On Sept. 17 the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta will choose a new leader who will become Alberta’s next premier. This is an important decision for our party and even more important to the people of the Province of Alberta.
I worked closely with Gary Mar from 2004 to 2008. Knowing him as a colleague and friend, I was very impressed with his wide range of interests, experience and knowledge. In fact, we both worked in the Arctic at different times in oil and geological exploration.
My support of Gary Mar as our next leader stems from the personal and approachable way he builds relationships with people from all walks of life. He listens with a genuine interest in what matters to Albertans. His family has been in Alberta for more than 100 years, so he has an enduring connection to both rural and urban Alberta.
Mr. Mar has a wide range of experience having served for 14 years in cabinet with portfolios in community development, health, education, environment, and international and intergovernment relations. He understands the things that matter most to Albertans and was involved in the difficult decisions that had to be made in the 1990s to get Alberta’s fiscal house in order and set the stage for Alberta to be a leader of influence in Canada and North America in today’s realities.
As a farmer and businessman, I respect and appreciate the good work he has done in the last three years as Alberta’s envoy in Washington, D.C. Alberta’s economy depends a great deal on trade and access to international markets. The strong relationships Mr. Mar has built abroad is recognized as the right kind of leadership in our energy, forestry and agricultural sectors.
Gary Mar brings an important international perspective to our province that will ensure our government works closely with industry partners here at home and governments at all levels to influence positive outcomes for Alberta and the rest of Canada.
His experience with the departments of health and wellness, education and environment have given him an understanding of the needs and challenges of Albertans. With Mr. Mar’s leadership, we will build strong and diverse communities that will ensure success for the future of Alberta.
I encourage all Albertans to make the effort to get out on Sept. 17 and support Gary Mar in his bid for leadership.