Former federal MP Jim Prentice made a pit stop in Lloydminster Tuesday afternoon, speaking with party supporters and supporters for his upcoming election campaign for leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party Association of Alberta.
In the hour long townhall, standing-room only, meeting at Boston Pizza, Prentice spoke about his time in the federal government and in the private sector.
“It feels great to be (in the Border City), we are touring right across this province, and it’s great to be back here in Lloydminster again,” he said.
Prentice, who is running against two other candidates for the leadership, said that meeting with Border City residents gave him an idea of what the important issues in Lloydminster and the surrounding area.
“The campaign that I am running and speaking about, is what Albertans are speaking about. The priorities that I’ve outlined, are the priorities that Albertans are really saying right now,” he said.
Prentice said that Albertans want a province that they once again can be proud of.
“They want one they can be proud of. A province that is fiscally responsible, instead of where we have elected representatives that take pride in the relationship they have with the voters in the province,” he said.
“Albertans want a province that is not reliant on one major trading partner. We need to begin marketing our products in the Asian Pacific region,” he said.
Prentice also talked about the need for the province to once again respect the province that at one time was the first jurisdiction in North America to have a minister of Environment.
“We are also speaking about the fact that Albertans want a high quality of life in this province. There is nothing Albertans care about more than their public education system, and their provincial health-care system, and how we take care of seniors,” Prentice said.
Prentice said that he is hearing those key themes across the province.
“We also heard that here in Lloydminster today,” he said.
One of the issues that Prentice heard that was more specific to the region was the way that infrastructure was being maintained.
“I also heard today, there was some concern about the condition of the roads and how they are maintained and the amount of provincial funding provided to keep roads and bridges in the province up to standard,” he said.
Prentice said the issue of improper funding for infrastructure in the province isn’t that unique to Lloyd but he is hearing it across the province as well.
“I am also hearing about the energy resource in the area, and how it’s a billion dollar industry,” he said. “The money flows out of the region, but the dollars to maintain the services are here in the province.”
Earlier this year, Prentice received the endorsement of Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke, when asked what it means to have the endorsement of Starke, Prentice said that it’s a benefit to have the endorsement of a hard working MLA like Starke.
“He made the right choice,” Prentice said jokingly.
“I am really honoured to have Minister Starke as part of the team and he’s a respected and valued part of the campaign team.”
Prentice also made a stop in Vermilion earlier in the afternoon, before leaving to head to another event in Hanna, Alta.