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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hancock Statement on a "Retiring" Ralph Klein

Dave Hancock pays tribute to the retiring Ralph Klein and talks about what is next for a Progressive and Conservative Alberta.

Statement by Dave Hancock on the "Retiring" Ralph Klein

Edmonton, September 20, 2006 -- It has been an honour and a privilege to be a member of Premier Klein’s government since 1997. I have always been grateful for the opportunity to serve my province, my community, my home. Alberta is a more vibrant and prosperous province than it was 14 years ago and I thank Premier and Dr. Colleen Klein for their contributions and leadership.

Today, however, Alberta is at a crossroads. Albertans need to make choices. Much more than a choice between nine leadership candidates, it is a choice about the future. It is a direction that must be driven by values. What kind of province will we build? When the time comes for our children’s children to look back to our choices we want them to say "look what they did for us" not "look what they did to us."

In my travels throughout the province I have heard many ideas and many concerns from many people. We all have issues that affect us personally and it’s important to recognize that a farmer’s concerns in Provost are often different than those of a roughneck in High Level or a small business owner in Banff. There is, however, a resounding consensus that we have shared interest in planning for a healthy and prosperous future and making Alberta the best place to work, live, and visit. Albertans deserve a leader who not only listens, but involves them in creating their future.

All Albertans must have access to educational opportunities to realize their potential and succeed in Alberta's community and economy. We must focus on wellness and preventative care and use our creativity to ensure universality of quality, sustainable health care.

Environmental stewardship is the duty we owe to present and future Albertans. Non-renewable natural resource income is finite and should be invested in endowments to support future-forward thinking in areas such as education and innovation, resolutions for our social and environmental issues, and the development of our art, culture and community.

We need to foster innovation and create an environment that encourages Albertans to unleash their capacity to innovate and explore new opportunities. We need to ensure financial stewardship by providing continued balanced budgets, low taxation levels, and saving and investment strategies for our tax dollars.

I look forward discussing your values and priorities for the future as I travel the province over the next two months. I welcome the opportunity to engage with the other candidates in the upcoming leadership forums about the choices we need to make for a healthy and sustainable future. This campaign is about your values, your Alberta, and your choice for a new leader in a new era of government. I can provide that leadership. I ask for the support of all Albertans.