Travis Toews, Grande Prairie- Wapiti MLA and Minister of Finance says he is looking forward to spending more time on his ranch with his wife and family.

Toews announced on Friday (March 24) he would not be seeking re-election in the May 29 provincial election.

He spoke to Town & Country News after the announcement, saying he plans to focus on his businesses and has “no further political aspirations or plans at this point.”

In a letter Toews posted on his social media channels, he said the decision to step away from provincial politics came “after much deliberation and prayerful consideration.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Grande Prairie-Wapiti as their MLA and Albertans broadly as their Minister of Finance.”

For now, Toews says he will continue to serve the constituents of the Grande Prairie-Wapiti riding up until a new candidate is elected in the general election. 

He also plans to continue serving as the Finance Minister as long as the premier keeps him in the role, said Toews.

Premier Danielle Smith released a statement saying Toews was “one of the strongest Finance Ministers in Alberta’s history and leaves a legacy of strong fiscal management.”

Toews most recently ran for the UCP leadership and placed second in the race but was ultimately defeated by Smith. 

The premier said due to the upcoming provincial election, she “will be working with the party and the local constituency association to locate and appoint a new UCP candidate” for Grande Prairie-Wapiti.

The Grande Prairie riding will also see a new MLA after the election. Current MLA Tracy Allard announced last month she would not seek re-election. 

There are currently four candidates running for the UCP nomination in the Grande Prairie riding; Nolan Dyck, Tayyab Parvez, Larry Gibson and current city coun. Gladys Blackmore.

A vote will take place of Grande Prairie constituency UCP members on April 3. 

“I deeply believe that the UCP is Albertans by far and away best option in terms of government, and I’ll be actively supporting the Premier and the party in the campaign in whatever way I can,” said Toews.

Allard called his resignation a “great loss to the team and a sad day for Alberta. 

“Thank you for your leadership and tremendous sacrifice.” 

Toews reflected on the highlights of his time in office as Finance Minister, including taking the Albertan economy to a position that he says is “leading the nation in economic growth.”

He said the past four years, provincial spending has been brought to sustainable levels and resulted in balanced budgets for two years.

Locally, Toews said he is happy to see the completion of the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and the Hwy. 40 twinning project moving forward.

“I’m busy working with the committee in Beaverlodge on a replacement for the Beaverlodge hospital,” he said. 

“There’s some more work to do there, but we’ve made real progress, and I’m hoping we can get that project right over the line before May.”

“It’s been a long time coming. 

“It’s the oldest hospital in the province, and we have just absolutely incredible doctors, nurses and support staff, delivering first-world health care out of a third-world facility.”

He said he commends the committee in Beaverlodge for their hard work. 

Toews, who is from Beaverlodge, was first elected into office in 2019. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 30, 2023 at 13:15

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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