Calgary

Ric McIver named interim leader of Alberta's PC party

Ric McIver — one of only three PC cabinet ministers left standing after Alberta's election — has been appointed as the interim leader for the Progressive Conservatives.

Former PC cabinet minister ran to be leader in race that saw Jim Prentice take over the party last year

Ric McIver has been named the interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party after former premier Jim Prentice resigned on election night. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

Ric McIver — one of only three PC cabinet ministers left standing after Alberta's election — has been appointed as the interim leader for the Progressive Conservatives.

Speaking to reporters at the McDougall Centre, the MLA for Calgary-Hays said the party is focused on getting to work.

"Our attitude is that we're going to do what's best for Albertans. We will support Premier Notley when she does the right thing, we will oppose Premier Notley when she does the wrong thing because that's what Albertans expect us to do," he said.

The PCs lost 60 seats after the Alberta election, ending the party's nearly 44-year reign in power in the province and effectively bumping them to third-party status.

Prentice resigned his seat and the leadership on election night after the major loss to the Alberta NDP.

McIver said he's disappointed the PCs are not still in government but understands that voters were telling the party they have some lessons to learn.

'The voters have made a decision'

"I actually believe in democracy. I actually believe that what the voters decide should be final. It is," he said. "The voters have made a decision and it's for us now to serve Albertans and do the best we can to make Alberta better."

McIver, a former councillor for the City of Calgary, held a couple of key cabinet positions — including labour and infrastructure — after being elected to the legislature in 2010.

He ran to be the PC party leader last spring, but lost to Jim Prentice in the race. He will take Prentice's place and speak at the PC Alberta leader's dinner.

"I'm hearing that people are looking forward to what we're going to do because a large number of Albertans have come to depend upon and trust the party and our party's representatives. A lot of Albertans still trust and want to depend upon our party," he said.

"I look forward to the opportunity with my colleagues, who are as committed to public service, as I am to addressing them and making sure they know we are still key on public service." 

McIver says it is not yet determined if he will seek the leadership on a permanent basis. 

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