Alberta Politics

doug horner reminds albertans that he is still running for premier.

Alberta PC leadership candidate Doug Horner.
Doug Horner

Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Doug Horner held a media conference on the steps of the Legislative Assembly building in Edmonton today.

The presser was billed as a launch of his “Enhancing Education” policy framework and his plan to “unite the PC Party,” but in reality it was used as an opportunity to remind the media that despite the attention-making campaigns of Alison Redford and Gary Mar, Mr. Horner is still in this race.

Lite-policy framework
While policy framework introduced some interesting ideas, including the creation of a $50 million fund to help students experience overseas studies and volunteer work, it was surprisingly vague for Mr. Horner who has very capably held the Advanced Education & Technology portfolio over the past four years. The biggest example of this vagueness was found in the eighth point of  his plan to unite the PC Party, “Organizational ability to understand the structure needed to implement change and to effectively make things happen.”

A Premier who will be his own gatekeeper
Included in the “Accessible Leadership” section of today’s policy framework release was the promise that as Premier, Mr. Horner would dissolve the Chief of Staff position and create “regional liaison officers” in its place “to ensure that MLA`s, Cabinet Ministers and stakeholders have direct access to the Premier.” This is a subtle shot at Premier Ed Stelmach‘s Chief of Staff Ron Glenn, who’s “gatekeeper” tendencies led to much frustration and resentment among PC MLAs over the past four years.

Alberta PC leadership candidate Doug Horner and MLA supporters
Doug Horner with his MLA supporters

MLA endorsements
Standing behind Mr. Horner during the media conference were a group of MLAs endorsing his candidacy. Many of these rural MLAs made up the core of Premier Stelmach’s caucus support in his 2006 leadership bid, they include Lac La Biche-St. Paul MLA Ray Danyluk, Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale, Dunvegan-Central Peace MLA Hector Goudreau, Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Luke Ouellette, and Peace River MLA Frank Oberle. Mr. Horner also has the endorsements of Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA Genia Leskiw and Strathcona MLA Dave Quest.

These endorsements will make it easy for his opponents to make comparisons between Mr. Horner and to the unpopular Premier Stelmach, but these comparisons would be misguided. Mr. Horner is a sharp mind and is a much better public speaker that the current occupant of the Premier’s office.

Mr. Horner is a former Deputy Premier and has served as the MLA for Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert since 2001. He is the son of former Deputy Premier Hugh Horner.

14 replies on “doug horner reminds albertans that he is still running for premier.”

You’re right…the comment about organizational whatever was masterfully vague, but the comment that really troubles me appears under the policy heading “Unleashing Our Potential” which boldly states “Alberta offers a world class health care system”. Anyone who’s been following the health care discussion knows that there is much work to be done in this area. The only two PC candidates who’ve acknowledged this are Allison Redford and Doug Griffiths. Gary Mar appears to be willing to talk about it but the rest are doing their best to avoid it altogether. Not exactly a sterling example of leadership.

Say what you will about Stelmach, at least in his dying days as Premier he came thru with a Jerry Maquire-esque display of “show me the money!” for the Edmonton area. We’re getting green trip funds for LRT expansion, a new museum, and some Legislative grounds rework.

Hopefully Edmonton area PCs are smart enough to see that a vote for Mar, Morton or Redford will put the gravy train right back on track for Calgary. Northern Alberta needs another term or two of financial kickback loving from one of their own, and that’s why everyone north of Cowtown should probably look to support Horner.

At least that’s how I see it…

I’m disappointed that Doug appears to blame Ron Glen. Maybe part of the problem lies at the feet of do-nothing MLAs who never stood up for the leader, or for anything really. With the exception of a few, most Caucus members would vote for Ed’s stuff and then run like the French Army when it came time to defend policies they voted for. Whomever the new leader is, I hope (s)he gets rid of the massive amount of deadwood in that Caucus. And it might start with accepting some accountability, Doug.

I think it would be pretty hard to lay out the details of a $50 mil fund during a press conference. Or the details of his plan to bring the PC party together… what do you want? a flow chart?
Take it as it is… a press conference
You want details, go to his website and ask him. Join the PC party and attend meetings. Your likely to get the details that way 🙂
Doug Horner is a very smart man, he has very good plan I’m sure.

sweeping the house with a old broom just rearranges the dirt We need to vaccum and polish the floor to clean up the cabinet.

Say what you will about Mr. Horner, but he is the real deal. Born in Alberta, he and his family have utilized Alberta Health care for five generations (if you include the grandkids). He and his children have attended school in Alberta, and graduated from post-secondary. I would worry more about Mr. Mar who would have enjoyed expensive and private health care in DC for the past 10 or so years. It is a scary thing to swoop back into your home province after such a long absence and make such strong comments. He’ll be leaning heavily on the experiences of those around him, because he has so little of his own. Therefore, electing Mr. Mar is really electing those who influence him…and who are they?? His donor list includes many numbered companies…that seems fishy to me.

The one and only way that I will ever vote PC again, is if the Party wipes the slate clean. Fire all all existing MLA’s and leaders and run an election on completely new people with fresh ideas. Eradicate the existing PC establishment off the map, by asking them to retire and step aside. Re-engage Albertans at the grass roots. This is what the PC party should do, if it loves Alberta, Albertans and its own self. Their image is severely tarnished and its all down hill from here. The Liberals and WRA, will claw away ridings this time around.

We all know that these secretive thieves will never do that. That is why criminality will keep reasserting itself, if we keep voting the same way.

I’ve met Mr. Horner a time or two – and found him personable, bright and sincere.


Doug Horner is offering nothing new but political platitudes like, “transparency” and “accessibility” and “unlocking potential” – but I’ve heard not one single statement to suggest that he offers anything beyond the status quo.

Problem? Spend more money.

If you believe that Alberta has been governed well for the last several years – by all means, support Doug Horner, or Allison Redford, or Gary Mar for that matter. It really makes little difference – the Tory machine will continue to roll as it has.

If you think we need to do better, well, you better park your vote somewhere else.

You and me both Jack.

And, assuming Ted isn’t successful because of the “Liberals in Tory Clothing” who have taken over the party – I’ll be voting Wild Rose.

And if Ted Morton doesn’t win, I’m still voting PC. If the Wildrose had any leader besides Danielle Smith, I’d vote Wildorse – but not with her at the helm.

Doug Horner IS the best candidate hands down. There is no way voting for him means voting for those currently in leadership. Horner has an agenda that will hugely impact the every day lives of Albertans like you and I.

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