By Cole Parkinson
Westwind Weekly News
The race for the next leader of the United Conservative Party and Alberta premier is heating up across the province. While several names have been put forward, Cardston-Siksika MLA Joseph Schow sees one person as the best fit to lead — Travis Toews.
“I think this leadership race has attracted a number of candidates and I’m excited to see it play out. It’s not my first leadership race that I’ve been involved in and I’m sure it won’t be my last,” stated Schow. “I like Travis a lot. I think he’s a principled conservative and he helped us get to the place we’re at now with a balanced budget and lay a foundation for a prosperous Alberta post-COVID. We need to focus predominantly on being united in the province as a conservative movement, if I can say that and I think Travis is well respected and has the ability to bring people together — we have a fractured party right now. We have people who are very upset over the last couple of years and we don’t want to see ourselves splitting our vote again. I think we need someone new to bring us together.”
Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter has also endorsed Toews to be the next leader, and at the moment, over 20 MLAs in Alberta have given support to Toews. Toews is the MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti and he was appointed as the Minister of Finance and president of the Treasury Board by Jason Kenney back in 2019. Others who have put their name forward to be UCP leader and the new premier include Brian Jean, UCP MLA for Fort McMurray, former Leader of the Wildrose; Todd Loewen, Independent MLA for Peace River-Notley, former UCP MLA; Rajan Sawhney, UCP MLA for Calgary-North East, former Transportation Minister; Rebecca Schulz, UCP MLA for Calgary-Shaw, former Children’s Services Minister; Leela Aheer, UCP MLA for Chestermere-Strathmore, former Minister of Culture and Tourism; Danielle Smith, former Wildrose Leader; and Bill Rock, mayor for the Village of Amisk.
With so many names on the board for UCP members to vote for, Schow sees Toews as the best fit to lead the UCP into the future.
“There are good candidates in this race — people that I know and like — but I chose Travis because I think he’s the best fit for the job.”