Alberta Environment Minister Sonya Savage says she won’t seek re-election this spring

Click to play video: 'Alberta cabinet ministers Sonya Savage, Travis Toews not seeking re-election'
Alberta cabinet ministers Sonya Savage, Travis Toews not seeking re-election
Two months before Albertans are expected to head to the polls, two high-profile UCP cabinet ministers have decided to not be on the ballot. Finance Minister Travis Toews and Environment and Protected Areas Ministers Sonya Savage have each announced they won't seek re-election. As Saif Kaisar reports, in total, 18 UCP MLAs and 4 NDP MLAs are not seeking re-election – Mar 24, 2023

Hours after a cabinet colleague announced he would not be seeking re-election when Albertans head to the polls later this spring, Environment Minister Sonya Savage announced she too has decided not to put her name on the ballot.

“Over the past four years, I have had the tremendous honour and privilege to serve as MLA for Calgary-Northwest and as Minister of Environment and Minister of Energy,” she said in a statement posted to social media on Friday afternoon.

“After deep reflection, I have decided not to seek re-election and to spend more time with my family.

“I will continue to serve out my term and look forward to supporting Premier (Danielle) Smith and my colleagues win the next election.”

Smith issued a statement following Savage’s announcement on Friday.

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“Minister Sonya Savage’s dedication and commitment to furthering Alberta’s energy interests and developing a made-in-Alberta approach to responsible environmental stewardship of our natural resources will benefit Albertans for decades,” she said.

Opposition energy critic Kathleen Ganley posted on social media on Friday to thank Savage for her service to Albertans and acknowledged that while they “exchanged words” over issues on coal or UCP government’s energy war room, the two lawmakers “agreed on many others.”

“Above all you were thoughtful and reasonable. Best of luck in the future,” Ganley tweeted.

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Earlier on Friday, Finance Minister Travis Toews, the MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti, announced he will not run in the May 29 election.

Toews, the legislature member for Grande Prairie-Wapiti in northwestern Alberta, ended months of speculation with his announcement. He said it was a recent decision and a difficult one for him and his wife, Kim.

“(There were) personal considerations, certainly family considerations and some business considerations,” Toews said in an interview. “When we added all of them up this seemed like the right decision for us. That was the impetus for it.”

He dismissed suggestions the decision was tied to his loss to Smith or to the party’s further shift to the right under her leadership.

“We have a big tent party. This United Conservative Party has a lot of diversity. All groups are very important,” he said.

“I’m fully committed to the party, to the movement, committed to the premier and committed to an election win this May.”

Toews was elected in 2019 for the UCP and was finance minister for all but a few months when he ran to replace former premier Jason Kenney as party leader, coming in second to Smith.

Toews had refused to discuss his future in recent weeks, saying he was focused on passing the budget, which featured a projected $2.4-billion surplus along with increased spending across the board.

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— With files from Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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