Finance Minister Ron Liepert not running again

Finance Minister and Calgary-West MLA Ron Liepert is not running in the next provincial election.
Finance Minister Ron Liepert speaks to reporters at the Alberta legislature last month. (CBC)

Finance Minister Ron Liepert isn't planning to  run in the next provincial election, CBC News has confirmed.

Liepert, the Progressive Conservative MLA for Calgary-West, made the announcement Wednesday at a closed-door caucus meeting in Edmonton.

Liepert is the latest former or current Tory cabinet minister to announce they are not running in the next election, expected in spring. On Tuesday, long-time Sherwood Park MLA and former cabinet minister Iris Evans announced she is quitting politics at the end of her term. 

Another former cabinet minister, Vermilon-Lloydminster MLA Lloyd Snelgrove, also announced he isn't running. Neither were named to Premier Alison Redford's cabinet in October.

Culture and Community Services Minister Heather Klimchuk was philosophical about the departures.

"I know the toll it takes on family, and the toll it takes on you individually, so you have to make the choices," she said outside a Progressive Conservative event in Edmonton.

"I totally respect all of my colleagues who have been with me and have mentored me, like Ron or like Iris, so I'm just thrilled that they're going to make choices and move on."

Liepert was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2004. He previously held the Energy, Health and Education portfolios before Redford named him Finance Minister in October.

Many observers were surprised when Redford appointed Liepert to her cabinet. After Redford won the Tory leadership, Liepert spoke openly of fighting her pledge to call a public inquiry into health queue jumping.