The April 16th election has come and gone. A new, highly skilled team of United Conservative MLAs, led by our new Premier Jason Kenney, has been given the honour of forming government.
Following the election, a sequence of events took place that focused on the organization of a new government.
But first, let me thank the countless Albertans who participated in the democratic process and voted. The turn-out for this election was one of the highest in decades. The strong voter turnout can be seen as proof of just how concerned Albertans are with the state of our economy, the crisis of job loss, and the need for pipelines.
Now, how does government get organized?
Immediately, Hon. Kenney, the Premier-designate at the time, began putting together his team of senior staff. Once his team was in place, he began meeting with each MLA-elect and selecting his cabinet members.
MLA-elects all had to focus for several days after the election on closing down their campaign offices: collecting signs, returning equipment, cancelling phones, internet and office agreements, and most importantly, thanking all of their volunteers.
Following Easter weekend, all MLA-elects travelled to Edmonton for two days of training and orientation with all of the department heads within the Legislative Assembly Office.
Next, there were two more days of orientation for just the members of our caucus.
On Tuesday, April 30th, the new Cabinet was announced. The Hon. Jason Kenney was sworn in as the 18th Premier of Alberta, and the new Cabinet Ministers took the oath of office at Government House in Edmonton.
Deputy Ministers for government departments were announced, as well. Ministers introduced themselves to senior staff and began the process of understanding, organizing and taking over their respective ministries.
The Premier went straight to work, speaking at the Senate consultation on Bill C-48 in defense of Alberta’s oil industry and about how a tanker ban will adversely affect us.
He flew to Ottawa to speak with Trudeau and attend the Bill C-69 hearings. He also went to Toronto for meetings and declared Alberta “Open for Business” once again.
MLA-elects, meanwhile, are setting up their constituency offices for the next four years; signing leases, staff contracts, and planning and budgeting for the year to come.
This month, our caucus will be meeting again to prepare for the beginning of the 30th legislative session. On May 21st, MLA-elects will take the oath of office to officially become MLAs, as well as elect the new Speaker, Chair of Committees, and deputies for both.
On May 22nd, the throne speech will be delivered and session will begin.
I look forward to once again serving and representing the riding of Lacombe-Ponoka.
You can contact my office by e-mail at Lacombe.firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone 403 782 7725; in person 101, 4892 46 Street, Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4
Ron Orr is the MLA-elect for Lacombe-Ponoka.