MEDICINE HAT, AB – A third term as MLA for the Cypress-Medicine Hat riding could bring increased expectations and opportunities for Drew Barnes.
Elected with 67 percent of the vote on Tuesday night, Barnes told reporters at the Medicine Hat Lodge that he’s hoping the newly-minted United Conservative Party can put Alberta on the map.
“Now it is our chance to show that once again we can be the best place in Canada, a strong part of Canada, a leader in Canada,” said Barnes.
Barnes was half of the UCP sweep locally, as he’ll be heading back to Edmonton alongside his former press secretary and Brooks-Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Glasgo.
“Having learned from him and having been able to work alongside him, it's just exciting to know we're colleagues now and that we get to represent Medicine Hat together,” said Glasgo.
Barnes is now the last of his kind, being the final MLA remaining from the Wildrose Party’s surge of 17 members back in the 2012 election.
He was also one of five Wildrose candidates who refused to cross the floor to the Progressive Conservatives in 2015, later being elected to his second term with 54 percent of the local vote.
Barnes said he’s been able to go from a rookie in the political sphere in 2012 to someone who has gotten to know the ins and outs of provincial politics.
“In just seven years I've had the opportunity to be critic of almost everything, I've had the opportunity to really go around Alberta and hear what's important to Albertans,” he said.
With that experience, a cabinet position in Jason Kenney’s government has been rumoured for Barnes due to being one of the longest serving UCP members.
Barnes told CHAT News that he would accept a cabinet position if offered, but is happy with whatever role Kenney gives him.
“I will look forward to Jason forming a strong team for Albertans and I will be looking forward to offering my services, wherever it's deemed best,” he said.
This term will be different for Barnes however, as he will be part of a team that will form a majority government, something he said he’s ready to take on.
“It's a big responsibility, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity,” he said.
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