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PC candidate Evan Berger wants to serve constituency

Evan Berger, the Progressive Conservative candidate in the provincial Livingstone-Macleod riding, with party leader Jim Prentice.

Evan Berger, the Progressive Conservative candidate in the provincial Livingstone-Macleod riding, with party leader Jim Prentice.

A sense of unfinished business drove Evan Berger to seek re-election as MLA for the Livingstone-Macleod constituency.
The 55-year-old Berger served as MLA from 2008-’12 before losing his seat to Pat Stier of the Wildrose Party.
“A lot of it was a desire to serve again,” Berger said in a recent interview. “I believe in the path Premier Prentice is talking about as far as putting public service back in public service. It’s always been my thought you have to have the desire to serve.”
Berger, who served as agriculture and rural development minister in Alison Redford’s cabinet, enjoyed his time as an MLA working on behalf of residents of Livingstone-Macleod.
Berger enjoyed meeting with people in the constituency to listen to their concerns and issues, and then working on their behalf.
“As I proved in the past I have the dedication, the 110 per cent commitment to the job,” Berger said. “I feel that living within the constituency I’m at work every day, no matter where I am. I’m approachable, I’m accountable and I represent everyone.”
One of his first orders of business if Berger wins the election is to canvass issues in the riding.
“To me, that’s the job — taking the community’s wishes and desires and trying to fulfil them,” Berger said.
Berger took a contract with the provincial agriculture department after he lost the election, in large part to work on time-sensitive issues that started while he was agriculture minister.
Berger said there are other projects that got started while he was in government that are still outstanding, and which he would like to drive to completion.
“There’s many things I was in the middle of at the time of the last election,” Berger said. “Some are still going forward but they have progressed slowly. I want to get back into the loop.”
Berger also sees a need to give the Livingstone-Macleod riding a boost, something he said can only happen with an MLA on the government side of the Legislature.
“I want to get Livingstone-Macleod shifted back into gear and moving forward,” Berger said. “There are a pile of opportunities here. We won’t capitalize on every one, but there’s a lot more we can be doing.”
Berger, if elected, will make sure he spends plenty of time on the ground in every corner of the constituency, meeting with people.
“You have to be willing to be where the people are,” Berger said. “To me, that’s the job, is taking the community’s desires and wishes back (to the Legislature) and representing them and trying to fulfill them.”
Berger said Jim Prentice provides the leadership Alberta needs to get its economic fortunes back on track.
“True leaders don’t set out to be leaders,” Berger said. “They lead by example, they lead by their actions, and that’s the kind of man I see in Jim Prentice.”
Berger said Prentice isn’t looking for the limelight, rather he has a desire to find solutions to the problems facing Alberta.
“That’s how you get things done,” said Berger, adding Prentice is not afraid of doing the heavy work that needs to be done. “He saw something going sideways and he wanted to set it right.”
Berger favours the long-term vision that Prentice is promoting, a three-year plan to improve Alberta’s financial fortunes and move away from the boom and bust pattern.
Prentice’s longer term goals are to rebuild the Heritage Fund and diversify the economy.
“You don’t plan around windfalls,” Berger said. “You plan around steady income streams and conservative values.”
Berger was born in High River and raised on the family’s mixed farm southwest of Nanton. He and his wife Laurie and their three children continue to operate the farm.
Prior to running for the Progressive Conservative Party in 2008, Berger spent close to 16 years on MD of Willow Creek council.
During that time he spent nine years as reeve and spent six years as chair of the municipal planning commission and the agricultural service board.
Berger was a member of the Mosquito Creek Foundation, the Nanton Recreation Board, Nanton Curling Club, Willow Creek Regional Fire Services Committee, Heritage Acres Antique Society and Stavely Elks Club.
Berger also served on the local board of the Conservative Party of Canada.
While MLA, Berger was parliamentary assistant to Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton and sat on the cabinet policy committee on resources and the environment.
Berger also chaired the land use framework committee, served on the standing committee on resource and environment; the standing committee on privileges and elections, standing orders and printing; and the First Nations, Metis, Inuit workforce action plan committee.
Berger said he would be a wiser, and more experienced, MLA this time around.
“I would be honoured to once again be the MLA for the area, to step back in and move things forward.”

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