Dear Friends and Supporters,
While I am saddened to inform you that I will not be a candidate to be the next Premier of Alberta and UCP leader, I am excited about the future of our province!
What I can say, is that this is not the end, but the beginning, of my involvement in fixing our political institutions and fractured healthcare system.
Our team was amongst the last to enter the leadership race. As an outsider, with no membership lists and little support from party establishment, we managed to generate much excitement with our small but effective team. We provided the necessary funds ($125,000) and many UCP membership signatures, but we did not get a waiver of the 6-month membership rule to enter the leadership race. This was the main impediment to our success.
We succeeded in capturing the imagination of Albertans from across the province who signed up for our vision to build a Strong Economy AND a Strong Society. Here is what you told us are your main concerns: trust in government and democratic reform, healthcare, inflation’s effect on families (groceries, clothes, utility & gas bills), prudent fiscal management, government’s response to Covid19, education and support for our seniors and our vulnerable as well as the opioid crisis that plagues our communities.
It has been heartwarming for me as I have received a very kind reception from UCP party members and MLA’s who were very supportive of our team’s entry into the leadership race as a demonstration that the UCP is a “Big Tent” party. While we were denied entry, I have had the opportunity to reunite with fellow Conservatives and form new friendships.
What is next? Our campaign is effectively over. We will file with elections Alberta and report all donations and expenses. Surplus funds, if any, will be returned to donors on a proportional basis.
My team and I would like to congratulate the other seven candidates, their families, and teams for their successful entry into the leadership race and thank them for their personal sacrifice to represent Albertans. Our team wishes them all the best as they share their respective visions of how to build a better Alberta.
This effort is all about teamwork and my gratitude goes to our small but lean team who worked tirelessly and on short notice on different aspects of our campaign such as the truck wrap, our website, and volunteer office staff. No political campaign is possible without the generous help from donors. I am appreciative of the many Albertans who invested in our vision. My involvement was not possible without their help.
I am grateful for those hard-working Albertans who bought a UCP membership, signed our nomination papers and volunteered to help. Lastly, I am comforted that my children, brothers and their families, my mother and close personal friends and colleagues were a part of this adventure.
As for my next move, stay tuned!
Thank you and may God Bless Alberta.
Raj Sherman, M.D.
YES, we have a STRONG ECONOMY, we also need a STRONG SOCIETY.
Hubert Humphrey said, “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”
Healthcare is in crisis and access to care must be improved ASAP. Major investments into Education of our children and citizens is essential so we may build the economy of the future, a knowledge-based economy which leverages the strength of our energy and agriculture sectors.
Our seniors built this great province, and they must receive all the support required so that they may live out their lives with dignity and respect. We must deal with homelessness, poverty, addiction, and mental health issues as well as the opioid crisis that plagues our communities.
Then there are the issues of inflation. Families are struggling to put food on the table, pay their gas and electricity bills and afford the simple necessities to enjoy life.
Alberta is a place where anything is possible, with the right leadership!
In my personal life, I have never settled with putting in a mediocre effort. My promise to you is that together, WE WILL take Alberta to heights not seen before and build a STRONG ECONOMY & a STRONG SOCIETY!
God Bless and thank you.