Last PC MLA call­ing it quits in 2019, has strong words for Al­berta pol­i­tics

StarMetro Edmonton - - EDMONTON - Kieran Leav­itt

Dur­ing a farewell in the me­dia room of the Al­berta Leg­is­la­ture, the last Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive MLA, Richard Starke, an­nounced he wouldn’t run again and had some choice words for Al­berta politi­cians.

On Wed­nes­day, the MLA for Ver­mil­ion-Lloy­d­min­ster thanked his fam­ily and con­stituents for their sup­port. How­ever, he took a few shots at the United Con­ser­va­tives on his way out.

“Ab­so­lutely zero re­grets,” Starke said of his de­ci­sion not to join the United Con­ser­va­tive Party af­ter the Wil­drose and Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives merged in 2017.

Starke said he wasn’t wel­come ei­ther way, but if he had joined he would be “very, very un­com­fort­able with a lot of what they are pur­su­ing.” He said one of the rea­sons he didn’t like the UCP was the way the party dealt with LGBTQ is­sues.

But Starke didn’t stop at the UCP. He said Al­ber­tans would be “dis­mayed if they knew just, in some ways, how dys­func­tional this place is.” He said par­ties want­ing to win the next elec­tion “su­per­sedes the need to pro­vide good gov­er­nance.”

Starke served his first term as an MLA in 2012 with the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives. In 2015, he man­aged to keep his seat de­spite the New Demo­crat wave that swept Al­berta, top­pling the PC dy­nasty which had ruled the prov­ince for 44 years. Richard Starke an­nounced Wed­nes­day he would not be run­ning in the 2019 elec­tion.

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