Travis Toews

Travis Toews

UCP leadership candidate Travis Toews is calling for the province’s conservative movement to unite — and asking conservatives who felt disenfranchised during the pandemic to return to the party. 

The former finance minister was speaking to a packed room at the River Cree Resort in Enoch Cree Nation on Tuesday night. 

Alberta’s grassroots conservative movement united under one banner five years ago by focusing on principles of responsible fiscal management, individual freedom, and limited government, Toews said. 

“And this great conservative movement must once again focus on the values that unite us instead of the issues that divide,” he said.

The Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA is currently in third place in the leadership race, trailing former Opposition Wildrose Party leaders Danielle Smith and Brian Jean, per a new Angus Reid Institute poll.

He has 25% support among UCP-leaning voters — up from less than 10% a short time ago.

But it’s still “early days in the campaign,” and Toews is focused on meeting and listening to Albertans, the leadership contender told the Western Standard in a media scrum following his campaign speech.

“That's my goal right now,” he said. “I've heard so many perspectives from Albertans right across the province.”

Those perspectives, Toews told supporters, includes Albertans who feel disenfranchised following the COVID-19 pandemic. Albertans who feel they’ve been wrongly characterized, he said. 

“I want to extend a call home. We're better together and so much stronger in our unity.”

Toews worked in the private sector until he was elected in 2019. Prior to his public debut, he worked, raised a family, and pursued business interests with his head down — like most conservatives, he said.

“The best day was the day I didn’t notice government."

But he took notice of Rachel Notley’s NDPs, and in 2019, he stepped forward to preserve the opportunities he was afforded for the next generation.

"Folks who never paid attention to politics were sitting up and taking note," Toews said.

The former Kenney minister also plugged his track record overseeing the finance portfolio. The province is on a sustainable fiscal recovery, banks are saying Alberta will lead the nation in real GDP growth, unemployment is at its lowest since 2015, and the province presented a balanced budget for the first time in over a decade, he said.

“We will no longer undermine our long term ability to care for the most vulnerable, we will no longer spend more than we make, and we will no longer burden future generations with a debt they did not incur," he said. 

His event in Enoch Cree Nation fell on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Toews has already secured endorsements from 23 UCP MLAs, and now an endorsement from nation's Chief Billy Morin. 

“I am absolutely honored and humbled with your endorsement of my leadership today,” he said.

UCP members will elect a new leader and premier on October 6. 

Recommended for you

(10) comments

Berta baby

@canadianjeff….. nailed it. I would say, after your boss said he wanted a new base,and after the constant lies why would we support the establishment candidate?

Danielle Smith for Premier!

CanadianJeff

Sure, lets just forget the tyranny, forget the suspension of Constitutional, Charter and Basic Human Rights.

Lets forget the martial law that saw citizens being arrested, fine even jailed for trying to go about their business.

Lets just forget the UCP/NDP attacked Alberta Business forcing closures while protecting Canadian and International interests.

Lets just forget the failure of AHS, the withdrawal of health services, the refusal to open the market to those who could supply services even while Albertan's were dying, alone, without family members to hold their hand, to comfort them, to say goodbye.

Lets just forget that AHS is still unable or unwilling to supply services, that the deaths due to lack of diagnoses and treatment has not stopped and may be increasing while we are being told to forget.

Lets just forget the persecution and jailing of Christians and political opponents who did not agree with the tyranny.

Lets just forget the endless lies and broken promises.

Lets just forget, forgive, all promise to do better.

Everyone voting UCP/NDP are willing to forget and carry on, why not not you?

Hey, who wouldn't cheer for that campaign?

Other than those who lost loved ones including an Alberta and Canada their forefathers had fought to keep free, those who lost jobs, businesses, those whose children will never recover the lost years, other than them who wouldn't just want to forget and move forward?

Free Canada

Towes is the profile of a honest hard working Albertan. Look him up yourself. He is a small town boy who went to a small Alberta College and became an accountant. He has a family and has run his own business. He has been the Finance minister since 2019 and next to the premier the finance minister is the hardest job in government. Of course all the JK haters are going to say, he worked with JK so don’t trust him. Well why should we trust Jean or Smith? They have never ever been in government. Jean was quoted as saying we should have consulted more with the NDP on Covid restriction. WTF is he talking about!! Smith said we should have followed Texas example. Well Texas had more than 2X more deaths per 100,000. Like that would have been a stupid move. ( even though I personally would have liked it) however 75% of Albertans would have freaked out. Anyway… my ramble is done. God Bless.

Can'tfixstupid

I would have expected more and better questioning/reporting from Rachael? Why would any Albertans vote in a jk bootlicking crony?? How clueless and out of touch can toews be, being part of the cabal to destroy Alberta, licking jk’s butt all the way, then wants to get in and finish the destruction?? C’mon voters let’s kick his butt to the curb and make it known, NO WAY to any jk traitors.

Alberta1234

Won't come back to a party that will not admit nor commit to not repeating the mistakes made during the last few years. Will have to see who to the leader is and unfortunately, this person has been less than inspiring.

Goose

He didn't speak out when there would have been a price to pay. Others did. He did not. Ditto for the rest of the former UCP cabinet ministers running in this thing.

Free Canada

Spoken like a true NDP operative!

d_carroll50

Where was Travis Toews 2 years ago with the " we are the world rhetoric"? No where to be seen. He was not man enough to stand up and do right by us then and he is not man enough now!

d.r.cmolloy

This is goblegook plsecomment on what Albertan's have on their plate .What about the sovereign act /the split on rual / city divide.Some idea's of what we will do with these windfall dollars now and in the future.What about the RCMP replacement /restructure of AHS/ restructure of ATA. Collecting our own taxes /Giving the rual municipals a real say. Let us get a comment on the real issues

PersonOne

He is playing to the slightly left of middle/middle. He is steering clear of the pandemic issues, because they will only cause him trouble. I can see why he is doing this. We will see how it plays out for him. As much as a person thinks their point of view is best, and that surely most people agree, that is not ever the case.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.