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Khan endorses Prentice for premier

Local MLA added to long list of supporters from PC caucus

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 06:00 am

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St. Albert MLA Stephen Khan has joined the long list of MLAs endorsing Jim Prentice for the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

While Spruce Grove-St. Albert MLA Doug Horner endorsed Prentice in May, Khan has waited until recently to reveal his preference for the person who will be Alberta’s new premier.

“For myself, I’ve got a lot of respect for all three of the candidates and I’m grateful for all three of them stepping up and making it a real bona fide leadership race. But in my mind it’s Jim that stands above in terms of his qualities, his leadership qualities.

“I think in the near future Alberta is going to have to stand up for itself in terms of where we sit in our nation and I believe that Mr. Prentice is uniquely situated in terms of his experience at the federal level, his relationships with key players at the federal level,” Khan said in an interview on Wednesday.

“My instincts at the beginning were that Jim was the right man for the job, but, you know, I wanted to see how things went and how the race shaped up.”

A significant percentage of the PC caucus has thrown their support behind Prentice, who is being challenged for the leadership by Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver, both sitting MLAs. Prentice is not currently an MLA, but is a former federal cabinet minister.

“First and foremost Jim’s, you know, he’s a good man. He’s got the experience and he has just a stellar record in terms of his public service and what he’s done for our province and for our country. He’s a tremendous leader. I’ve got to know him a little bit better during this campaign and I have every confidence that Jim Prentice is the kind of man that Albertans can be proud about to be premier,” Khan said.

Khan is a “big believer” in the priorities laid out by Prentice, noting that he’s a fiscal conservative and “talks very strongly about ending the entitlements and restoring public trust.”

Prentice has an appreciation for the quality of life Albertans enjoy and want to maintain, and an understanding of the province’s resources, Khan said.

“As strong as our energy sector is, Jim is a man who certainly understands we’re only going to be as successful as we are in terms of the world viewing us as environmental leaders and he’s very serious about that and I welcome that approach,” Khan said.

Khan encouraged local residents to head out to meet Prentice and decide for themselves when the candidate makes a campaign stop in St. Albert on Thursday, July 17 for a meet and greet at the St. Albert Inn.

“I believe he’s the right guy for the job at the right time,” Khan said.

For those looking to cast a ballot for any candidate in the PC leadership, Khan pointed out that this time, membership sales are being cut-off a few days ahead of the vote.

The first ballot in the leadership race is Sept. 6, and membership purchase is being cut-off at the end of day Sept. 3, the MLA said.

Membership purchase will re-open after the ballot and, if the second vote is needed, be cut off again before the second vote slated for Sept. 20.


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