The Alberta Liberal Party kicked off its Leadership Race in Edmonton yesterday to a packed room of excited party members. Party President Karen Sevcik launched the race with the following speech:
"Good Afternoon. Welcome to the Launch of the Alberta Liberal Party Leadership Race.
I am Karen Sevcik, President of the Alberta Liberal Party. Thank you for joining us.
I wish to acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is Treaty 6 territory and a traditional meeting ground and home for many Indigenous Peoples, including Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, and Nakota Sioux.
Happy New Year! 2017 promises to be a year full of change and, despite events worldwide, I feel it’s going to be change for the better here in Alberta and for the Alberta Liberal Party. I’m excited by the possibilities this year offers and I’m glad you’re all here to share in the new beginning
To be an Alberta Liberal is to know who you are and what you stand for. No one joins this party for effortless status or personal promotion. They join because they believe Alberta can be better, because they want to see change happen and because they understand the value of service.
From knocking on doors, to volunteering on campaigns to the dreaded fundraising phonebanks, those who call themselves Alberta Liberals know we have to work twice as hard to see the same results other parties take for granted.
We do this because we understand the great service the Alberta Liberal Party provides to our province: a voice of reason, balance and common sense that holds government to account.
I would like to take a moment to recognize some Alberta Liberals here today.
To the Board of Directors, thank you for the work you do in your constituencies engaging with our members, hosting events, and fundraising. There literally would not be a party without you.
I would also like to thank our executive, many of whom are here, Secretary Alyssa Moore, Treasure Greg Springate, and VP Constituencies Dan McLelland. Thank you for all of your work, time and dedication to this party. It is hard and you never falter.
To our executive director Gwyneth Midgley thank you for always going above and beyond. You have helped modernize and organize this party and you are the everyday engine that drives the party forward.
I also want to thank Dr. Swann for his Leadership. Though he couldn’t be here today, David stepped up when the party needed him and provided continuity while we stabilized and rebuilt, I truly appreciate that.
And today we begin the process of choosing his successor.
The next leader of the Alberta Liberal Party will have no shortage of challenges.
Alberta’s economy continues to struggle, our healthcare and education systems are in crisis, and more and more people seem to be falling through the cracks.
Yet, we have a leftist government, ignoring the facts of the day and basing their decisions on ideology and the NDP playbook.
On the other side we have a socially conservative opposition lurching further and further to the right, and further and further into the past.
The Alberta Liberals are the common sense center. We have always been an evidenced based party; we are not entrenched, but focused on making the best choices for today’s problems.
We know we can build our economy and protect our environment. We know we can be fiscally responsible and socially just.
However, values and policy are not enough to connect with and convince voters.
We need visionary leadership to show Albertans what we have to offer and what we can do to make our province an even better place to live.
In the coming months we will choose a Leader with the skills and vision necessary to deliver our message to Albertans.
Last election the NDP benefitted from an early election call and an Alberta Liberal Party left unprepared and leaderless. 2019 will not afford them the same advantages. This time we’ll be ready to fight for the hearts and minds of Albertans who want solutions not ideological platitudes.
So, with that in mind I encourage you to get involved. Support a candidate, volunteer, donate, sell memberships and let’s have a great leadership race. Albertans are counting on us.
It is a very good time to be an Alberta Liberal.
At this time, I would like to introduce the co chairs of our leadership race to you. We are fortunate to have two talented, experienced people willing to share their expertise with us. Please meet Bryndis Whitson, our Calgary co chair and Todd Van Vliet, our Edmonton Co chair.
Bryndis is the Manager of Strategic Development and Member Relations at the Van Horne Institute. She is tremendously experienced, having been politically involved at the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal level for 20 years.
Todd is a successful lawyer, businessman, entrepreneur and avid rugby fan. Among other distinctions, he served as President of the party from 2011 until 2013. I often phone Todd for council and he has always been generous with this time and advice.
A leadership race is a complicated and exciting event. With Bryndis and Todd at the helm, we are in safe hands."
Full details on the Leadership Race can be found here.