End of an era

On March 30, 2019 the Battle River Crowfoot Electorial District Association (EDA) held a regular board meeting. At that meeting, Kevin Sorenson announced that he would not be seeking re-election when the next Federal election is called, which is expected to take place on Oct. 21, 2019.

Kevin has faithfully served this area as our Member of Parliament (MP)for the past 19 years.

He first got involved when he served on the board of the Reform Party EDA and then became president of the EDA when Jack Ramsey was the MP.

He was nominated to be a candidate for the 2000 election when Jack Ramsey stepped down.

On Nov. 27, 2000 he was first elected as an MP for what was the Alliance Party at that time.

During his time as an MP he was involved in two amalgamations of conservative parties. The first one was when the Reform Party amalgamated with the Alliance Party to become the Reform Alliance Party and then it was changed to the Alliance Party of Canada.

After the formation of this party, Stephen Harper was elected the leader of this new party. This still left two right-wing parties. Peter McKay was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

Stephen Harper knew that neither party could form a government without the other so the cry became “unite the right”.

After some intense negotiation, the two leaders were able to come to an agreement to unite the two parties into the Conservative Party of Canada with the acronym of CPC.

The agreement became official on Dec. 7, 2003.

Kevin was elected as an opposition member in 2000 and 2004. In 2006 Stephen Harper was elected to the first of his two terms as a minority government.

In 2011 Kevin was elected as an MP for the fifth time when the CPC won a majority Government.

He won again in 2015 but he again became an opposition member as the CPC were defeated by Trudeau Liberals.

During his time as an MP he went through two electoral boundary changes and each time the area that he represented got larger.

Rural ridings do not have the population density that urban ridings have.

Rural MP’s have more work than an urban MP due to the large area that they represent and MP’s in Western Canada spend more time travelling than MP’s in the rest of the country.

Also, in Kevin’s case, he had one of the largest ridings in Canada to serve with some people living all over it.

Kevin was very dedicated to his responsibility in serving the people that he represented.

I doubt if the people of this electoral district had any idea of the tremendous amount of time that he spent in representing their concerns.

He told us at the meeting that he spent about nine hours a week just riding in airplanes.

It was not just flying from Edmonton to Ottawa with the various responsibilities of being an MP, he was expected to attend functions all over Canada and often around other parts of the world.

I am of the opinion that we were fortunate to have a dedicated person like Kevin Sorenson for our MP for that length of time.

I was told that the average length of time for an MP’s term is six years. Kevin has, in his last two elections, a plurality of over 80 per cent of the vote, the highest of any elected MP in Canada.

To get that level of support in an election tells you that he was highly regarded by his constituents. Enjoy your retirement Kevin you have earned it.

 

by Herman Schwenk

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