Call­away makes lead­er­ship pitch in Drumheller

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The race for the lead­er­ship of the newly formed United Con­ser­va­tive Party is heat­ing up as an­other can­di­date made his way through town.

Jeff Call­away, who has roots go­ing back into the foun­da­tion of the Wil­drose Party was in Drumheller on Satur­day, Septem­ber 23. He stopped by Yavis Restau­rant to meet with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and cam­paign for lead­er­ship. He says the cam­paign is go­ing well.

“We are trav­el­ling across Al­berta talk­ing to mem­bers of the party and Al­ber­tans in­ter­ested in get­ting this party back on track,” he told The Mail. “That has been my nine years in­volved in pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics from the early days of the Wil­drose when there were 1,000 names on a spread­sheet, to the very end where we merged with the PC Party. That was a great achieve­ment for con­ser­va­tives in gen­eral in the prov­ince. I was a strong backer of that ini­tia­tive.” Un­til now, all of his ex­pe­ri­ence was in the back­ground. “This lead­er­ship race, hav­ing been pres­i­dent and have run a cou­ple of these, and now I am on the other side of the ta­ble putting my­self for­ward as a lead­er­ship can­di­date, it is just the next step in see­ing those com­mon sense con­ser­va­tive prin­ci­ples re-

flected in gov­ern­ment. My fo­cus is on that,” he said.

He is cam­paign­ing on three ideas; a nat­u­ral gas en­er­gized econ­omy, tak­ing con­trol of the econ­omy’s des­tiny and bring­ing in­vest­ment back to Al­berta.

Part of tak­ing con­trol of the eco­nomic des­tiny is the idea of pur­chas­ing the Port of Churchill, al­low­ing oil to make it to the east coast and be­yond.

“It has re­ally seemed to have cap­tured a lot of at­ten­tion, and that has been good,” he said.

He says this race is dif­fer­ent from the typ­i­cal lead­er­ship races be­cause of the unity vote.

This is go­ing to be a very spir­ited de­bate be­cause we have some very clear dif­fer­ences in how this party needs to be po­si­tioned go­ing for­ward.” Jeff Call­away UCP lead­er­ship con­tender

“Be­cause we are the prod­uct of the merger of two dif­fer­ent par­ties, frankly so much has to be left up to the mem­ber­ship, they haven’t had a chance to opine on yet as far as form­ing the poli­cies that we stand for as a party,” he said.

He says it is im­por­tant not to take any­thing for granted go­ing into the next pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

“We have an NDP gov­ern­ment that is go­ing to use ev­ery tool and dol­lar, even if they don’t have that dol­lar in the bank they will bor­row it, to pro­mote their agenda and pro­mote their place in gov­ern­ment,” he said.

He said, it is shap­ing up to be a com­pet­i­tive lead­er­ship cam­paign.

“This is go­ing to be a very spir­ited de­bate be­cause we have some very clear dif­fer­ences in how this party needs to be po­si­tioned go­ing for­ward. One of the ab­so­lute key rea­sons why I am run­ning in this race is I be­lieve in ac­count­abil­ity of lead­er­ship to the mem­bers of the party and Al­ber­tans. That is my his­tory and track record while be­ing in­volved with the Wil­drose.

“If we do end up form­ing gov­ern­ment we need a leader who is go­ing to be strong and bat­tle-tested and can stand up to the NDP, de­bate Rachel Not­ley and win. I am con­fi­dent I can do that.”

UCP lead­er­ship con­tender Jeff Call­away, right, meets paign worker Jeff Parker, cen­tre. with lo­cal Stan Sol­berg, left, to talk about the fu­ture of the newly united party last Satur­day, with cam-

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