Loewen launches UCP leadership bid

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Valleyview-area MLA Todd Loewen officially launched his campaign to run for the leadership of the provincial United Conservative Party (UCP) on June 7 in his hometown. Ousted from the UCP caucus in May of 2021, the independent MLA said the crowd and support at the June 7 event reflected the campaign he wants.

“There were people there from many communities and all ages who are looking for the same thing; a return to honest responsible government that respects the voices of all people,” Loewen wrote in an email. “We want to reach everyday Albertans who feel left out of governance.”

Loewen’s efforts to do that included a visit to the Falher Honey Festival, June 17 – 19.

“It’s important to stay connected to the local area,” he said. “I want to grow this movement from the grassroots up and that means staying connected to my roots and the people I represent in the constituency.”

Addressing the crowd at the Crabbie Goat Distillery, Loewen said he wants to build a conservative movement for the working and middle classes – “The people who cannot hire an expensive lobbyist to get the ear of government. Decisions need to be made for Albertans, by Albertans and in our best interests.”

People in Alberta want a leader and government with integrity, Loewen said.

“Albertans fully expect us to get back to the fundamentals of good, accountable and ethical governance,” he told the crowd. “It’s time to build a movement for the little guy; a conservative movement that truly conserves what we love – our communities, our families, our values.”

Loewen went on to talk about taking “the politicians out of the spotlight and put those people (everyday Albertans) front and centre. Let’s stop making everything about the power of the leader and give it back to you.”

Others in the race as of June 10 included Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA and former finance minister Travis Toews, former Wildrose Party leaders Brian Jean and Danielle Smith, Village of Amisk mayor Bill Rock and Leela Aheer, former minister of culture, multiculturalism and the status of women. Jean is the MLA for Fort McMurray – Lac La Biche. Aheer is the Chestermere – Strathmore MLA who was shuffled out of cabinet last year after she criticized Premier Jason Kenney.

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