EDMONTON – Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes announced Monday he’s stepping down from that position effective immediately.
“I have notified Premier Hancock that I am resigning my position from Cabinet effective immediately,” said Hughes in a news release, which can be viewed online in full here.
In late March, Hughes announced he was contemplating running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party.
He said he launched a website to gauge public support before officially throwing his hat in the ring.
During a media availability on Monday afternoon, Hughes wouldn’t totally confirm an official leadership bid.
“I think this is an early indication that that is likely.”
However, he did say there would be more developments within the next few days.
“There will be more about this later in the week,” Hughes said. “I think you can speculate quite widely about why.”
“I felt it was important – in terms of my own circumstances – it’s important to me to focus on one thing at a time.”
The news release outlines Hughes’ priorities going forward:
1) Public trust
2) Confidence in leadership
3) Understanding and respecting the value of the public dollar
“Most decisions of this government over the past couple of years were the right ones for Alberta,” said Hughes. “Some decisions that have come to light in recent months are completely and utterly indefensible. Those decisions do not reflect my values, the values of Albertans, nor the values of the Progressive Conservative party I know.”
Hughes was first elected to the Legislature in April 2012 to serve as MLA for Calgary-West.
He served as Minister of Energy for 19 months, and Minister of Municipal Affairs for four months.
“I have urged him and the Government of Alberta to continue to pursue the assertive agenda we have established on behalf of municipalities and Albertans,” he said in the release on Monday.
“I will continue to serve the people of Calgary-West, will attend to duties as a private Member of the Legislative Assembly, and will support the 2014-15 annual budget in the Legislature of Alberta,” Hughes added.
He also asked to be able to continue to have input into the Southern Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force.
PC party members will pick the new leader in September.