I've been in Edmonton the past couple of days and, as luck would have it, I was able to take in the first PC Alberta Leadership Debate tonight. First, hats off to the St. Albert and Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert PC Associations for putting together an excellent forum.
It was great to see all the candidates on stage together and i'm particularily proud of my how my guy, Mr. Jim Dinning, performed.
As far as the rest of the pack, a couple of observations:
-Victor Doerksen was far more eloquent than I expected he would.
-Gary McPherson is a very witty, charming and intelligent fellow. Slim as his chances may be, his message is an important one and he delivers it well.
-Dave Hancock doesn't seem to like Ted Morton very much.
The part that I enjoyed most about this evening, though, had absolutely nothing to do with the debate.
As many of you know, I have had the opportunity to travel far and wide within the ranks of PC Alberta. I've been to functions in every corner of the province and made some great friends along the way. Given the stellar attendance tonight, I was able to see and chat with or say hi to (however briefly) a great many of them including:
Rob Lougheed, Allie Wojtaszek, Helen Stephenson, Linda Robertson, Jordan Cleland, Alan Hallman, Grant Doyle, Linda Lo, Michael Cooper, Bill Stewart, Brent Rathgeber, Ken Chapman, Leslie Stitt, Bill Shields, Scott Hierath, Tim Shipton, Dave Broda, Evelyn Main, Jim Dinning, Mike Gladstone, Betty Ann Hicks, Dave Hancock, Lloyd Snelgrove, Luke Ouellette, Doug Horner, Rochelle Marshall, Scott Thorkelson, Alison Boychuk, Sara Katz, Wayne Cao, Tim Boston, Joan Hertz-Benkendorf... you get the idea... a LOT of people.
It was great to run into so many friends, although a bit sad knowing that i'm not going to be around some of these folks as much as I have been over the last 8 years or so.
Its corny to some, and downright pathetic to others, but PC Alberta really has become an extended family of sorts for me and they're a big part of what i'm leaving behind here in Alberta.
Its definetly an incentive to consider return at the end of my 2 1/2 years on the Island, for sure.