CHESTERMERE – On Dec. 1, MLA and minister of energy Ted Morton announced that his name will be on the ballot in the next provincial election, as he will represent the Progressive Conservatives in the new riding of Chestermere – Rocky View.
Morton has served in the Foothills – Rocky View riding since first being elected back in 2004, and said that he looks forward to working with the new communities in his riding while maintaining the strong connections he has made in the communities he now serves.
“I’m excited about it,” Morton said. “I’ve represented the west side of Rocky View for the past seven years, and worked closely with the reeves and councillors in all of Rocky View in that time, but I’ve never actually represented any communities on the east side.”
Morton said that he will be setting up a constituency office in Chestermere in January, while maintaining his long-term office in Springbank.
“Half of the voters in Chestermere – Rocky View are on the east side of Highway 2, so we want to make sure that it will be easy for people in Chestermere and Langdon and other communities to come to us with issues and get in touch with me,” he said. “We hope to spend a lot of time to meeting and talking to people in the community the near future.”
Morton said that they will be having open houses and doing some door-knocking in the coming months to get to know the community.
“Chestermere and Langdon have so many young families, and they are a big part of my motivation for being involved in provincial politics,” he said. “I moved here with my young family 30 years ago, and Alberta has been very good to us in terms of opportunities for our family and our kids, and I want to make sure those same opportunities are there for the next generation.”
Morton said that he thinks the east side of Rocky View is underserved in terms of health care, and that improving the availability of health care will be a priority for him.
“One of premiere Redford’s campaign commitments is to develop a system of community-family health clinics,” he said. “So I hope that we can get one of those into Chestermere.
“When you have both parents working, the regular visit to the doctor between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. just doesn’t work for working families, so the focus on the family clinic initiative is going to be important.”
Morton said that he did a full-day tour of all of the schools in the area earlier this year, and said that the need for more schools in the area is evident. He said that a plan for a new K-9 school in Chestermere is in the works, and that it will be a priority of his that the doors to that school to be open for September 2014.
Morton also said that Redford’s safe-communities initiative is also very important to him, and that he is aware of some of the safety concerns in Chestermere, such as grow operations.
“It seems to me in recent years that Chestermere has been successful in pushing those out, but it would be a high priority for me, as I see drugs as one of the most serious threats to the well-being of our children,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s no room for grow ops anywhere in Alberta, so in any area I represent, I will work hard to provide the policing and the background police work to find out where they are and shut them down.”
Overall, Morton said that he and the PC party’s priority will be to continue to provide “steady growth and good government for Alberta, and provide security for the next generation of families.”
Morton said that representing growing communities is a challenge faced all over Alberta, but because he has already seen growth in his former riding in communities like Black Diamond and Turner Valley that are also growing quickly, he understands the kind of challenges that Chestermere and other growing communities are facing with their growth.
He said that “this is an exciting new chapter in the history of this riding.
“I’d like to thank all of the Albertans I have served over the past seven years for their ongoing support, and make a commitment to everyone in Chestermere – Rocky View to listen to their views and reflect them in the legislature.”
For more information about Ted Morton and his campaign, visit tedmorton.ca.