Statement from Raj Sherman, Alberta Liberal Leader

EDMONTON, AB (January 26, 2015): Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman has released the following statement of his intentions in advance of the next provincial election:

“Today, after much thoughtful reflection and consultation, I met with my Caucus colleagues and members of the Executive Committee of the Alberta Liberal Party to inform them of my decision not to seek a third term as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark, as well as my intention to immediately step aside from Liberal leadership so that the necessary preparations can be made in advance of the next provincial election.

“I will continue in my role as MLA and as a member of the Liberal Caucus until the next election. It is important that the party now move ahead confidently with renewed leadership. I earnestly believe that a significant number of Albertans embrace our message of hope and still share our liberal values of fairness, inclusiveness, and equality.

“But, it’s time for me to move on to new personal and professional challenges. It’s been a privilege to serve the people of Edmonton Meadowlark since 2008, and to serve all Albertans, as Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, since 2011.

“I wish to express my deep gratitude to my close friends and family, especially my mother, my late father,my brothers, my daughter, Sameena, and my son, Akash, for their love and support throughout my time in public office. I know it has been a long journey. Thank you for all the sacrifices you’ve made. I look forward to spending more time with you in the days ahead as I return to private life.

“I also wish to thank all my legislature colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure of serving over the years. Our team comprised of the Members of the Alberta Liberal Caucus, Laurie, Kent, Darshan, and David; my Chief of Staff, Jonathan, who has been with me from the beginning; my Special Assistant, Carmen, and the entire Caucus staff, Denis, Brendon, Scott, Kevin, Jon, and Nafisa; our Party President, Shelley, the Alberta Liberal Party executive and board, the steadfast membership, the committed volunteers, the generous donors, and all of those whom have laboured together with me in the pursuit of building a better province.

“Of course, I could not have done my job as an MLA without the hard work and dedication of my constituency office staff both past and present, in particular my constituency office managers Wendy, Kari, and Joan, as well as the many constituency assistants and STEP students who handled the day-to-day operations of the office and served the public with patience, persistence, and poise.

“Finally, I am extremely grateful to the fine folks of Edmonton-Meadowlark who twice elected me and who always expected me to represent them in the legislature with honesty, integrity, and dignity. I hope my words and actions have been worthy of the trust you placed in me.

“My last words as Liberal Leader for all Albertans young and old, living in every corner of this great province, and from every economic, ethnic, social, and religious background are these:

“We truly live in the best province in the best country in the world, but not all of us share equitably in our province’s vast wealth. It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and persons with disabilities. So, let’s make sure more Albertan do better.

“Be the change you want to see in the world. Never cease striving for the very best for yourselves, for others, and from your government.

“I thank all Albertans for the privilege of allowing me to serve the public interest the best I could.

“Thank you. God bless you all.  And, God bless Alberta.”