Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 1896 votes: 2
Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:13 pm Post subject: Alison Redford wins Alberta pc leadership race
( this can oly be good news for the wildrose alliance , it seems the alberta pc's are moving even closer to the centre after it looked like they were headed more right )
Redford becomes Alberta's next premier
By Tanara McLean, QMI Agency
Alberta PCs crown Alison Redford premier
In a come-from-behind win, Alison Redford is Alberta's 14th Premier.
After hours of tedious vote tabulating, Redford emerged the winner over competitor Gary Mar by 1,613 votes.
"Today, Alberta voted for change," said Redford to a roar of cheers.
"Make no mistake, we are going to do things differently."
The final confirmation came in about 1:30 a.m., nearly seven hours after polls closed.
It was a dead heat between Redford and Mar, the perceived front-runner, throughout the night
Second-choice votes from supporters of third-place finisher Doug Horner put her over the top.
The crowd and all failed candidates rallied around Redford.
"Alison Redford will need all of our help in the weeks ahead," said Mar, smiling widely.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let's unanimously say yes to this leader and let's give her our undivided support because tonight…we are one and I am very proud to support Alison Redford as our next leader," said Horner.
Redford campaigned hard on changing the government decision-making process, often challenging the "old school" ways she said Mar represented.
While on the campaign trail, Redford vowed to re-instate $100 million to school boards initially cut from the 2011/2012 education budget within 10 days of taking office.
"(This is) change that means that teachers will be returning to classrooms, change that means there will be better access to health care for all Albertans, but also change that means a change to spending priorities and more funds to ensure the prosperity of our kids," she said.
Through her joy, she took time to thank her mom, Helen Redford, 71, who died just four days before the final vote.
"I'm proud of my mom. She got me involved in politics 30 years ago and she's a big part of why I'm here. I'm thinking of my mom tonight," said Redford, choking back tears.
An emotional departing premier Ed Stelmach said there’s a lot of work ahead, but Albertans should be proud.
“Our province of Alberta is leading North America in all aspects. We have a lot of work ahead of ourselves, but I know under the leadership of a new premier, we will all work together,” he said.
“I know I’m leaving this province in good hands.”
At 46, the former justice minister becomes the first female premier in Alberta.
Campaign manager Stephen Carter, who lead Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to a victory in 2010, said Nenshi and Redford have the same appeal to voters.
"Both of them have the ability to grasp issues and make them matter to their constituents," said Carter.
"Alison cares about health care, she cares about education. Those are issues that matter to people."
Redford vaults into the Premier's seat with just three years in Alberta politics.
The trained lawyer won the Calgary-Elbow seat in the 2008 provincial election, immediately taking a post as justice minister.
Redford is expected to address the media Sunday at 11 a.m.
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