Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex Calgary MP Jim Prentice Takes Reins as Premier-Designate in Alberta

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex Calgary MP Jim Prentice Takes Reins as Premier-Designate in Alberta

Article excerpt

Jim Prentice takes over reins in Alberta

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EDMONTON - Alberta premier-designate Jim Prentice began the job of righting the listing Progressive Conservative ship Sunday by announcing his transition team.

Prentice, in an email, announced his five-member team to take him to the premier's office.

It is headed by Tim Hearn, the former chairman and CEO of Imperial Oil.

The team will also include government house leader Robin Campbell and former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel, who has said he may run for office under a Prentice government.

"This is a group of talented, principled, and well respected Albertans who will assist in the transition to a new Progressive Conservative government," said Prentice in a news release.

"Under my leadership we will restore the bond of trust between Albertans and their elected officials, and return to sound conservative fiscal principles."

Also Sunday, Prentice learned the last obstacle to a smooth transition to the top job had been erased.

Defeated candidate Thomas Lukaszuk joined with Ric McIver in saying they won't challenge the results of an electronic voting campaign won by Prentice but marred by computer and phone foulups.

Lukaszuk said he's not happy, but won't stand in the way.

"That ship has sailed," said Lukaszuk in an interview.

"There was a system. An outcome was achieved, and I'll let it be."

Prentice, 58, defeated Lukaszuk and McIver handily in results announced Saturday.

The former Calgary MP and cabinet minister for Prime Minister Stephen Harper took 77 per cent of the 23,386 votes, well over the 50 per cent plus one needed for a first-ballot victory.

McIver finished with 12 per cent and Lukaszuk 11 per cent.

But it was not without controversy.

Over two days of voting, there were scores of complaints: voters not receiving the required PIN codes, jammed phone lines and frozen computer downloads. …

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