2021 AGM Leader's Speech

The following is the speech given by Interim Leader John Roggeveen to the 2021 Alberta Liberal Party AGM 


Thank you, everyone, for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today.

You are critical to our party's future success

This is a time for us to celebrate what makes us Liberals and why we need to get MLAs back into the Legislature

As Liberals, we believe in individual freedom. Freedom to be ourselves, pursue our dreams and strive for success as we, ourselves, define it

We also believe in opportunity. Meaningful opportunity. The opportunity that allows us to make our own choices. Opportunity without unfair barriers

We know that freedom and opportunity for all will lead to prosperity

Prosperity defined by a sustainable world and fulfilling lives for everyone

That, to me, is the essence of what makes us Liberals

That's the message that we need to bring to our fellow citizens. That's the message we need to talk to other Albertans about

So, as a party, we have a mission

We must listen to our fellow citizens and have conversations with them about how we can make Alberta a place where they can fulfil their dreams, pursue their passions, and live full, happy and prosperous lives

We must convey to Albertans what we can achieve by getting Alberta Liberals back in the Legislature

Winning seats in the Legislature would give us a seat at the table in the conversations about Alberta's present and future

The type of honest and productive conversations missing in Alberta politics right now

Today, it seems that the UCP and NDP are treating politics not as a conversation but as a sport

I love hockey and football as much as the next Albertan. And I can't wait for Edmonton or Calgary to win the Grey Cup or the Stanley Cup again.  

But politics isn't sports, and we've got to stop treating it like it is

I'm not talking about being a pushover

We can be firm in our beliefs and still have a reasonable conversation about building a better Alberta

Some so many people feel left out of today's political conversation. They aren't satisfied with this polarized political environment. They want a political option focused on helping them, not fighting the other guy. 

They need a political home. 

They need a voice

That's our job right now as Alberta Liberalsto turn down the temperature, dial back the rhetoric and find the people who are sick of the fighting and that just want to address the challenges we're facing

We need to have conversations about what it means to build opportunity for every Albertan

We need to talk about building a future for our economy beyond the foundation laid by the oil patch. 

We need a conversation about how we can take advantage of the growing diversity in our province and build on it. 

We need a conversation about meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. 

We need to address the challenges facing our public healthcare system

We need to make sure we're delivering a world-class education for students of all ages

We need to think more than four years ahead. 

We need to ask: "What does Alberta's best future look like, and how do we get there?

In the New Year, we'll be electing the next leader of the Alberta Liberal Party. I don't know who that person is yet, but I'll tell you what I hope they are like

I hope that person embodies things we aren’t seeing today's leaders

An Albertan with strong Liberal values

Someone willing to listen to others

Someone willing to cooperate and collaborate

Someone respectful of others, even those they disagree with.

In short, someone who can have honest conversations with Albertans about making our province better for all of us, not someone who governs on behalf of wealthy friends or special interests

For this leader to succeed, it's going to take all of us. We need to build a party together that can support that Leader

So we have a job to do

The job isn't just to find our next leader

It's to find our next leaders-plural

Let's find the leaders in our communities. 

The ones who don't see politics as a sport and understand that leaders' job is to make a difference - for everyone

Find those people. Let them know they have a home here in the Alberta Liberal Party

When talking with friends and family over the Holidays, ask them to get involved

Our job together isn't just to find our next leader-it's to find the next 100 leaders

We need leaders who will join the new, revitalized Alberta Liberals -- decent, caring and forward-thinking people who will stand up for our beliefs and strive to make Alberta better

That, I'm sure, will inspire others to join us

Thank you.