Former Alberta finance minister and deputy premier Doug Horner announced Thursday that he is resigning as MLA on Jan. 31 and returning to life in the private sector.
Horner told reporters he informed the PC constituency association in Spruce Grove-St. Albert last night and spoke to Premier Jim Prentice on Thursday morning.
Horner said that after 14 years in government, he decided it was time to move on.
“I’ve been proud and honoured to serve in various portfolios in government. I’ve worked under five premiers. I’ve held the post of deputy premier, which is an honour that I’ll always hold and cherish,” he said.
“But I think the time has come for me to move on and to let others take that honour.”
Horner has been the MLA for Spruce Grove-St. Albert since 2001. He had been a member of cabinet since 2004 when Ralph Klein named him agriculture minister.
Horner left cabinet in 2011 to run for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, a race eventually won by Alison Redford.
Horner was sent to the backbenches and made a special adviser on trade and federal-provincial relations when Premier Jim Prentice announced his cabinet in September.
In a statement, Prentice thanked Horner for his service.
“Doug has been a tireless worker for the people of Alberta for many years. During his time as MLA – both inside and outside Cabinet – he has made significant contributions to this province," Prentice said.
“When I was with the federal government, he was a trusted partner in advancing Alberta’s interests across the country. And in my role as Premier, I have appreciated his solid counsel on trade and federal-provincial matters."
Horner's father, Hugh, was an Member of Parliament and MLA for the area and served as a cabinet minister in the 1970s under former premier Peter Lougheed. He was also a local doctor.
The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation says Horner is in line for a $507,000 transition allowance.
Doug Horner's statement:
Dear constituents, friends and supporters,
It is with mixed emotions that I announce today that I will be resigning as a Member of the Legislative Assembly and Senior Advisor to the Premier effective January 31, 2015. Having had the privilege of representing the constituents of Spruce Grove-St. Albert, and before that Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert, since first elected in 2001, the time has come for me to begin a new chapter. For 14 years, I have been honoured to serve Albertans at the Alberta Legislature, both in my capacity as MLA and as Deputy Premier, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, and Senior Advisor. Alongside my legislature colleagues, and under the leadership of five premiers, I have seen our great province make tremendous strides, overcome unparalleled challenges, and benefit from unprecedented growth. I am proud to have a place our provincial history books, and to have carried on my family’s legacy of public service to Alberta. I look forward undertaking new endeavours, returning to the private sector where I began my career years ago.
While it is with some sadness that I say goodbye to the many friends and colleagues with which I have been blessed during my time as an elected official, I know that our province is in good hands. Alberta will continue to face challenges, but it will continue to grow and thrive, and adapt to a changing world. I remain a committed member of the Progressive Conservative team, and I know it is this party that will continue to lead Alberta into a promising future. I have full confidence in the leadership of Premier Prentice, and the support and strength he garners from our dedicated Cabinet and Government Caucus members. I would like to thank all those who have supported me over the years, and entrusted me to serve our province. I will forever be humbled and grateful for the opportunities granted me as a public servant. God bless.