PC leadership race nears finish line as new premier will be picked today
The long journey down the campaign trail will come to an end today for the three remaining candidates in the race to replace Ed Stelmach as Alberta Progressive Conservative leader and premier.
Gary Mar is considered the front-runner after receiving around 41 % of the first ballot votes.
Mar is already planning his days in office, saying his first priority will be to defend Alberta's largest industry south of the border, "A week from today there will be a hearing on the Keystone XL Pipeline that's being held by the state department in Washington D.C. It will not be possible to be sworn in as premier before that time but if I'm successful on Saturday it is my intention to provide testimony about the oil sands in the U.S. capitol," Mar told Fort McMurray News Friday.
Meanwhile, Doug Horner, who finished third in the initial leadership vote, is prepared for his potential role at the party's helm, "The first priority has to be bringing the party back together again and insuring that we bring together any parts that have been damaged by the long campaign that we've had, certainly want to make sure we get the appropriate team together for cabinet as we move forward with putting our vision out, of what we want to do in government," said Horner.
Horner says he has strong understanding of the expanding population, industry operations and land release issues in Fort McMurray.
Despite dealing with the loss of her mother this week, Alison Redford is continuing her quest to be picked premier of Alberta.
Helen Redford died Tuesday, leading to her daughter temporarily suspending her PC leadership campaign.
But at urging of her family Redford participated in a televised debate Wednesday, "So I knew that I had to and that I wanted to and it mattered because my mom would have wanted me to do it to so we did it and I'm glad we did it, it was worth while I think, it was hard, I was a little tired at the end, you don't realize how much adrenaline there is going through your body until it stops," said Redford.
Redford says her top two priorities if elected new Tory leader would be to reverse the $100 million dollar in education funds and restore confidence in the public health care system.
PC members can cast their ballot's today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Timberlea School on Brett Drive.