Richard Starke recently won the right to keep his post as PC candidate for Vermilion-Lloydminster and said it’s nice to have that stage of the process out of the way.
“I’m certainly very humbled and gratified that people were willing to support me and that the support was very wide spread from all across the constituency,” he said. “I’ve received many messages of congratulations since last Thursday, so I really appreciate that.”
If he wins the election, Starke will have to put a lot of his focus next term into the challenges regarding Alberta’s revenue shortfall that has resulted from the falling oil prices. He said Premier Jim Prentice has been up front from the standpoint of a fiscal platform and the government is going to have to scrutinize spending across the board.
“We have some very clear fiscal challenges with the lower oil prices and those have a dramatic effect on our economy in Alberta and certainly on our provincial government revenues,” he said.
“The premier has been very clear that we’re going to take a very hard look at expenditures in all areas and do everything we can to find savings as far as that goes. In some areas if there’s an opportunity for increase in revenue through some means, that’s also being looked at, it’s being considered, but nothing at this point has been decided upon.”
When it comes to local issues, Starke said his aim will be to provide the important represen - tation and advocacy for the constituency and cited the announcement for the Pioneer Lodge expansion as an example of the kind of work he’d like to continue with.
Starke said he is prepared to work hard on behalf of the people he represents and “advocate forcefully on their behalf.” In terms of other changes he’d like to see in the constitu - ency, he said there are a number of things he’s been working toward.
“We’re working on a variety of initiatives all across the riding in a number of different communities and locations. These are all things in varying stages of development,” he said.
“I can tell you there are a number of projects that we have been working on and we hope to bring to a successful conclusion over the course of the next number of months and in some cases, maybe even years. As those get completed, we hope to be making a favourable announcements in that direction as well.”