Arabnews24.ca:Friday 24 March 2023 05:40 PM: Finance Minister Travis Toews and Environment and Protected Areas Minister Sonya Savage both announced Friday they will not run in the provincial election, expected on May 29.
Toews ended months of speculation first by making the announcement on Twitter Friday morning.
He did not elaborate on his reasons but said he remains deeply committed to the United Conservative Party and the conservative movement.
On Friday afternoon, Savage tweeted a statement saying she would not seek re-election to spend more time with her family.
Both Toews and Savage said they will finish their terms in office.
"I have been committed to Conservative politics since I was in my teens, and I look forward to continuing to be part of this party for years to come," Savage said in her statement.
"I wish the premier and my UCP colleagues success in the upcoming election and will be there to support the premier."
Toews, a rancher and accountant, was elected MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti in 2019.
He was finance minister for all but a few months when he ran to replace former premier Jason Kenney as party leader, coming in second to Premier Danielle Smith.
As finance minister, Toews oversaw the best and worst of Alberta's turbulent oil and gas-powered economy — massive deficits, negative oil prices and eye-popping surpluses.
He stickhandled many controversial files, including de-indexing personal income tax, arguing for wage cuts to nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic and lifting the rate cap on auto insurance.
Savage was also elected in 2019, initially serving as Kenney's energy minister. After Smith became premier, she shuffled Savage to the environment file.
Savage had been nominated as the candidate for Calgary-North West, meaning the UCP will need to find a replacement in the coming weeks.
A lawyer from Calgary who worked in the oil and gas sector, Savage said in her statement she is proud of building strong international relationships with the U.S., OPEC and other energy-producing countries to improve global energy security.
"Throughout, I have had the honour of being able to show the world the importance of Alberta's energy sector and leadership in emissions reductions," she wrote.