Callaway makes leadership pitch in Drumheller
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-