United Conservative Party leadership hopeful Travis Toews was in downtown Calgary for a campaign stop on Tuesday evening. Toews served as Alberta’s Minister of Finance until very recently when he stepped down from that position in order to pursue the top job in the party. He has been the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Grand Prairie-Wapiti constituency since 2019.
Earlier in the day Minister Jason Nixon, who is the acting Minister of Finance since Toews’ departure from the roll, announced a $3.9-billion surplus for the 2021/22 budget, which was good news for the province given the forecasted deficit when the budget was implemented. While this fiscal upswing was largely a result of a significant upturn in the Alberta energy sector, Toews did oversee the budget which saw Alberta back in the black for the first time in seven years. Toews’ speech to the small crowd in attendance at the event echoed the budgetary surplus and was focused heavily on sound fiscal policy moving forward.
While no one disputes the importance of sounds fiscal policy and fiscal prudence, the $3.9-billion surplus results from the 2021/22 budget could as easily be attributable to Jason Kenney as it was to Travis Toews, and yet Kenney is still out as leader. Perhaps there are bigger concerns for Albertan’s than politicians taking credit for high oil prices. Perhaps people have question about the UCP's COVID-19 response, mass arrests and Charter violations.
While Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro did announce plans to participate in a public inquiry into the feral governments invocation of the Emergency Act, there is no denying that they have failed to account for their own abuse of power and overreach right here in Alberta. Many feel that Jason Kenney is no longer the leader primarily because of his COVID-19 response, and we have heard time and time again that people want the next leader of the province to stand firm against the ongoing persecution of conscientious objectors and peaceful protesters.
Rebel News asked Toews’ whether he would commit to putting an end to all investigations, prosecutions and punishments against people extending from lockdown orders if elected leader, if he viewed the arrests and harassment of pastors, small business owners and most recently Tamara Lich as problematic and what immediate assistance might be offered to people presently facing imprisonment and sanctions for daring to challenge lockdowns and mandates.
While Toews acknowledge that the COVID-19 response was far from perfect, he stated that he plans to defer to the judicial system and that he believes politician interference is irresponsible. Those pleased with Jason Kenney’s response to COVID-19 will likely resonate with Toews’ responses, however, those who voted for new leadership may not be quite so receptive.
To ensure you have the latest information so you can make an informed choice when it comes time to elect the next leader of the United Conservative Party, be sure to check in regularly at UCPLeadership.com.