We did it! We actually managed to unify small “c” conservatives into one United Conservative Party to challenge the NDP in the next provincial election. A lot of hard work went into ensuring this happened. I door knocked and sold memberships throughout my constituency and into neighboring ones to ensure that unity was the result.
The caucus of 29 MLAs has come together around Nathan Cooper, MLA Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, as interim leader. I have joined the caucus leadership team as Chairman of UCP Caucus. This includes priorities and planning, setting the agenda and conducting the Caucus meetings. Come this fall, on October 28th we will find out who the first permanent leader of the party will be.
While the leadership contest carries on, I still have my important work to do as the MLA for Calgary-Foothills and as Shadow Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
In August, I travelled in North-West Alberta to communities like Hinton, Grande Cache, Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Valleyview, and Whitecourt, to hear the economic concerns of the community. This area is affected by the NDP government’s coal phase out, and the latest softwood lumber dispute with the USA.
But there are bright lights in the economy there like tourism in Jasper, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembly, and Lithium extraction for electric cars in Valleyview.
Prasad Panda, MLA Calgary- Foothills