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2 UCP ministers, Travis Toews and Sonya Savage, not seeking reelection

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Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Travis Toews and Calgary-North West MLA Sonya Savage announced Friday they will not be seeking reelection in May.

Toews was first elected as an MLA for the United Conservative Party in 2019, and subsequently appointed finance minister by former Premier Jason Kenney.

He ran an unsuccessful campaign to succeed Kenney as leader of the UCP, losing to now-Premier Danielle Smith.

Toews said he wanted to wait until after the budget to make the announcement.

"We’ve wrestled with this decision for some time and we believe this is the right decision for us for sure, and felt the timing was right," he told CTV News.

"There’s a number of considerations in a decision like this, and ours were a combination of personal considerations, family considerations for sure, as well as business considerations."

Smith released a written statement about the finance minister's decision on Friday.

"Minister Travis Toews has been one of the strongest Finance Ministers in Alberta's history and leaves a legacy of strong fiscal management that I will continue to uphold as Premier," she said. "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."

Savage was also elected for the first time in 2019, and serves as energy minister.

"I have decided not to seek reelection and to spend more time with my family," Savage wrote in a statement.

"I will continue to serve out my term and look forward to supporting Premier Smith and my colleagues win the next election."

Smith also released a written statement on Savage.

"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 wrote.

"Although Sonya will be greatly missed, it is gratifying to know she will be able to spend more time with her best friend and husband, Eric, as well as their family."

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley also addressed the departure of both ministers.

"Both Mr. Toews and Ms. Savage are amongst the most capable cabinet ministers that this UCP government has seen over the last four years," she said in a written statement. "And the fact that they're both leaving, reveals I think the fact that Danielle Smith is not attracting a team that Albertans can count on to run a capable, responsive, competent government." 

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