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   Volume 82 - Issue 17 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"I wish the best for this community for the next four years and hope to return as your MLA four years from now."
- Evan Berger  
Former MLA and Minister   
   

 

Story
Evan Berger
 
Three years ago the Livingstone-Macleod riding elected Evan Berger to represent Southern Alberta. Berger has taken over the reins from long-time MP David Coutts from Fort Macleod.
In a short three and a half years as MLA, Bergr vaulted onto the political scene when sworn in as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on October 12 at the Provincial Legislative in Edmonton.
Berger replaced Highwood MLA George Groeneveld - who served as Ag Minister since 2006 - and was one of 20 cabinet ministers appointed in Premier Alison Redford’s shakeup of cabinet, which saw 12 long-time ministers traded out.
In an interview with the Pass Herald, Berger said he was surprised and honoured to be appointed to cabinet, and that it comes with a lot more responsibility.
“You end up losing constituent time, but you also have the opportunity to bring their voices to the table at different levels,” said Berger.
Surprisingly 6 months later Berger lost his seat to Pat Stier a Wildrose Candidate from DeWinton.
Prior to becoming an MLA, Berger spent nearly 16 years in municipal politics as a member of council in the municipal district of Willow Creek. During his council terms, he served as reeve for nine years and spent six years as the chair of the Municipal Planning Commission and the Agricultural Service Board.
When interview by the Pass Herald, Berger was on his way to Edmonton to clean out his ministerial office and pick up his personal effects.
“I’m going to take some time to reflect on what happened to my seat and I’m going to spend time with my family,” Berger noted.
 

According to Berger the, “Crowsnest Pass has a special place in my heart. It’s a diversified community with a backbone and fortitude during tough times”. I loved coming into the mountains, I loved coming to the Remembrance Days celebrations at the local Legions, and I loved all the events that make the Crowsnest Pass a unique place in which to live”.
When asked why he felt he lost his seat in the riding, Berger noted, “people are frustrated in the Pass with businesses closing down, the loss of the Devon Plant and the worry about their hospital’s longevity and they wanted to take that frustration out on someone. I think I happened to be that someone.”
“I really think the change in the boundaries really hurt me in this election. There was a huge segment of the voting group that didn’t even know me as an MLA and what I did for the people in my constituency”.
Prior to the election Berger was working with the Alberta Government to help find a way to revitalize the Pass, “but now is on hold”. He noted that he will hand all his thoughts and notes to Premier Redford so we don’t get forgotten in this area.
Berger wants to wish this year’s CCHS graduates, a ceremony he has never missed since being elected, good luck in the future and wishes all the best for the people of the Crowsnest Pass.
I wish good luck to Mr. Stier, “the learning curve is huge for a new MLA and it’s an advantage to have come out of municipal politics.”
Evan will stay in as the representative for the Progressive Conservative local constituency association and he is already planning for 2016 for election . “I’ll always be there for my party and the people in my constituency. I wish the best for this community for the next four years and hope to return as your MLA four years from now.”
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