCs to form the UCP in July 2017 Barnes considered running for the leadership of the new party.
In August 2017 he told a packed room of supporters that Kenney had a proven track record and he was throwing his support behind him.
“I am truly honoured to have you in my corner,” said Kenney in response.
Barnes believes the swearing in of ministers was an exciting day as the UCP begins its “long road to repair the NDP damage” done to Alberta. He says he will continue to press for fiscal conservative based changes including balanced budgets within one term, strengthening of Freedom of Information laws and democracy directed by members.
“I am extremely grateful to have been again given the opportunity to serve Albertans and Cypress-Medicine Hatters. I will always stand for jobs, economy, pipelines, free enterprise and Alberta families,” said Barnes.
Marco Jansen, president of the local constituency, says he totally supports Barnes.
“I believe he’s in a good position to represent every aspect and the interests of constituents in Cypress-Medicine Hat,” said Jansen. “Drew has always been the most accessible and approachable MLA I have ever dealt with across the political spectrum.”
Note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the president of the local constituency. The News apologizes for the error.
You must be logged in to post a comment.