Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA and provincial Minister of Finance Travis Toews has announced he will not be seeking re-election.
Toews took to Twitter with an open letter to his constituents, explaining the decision was not one he came to easily.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Grande Prairie – Wapiti as their MLA and Albertans broadly as their Minister of Finance,” Toews writes.
He adds he and his family are humbled by the support they have received from not just those in the region, but those across the province.
In the letter, Toews also expresses that even with this decision he is still committed to the conservative movement, the United Conservative Party (UCP) and to the party’s success in May.
Following a post budget discussion with the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce Friday, Toews told MyGrandePrairieNow the reaction to his decision not to run for re-election has been supportive and positive. He echoed the sentiments in his letter about how serving the riding, where his friends, neighbours, and colleagues live has been an immense honour. While adding as Finance Minister he is proud of the work which has happened over what he says were some “tough years.”
“Again it hasn’t been easy, but it has been an incredible privilege and so, Im going to look back on these four years with a lot of fondness, even though there has been challenges,” Toewes says. “Again we live in a great region here in the northwest and I just can’t say enough about the support I received.”
Toews explains following the UCP leadership race in October, where he came in runner up to now Premiere Danielle Smith, he and his wife started wrestling with the decision about what to do moving forward.
“We continued on in my role as MLA, the premier re-appointed me to cabinet, I accepted that appointment, and just worked hard to deliver responsibly as Alberta’s Minister of finance, and to deliver well for the MLA of Grande Prairie – Wapit.”
Toews says following a series of personal, family, and business considerations, along with looking at the who is currently on the UCP bench, helped him make his decision.
“In the United Conservative Party, in our bench in caucus, we have a deep bench, we have a deep cabinet, and I am very confident that this party under the leader of Danielle Smith will continue to be the best option for Albertans.”
Moving forward he says he is focused on continuing to serve not only the Grande Prairie – Wapiti riding, but Alberta as a whole as Finance Minister, if the premier chooses to leave him in this role. After his term, Toews says he looks forward to getting back involved in the businesses his family owns in the region and any other opportunities.
Toews was elected into office in April 2019, during the provincial general election. Then Premier Jason Kenny appointed Toews as Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.
Premier Danielle Smith issued a statement following Toews announcement crediting Toews as being one of the strongest Finance Ministers in the provinces history and is leaving a legacy of strong fiscal management that she plans to continue to uphold as Premier.
“I greatly respect his decision to spend more time on the ranch and with his family. There will be big boots to fill in Grande Prairie – Wapiti, and I wish him, Kim, and the family nothing but the very best,” Smith says.
Smith says she will now work with the party to appoint a new candidate for the riding.
In 2022, Teows threw his hat into the ring and ran for leadership of the UCP, coming in as the runner up in that race behind Premier Smith.
Toews last day in office will be May 30th, 2023.