January 22nd, 2021

MLA Barnes eager to be sworn in for 3rd time

By GILLIAN SLADE on April 25, 2019.

NEWS FILE PHOTO EMMA BENNETT
Re-elected Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes celebrates with United Conservative Party supporters at the Medicine Hat Lodge during election night on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Barnes will not be part of the UCP cabinet.

gslade@medicinehatnews.com@MHNGillianSlade

Local UCP MLAs are in Edmonton preparing for a swearing-in ceremony of the cabinet on Tuesday.

Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress Medicine Hat, said new members such as Michaela Glasgo, MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, were given orientation Wednesday.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) we had a quick caucus meeting to take care of some paperwork that was necessary,” said Barnes. “We are all having individual meetings with Jason Kenney at this point. Mine is tonight (Wednesday).

About 25 MLAs, including Barnes, have had to clear out the offices they occupied under the former NDP government.

“The transition for power seems to be very orderly, very respectful,” said Barnes.

This is in part due to long range planning by the UCP. Barnes believes a fixed election day, rather than just a time frame, in future such as the third Monday of April or second Tuesday in May, would help to ensure orderly transitions in future.

Barnes says the UCP caucus of 64 MLAs will be meeting on Friday and Saturday in Edmonton.

“I will know more after tonight where I will fit in and where Cypress-Medicine Hat will fit in,” said Barnes.

A specific time for the swearing-in ceremony Tuesday has not been announced yet.

Barnes says his wife Frances and one of his son’s will be present. Even though he has been through the ceremony twice before it is still an emotional and solemn occasion.

“I remember in 2012 … it was eyes wide open … This one’s different … the obligation of government but I know the people and I know the place.”

He said he feels a responsibility to make clear to the government what is important to Cypress-Medicine Hat and what is necessary. Unless people are personally affected they may not be aware of the significant impact on those who do not have jobs, he explained. There are also those who have had to make their way to another city or another country to find work.

Barnes says since the election there has been a tremendous sense of positivity and hope among his supporters, many expressing these sentiments to him personally.

“This way exceeds, way exceeds, my first two times (of being elected under Wildrose),” said Barnes.

The News was not able to reach Glasgo for comment on Wednesday – the day of her orientation.

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