Outgoing Premier Dave Hancock leaving provincial politics
Published Friday, September 12, 2014 11:48AM MDT Last Updated Friday, September 12, 2014 6:48PM MDT
In his last appearance as premier, Dave Hancock announced today he is retiring from politics. In doing so he ends a 17 years in the legislature that saw him wear many different hats.
It’s been almost six months since Hancock took the reins of the Alberta PC Party as Alberta’s 15th Premier when Alison Redford resigned. “It’s a real privilege to serve our caucus and our government and it’s a real privilege to serve Albertans.” said Hancock at the time.
He was first elected in the riding of Edmonton-Whitemud in 1997, his time in the legislature saw him in charge of a number of different portfolios in the PC cabinet including; Minister of Health and Wellness, Government House Leader and Deputy Premier.
Since being appointed interim PC Party leader, Hancock’s life has changed dramatically. He was sworn in March 24 and his mandate was clear; distance the party from its recent stumbles and warm the seat for the incoming premier that would be elected in September. We now know that man is Jim Prentice and Monday he will be sworn in as Alberta`s 16th Premier.
On that day, Hancock will slide into the political shadows. “Passion urges me to continue but logic and politics tells me this is the right time to move on,” an emotional Hancock told reporters Friday.
Although his time in office was short, Hancock, 59, was applauded by the party for stable leadership in a time of turmoil. The party even released a tribute video to commemorate his career.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, Hancock was tasked with apologizing to Albertans for the Conservative`s past frivolous spending. He was also at the helm when the province released three licence plate designs for Albertans to vote on back in July. That program has been heavily criticized by politicians, critics and the public. Hancock ran unsuccessfully in 2005 to replace former premier Ralph Klein. He chose not run in the leadership race won last weekend by Prentice.
One political analyst said he wasn’t surprised by the announcement.
“What you’re seeing is some of that old vanguard, that he clearly feels is associated with the Redford era being whether asked to go or volunteering to go, but some way, somehow he needs to bring some new blood in,” Bob Murray with the Frontier Centre on Public Policy said.
Hancock has not set an official day for his resignation, but said he would submit his official resignation soon.
Officials with the Premier’s office told CTV News Hancock will receive $730,000 when he steps down.
With files from Ashley Molnar