Ken Hughes resigns cabinet post ahead of expected leadership bid
Former Municipal Affairs minister promises to say more later this week
Ken Hughes stepped down from his cabinet position in the Alberta government on Monday, promising he will have more to say about his future later this week.
Hughes tweeted about his resignation along with a link to his website titled “Albertaleadership.com,” fuelling speculation he will become the first person to enter the race to become the next leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party.
The Calgary-West MLA said he told interim Premier Dave Hancock on Monday that he is resigning as Minister of Municipal Affairs effective immediately.
Alison Redford stepped down as premier late last month amid persistent questions about her travel spending.
Hughes, 60, was chair of Alberta Health Services from 2008 to 2011 before winning a seat in the legislature in 2012.
The Harvard-educated father of three served as a Member of Parliament from 1988 to 1993 and founded an insurance brokerage firm in 2001 with his wife Denise.
Several other cabinet ministers have indicated some interest but have not formally entered the PC leadership race, including Diana McQueen, Jonathan Denis, Doug Horner and Thomas Lukaszuk.
Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel is also said to be considering a bid.
Lethbridge-West MLA Greg Weadick is stepping in as acting minister of municipal affairs.
City-province work to continue, says Nenshi
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the resignation of Ken Hughes as municipal affairs minister won't affect ongoing talks between the city and the provincial government.
Nenshi says talks on a city charter will continue with the acting minister, Greg Weadick.
“I've worked a lot with Min. Weadick. He was the associate minister of Municipal Affairs before so he knows the files very well. Now, I don't know if he's going to stick around, but if he does, we should have relatively little trouble in moving those files along.”
However, Nenshi says talks around regional planning and possible changes to the Calgary Regional Partnership would require legislative changes — so it's not known how a new minister might affect those.