MLA Leela Aheer announces intent to not seek re-election

Chestermere Strathmore MLA Leela Aheer has announced her intent not to seek re-election for the United Conservative Party (UCP) in the next provincial election.

MLA Aheer posted her announcement to Twitter on Oct. 26 in a written statement, while issuing thanks to her constituents who have supported her.

“I chose to run for the UCP leadership to reflect my commitment and values and give back to the province that has given so much to my family and me,” she wrote in her letter of intent.

“The members have stated their wishes for leadership and a new direction for our party. I respect their decision.”

During the UCP leadership race which concluded Oct. 6, Aheer was defeated in the first ballot of the race, being supported by only 1.6 per cent of votes.

MLA Aheer first ran for public office in 2015, defeating the then incumbent MLA Bruce McAllister. She was appointed deputy leader of the UCP in 2017 previous premier, Jason Kenney.

In April 2019, Aheer was appointed as Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, which she served until her removal from the station, July 2021, following criticism of premier Kenney.

During her tenure, she introduced legislation aiming to empower those at risk of domestic violence, and declared Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in Alberta.

Aheer has committed to supporting the current UCP government and honouring her commitment to the Chestermere Strathmore constituency and will remain in her position until the conclusion of the next provincial election.

When contacted regarding her defeat in the leadership race, as well as with respect to her statement to not seek re-election, the office of the MLA stated she would not be taking questions, as of Oct. 27.

MLA Aheer has yet to respond to further inquiry.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times