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Prentice welcomes party "under new management"

BANFF - Welcoming party faithful to an Alberta “under new management,” Premier Jim Prentice spoke to a raucous crowd in Banff to open the Alberta PC Party's annual general meeting -- his first since being named premier.

"Ladies and gentleman, this government is back and this party is back," Prentice said Friday night.

"There's nobody writing obituaries about this party this weekend."

Praising his new cabinet, as well as the party executive, he called his new caucus “fighting trim” and ready to bring Alberta into what he called a new era for the party.

"They're loyal, they work hard, they love this party and they'll go to the wall for the party," he said.

"They kept the candle in the window, even during the days when frankly, it was not easy."

Calling last month's byelection sweep as a mandate from Albertans, he urged party members to keep true to the province's citizens.

"We're back on track, the party's back on track, and you can feel it," he said.

"We all heard the same message from Albertans -- Albertans are tired about the old form of politics... they're tired of all of the negative nonsense."

The past eight weeks, he said, has been all about working towards building party policy that he says reflects decency, trust and what he called "no-nonsense action."

"The government of Alberta's decisions will be based on the people's priorities," he said.

"They will be based on sound financial management out of respect for core services, health care, education and taking care of our parents and grandparents and our senior citizens' facilities."

Further distancing himself from the administration of former premier Alison Redford, Prentice promised to hold his administration to a high standard.

"People want to see a premier representing the values they want to see in Alberta," he said.

"Common sense, frugality, humility, decency -- this shouldn't be that hard, that's what we instil in our children. We pray we see these values in our grandchildren, so it's important they see it from us."

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