Premier Alison Redford gets 77% support in leadership review
Premier Alison Redford won the support of 77 per cent of delegates who voted on her leadership at the Progressive Conservative party annual general meeting in Red Deer on Saturday.
"I respect the message that you sent this weekend and I appreciate your support," Redford told the convention shortly after the results were announced. "I thank you for your continued support. I take this leadership role seriously."
Redford was supported by 920 of the 1197 delegates who cast a ballot. She said she was surprised by her reaction as she heard the result.
"To see the party and the membership and the convention and the caucus so excited about that, I was touched because this is my party, this is where I grew up in politics and this is exactly where I want to be," she said.
Redford's predecessor Ed Stelmach also received 77 per cent in his leadership review in November 2009.
But that wasn't enough to quell discontent about Stelmach's leadership. He ended up announcing his resignation in January 2011, which paved the way for Redford's successful leadership run.
Redford didn't seem concerned about the 23 per cent who voted against her and insisted the party was unified.
"There’s always going to be people that have different perspectives," she said. "It's something that we celebrate in our party and we’re going to make sure that we keep working with everyone across the province.
Redford has been the leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives since Oct. 2011.
Health care premiums
Delegates didn't just vote on Redford's leadership. They also passed 21 of 24 policy resolutions which include an end to daylight savings time, opposition to a provincial sales tax and the reintroduction of health care premiums.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister and Red Deer South MLA Cal Dallas said caucus will take the health premium resolution into account. But he said there are no plans to introduce new sources of revenue until consultations are complete. .
“Those resolutions are not government policy and government policy evolves from a much broader discussion with Albertans," Dallas said.
Dallas said that discussions about health care premiums would not be a part of the discussions for next year's budget.
Health Minister Fred Horne said that money isn't the issue in the health care system — it's how that funding is used.
"We think we have more than enough money to work with," he said. "What we're trying to do is show Albertans that we can get better value for those dollars."