By GILLIAN SLADE on April 18, 2019.
Drew Barnes anticipates the swearing in of MLAs to take place within 10 days, followed by a swift transition to the United Conservative Party government.
“A transition team has been working behind the scenes for a long while,” said Barnes, who was re-elected in the Cypress Medicine Hat riding on Tuesday with 67 per cent of the vote.
The UCP defeated the NDP government winning 63 seats in the election, and the NDP 24. No other political party won a seat in the legislature.
In the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding Michaela Glasgo won with 60.8 per cent of the vote and the NDP’s candidate Lynn Mac William took second place with 17.5 per cent, followed by Todd Beasley, an independent, with 13 per cent.
Barnes suggests MLAs could be returning to Edmonton within a couple weeks and “quite quickly” a return to the legislature.
On Wednesday morning Barnes texted UCP leader Jason Kenney to congratulate him on the success of the campaign. He thought a summons to Edmonton could be imminent.
“Days, maybe hours” before Kenney requests the presence of some MLAs in Edmonton, said Barnes, who insists there has been no discussion with Kenney about a possible ministerial portfolio.
He put in seven years of work in opposition and is hopeful that experience will position him in the “right spot,” said Barnes.
“I’m ready to go, ready and willing to serve,” said Barnes.
Wednesday morning volunteers on Barnes’s campaign team were already out collecting his 1,600 election signs that have been on display across the riding. A total of 100 volunteers were on his team and they knocked on 8,000 doors, said Barnes. They also did their best to respond to all emails and telephone calls as well.
Barnes believes the constituents of Cypress-Medicine Hat realized the values of the NDP government did not match their own.
“They liked our positive approach,” said Barnes.
The election campaign may be over but Barnes says he is making a point of staying connected to the people who displayed his election signs or helped to get him re-elected. By them remaining involved, Barnes believes he will have his finger on the pulse of the needs of people in Cypress-Medicine Hat.
The experience of being in opposition for many years Barnes feels the legislature is not “friendly” in terms of giving a voice to all Albertans and their MLAs. He hopes to see positive change there. Barnes also believes there is a need for more effective committees with perhaps more legislation going through those committees as part of the process.