With just over a week until the PC Party chooses a new leader, party members who took out memberships in the party will have a chance to vote in the upcoming election. Three men are vying for the leadership including Ric McIver, MLA for Calgary-Hays.
The Lloydminster Source caught up with the MLA and chatted about heading into the last week of the campaign and what he plans to do if elected on Sept. 6.
Being the only candidate in the election to serve on a municipal council, as well as in cabinet, McIver’s tenure in politics has given him the nickname Mr. No, for his unwillingness to spend more than what the government takes in.
In 2001, the unknown McIver, entered the Calgary municipal scene being elected as alderman for Ward 12 in Calgary. His tenure made him well known in Calgary for being a strict fiscal conservative.
McIver ran three times as alderman and was re-elected each time by a larger margin.
It was in 2010 when he spilled into provincial headlines, announcing that he would run for mayor of Calgary, seen as a frontrunner in the election. McIver went up against unknown personality Naheed Nenshi. McIver ultimately lost the election, but earned himself a provincial profile, which launched him to win the nomination for the PC Party in the riding of Calgary-Hays.
Under the leadership of former premier Alison Redford, McIver won the election and was on the fast track for a cabinet position. Redford named McIver minister of Transportation in her first cabinet.
That position earned him a spot on the coveted Treasury Board committee.
In December 2013, McIver was shuffled from the cabinet position, and was promoted to the position of minister of Infrastructure.
During his time in the new portfolio, McIver famously cancelled the now scandal-plagued Skypalace, the residence that Redford was building on top of the federal building in downtown Edmonton.
When Redford announced that she was resigning from politics, numerous media
outlets didn’t think McIver would announce his intentions to seek the leadership.
But on May 7, in front of his house in Calgary, he announced he would be seeking the leadership of the party, in not only a way to connect with voters, but to “listen to the bosses of the province.”
Since his announcement, McIver has been travelling across the province, meeting with Albertans. While never being to Lloydminster, McIver has made it to the northeast part of the province twice since announcing. Once to Cold Lake and a second time to Bonnyville for a PC leadership forum.
As McIver crosses the province, he says that he enjoys listening to his bosses, and ensuring that they are able to hear from someone who has seen what has gone right and what has gone wrong.
McIver said that this election is about character and trust, and who the people of Alberta trust as their next premier.
“And that is why I keep emphasizing, I don’t have $40,000 and $20,000 flights in my track record,” he said. “The fact is that the expenses in my office are lower than what I’m allowed to spend.
“These are issues that matter to Albertans. The fact that I’m willing to sell memberships for $10, instead of giving them away are the issues that average Albertans respond to.”
When it comes to dealing with the federal government, McIver said that Albertans can count on him to ensure that the job gets done.
“I spoke with Minister of Employment Jason Kenney during the campaign, and after the chat he made an announcement in Winnipeg about how he might allow different provinces to have control of the the file of temporary foreign workers,” he said.
“So Albertans can count on me to get the job done.”
Building the trust back from the Alberta people will be hard but a challenge he’s up for.
“I’ve killed the Skypalace, which was signs of bad behaviour,” he said. “My expenses are boring and the expenses that I’m allowed to spend in my constituency office is less than I’m allowed to.
“I’m transparent on the things I’m allowed to.”
McIver said that Albertans want to know that the government is transparent, where they have to be.
As premier, McIver said that he will make value-based decisions, to ensure that the government is more about the people.
For the last week of the campaign, McIver said that nothing is going to change but getting out and meeting more of the bosses.