Last week marked the end of official business for long-time MLA Ken Kowalski, but he’s not ready to put up his feet just yet.
Although the former Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA did not run in the last election, and has been succeeded by PC MLA Maureen Kubinec, he still had official responsibilities as Speaker of the Legislature until last Wednesday, when he officially passed the job on to Gene Zwozdesky.
Kowalski is now looking ahead with no regrets.
“I’m thinking that this is probably a fine move,” he said. “I’m going to enter this stage of so-called retirement.”
Although his official obligations are now finished, he said he’s going to be busy for at least a year tying up loose ends, sorting out the thousands of files accumulated over more than three decades as an MLA and accepting invitations to a variety of events throughout his former constituency.
He has no specific plans to get involved with the constituency association or put his nose into the business of running the province.
“Once you make the decision to leave, you make the decision to leave,” he said. “As a very wise man told me, when you take your name down off that door, don’t look back.”
Kowalski said he would, however, be willing to offer advice to any of the new MLAs “if required and if requested.”
On the personal side of things, he said after 43 years of experience in the work force he looks forward to being able to spend more time with his family and spend time at some of the properties he owns in other jurisdictions.
He also hopes to finish with some of the other projects he started on during his time as MLA, such as providing plaques of recognition to the provincial branches of the Royal Canadian Legion to commemorate the Albertans who gave their lives in armed conflict over the last century.
He also hopes to be able to provide some of the memorabilia he has accumulated in his time in the legislature, including four complete sets of Speaker of the Legislature memorabilia, to different museums and educational organizations throughout the province.
“It’s the kind of thing I’ll do in the short term, being about a year, and then we’re going to go to our places we have in other parts of the world and spend some time there,” he said.