July 24th, 2024

Neudorf throws hat back in ring; potential leadership bid now off the table


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on June 7, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Nathan Neudorf will be fighting to keep his seat in the provincial election next May. Neudorf, the first-time MLA for Lethbridge East, was acclaimed as the UCP candidate for the riding and is gearing up for the next election.
However, he told The Herald on Monday he decided Sunday not to make a run for his party’s vacant leadership.
In a statement sent by his constituency office to media Monday, Neudorf said “Thank you to everyone who expressed their support and encouragement over the past few weeks, but I have decided that I will not be entering the UCP leadership race. Instead, I will continue to provide leadership and advocacy for Lethbridge in many other ways and I will continue working for unity in the provincial conservative movement.”
In a phone interview Monday Neudorf said “I very seriously considered running for the leadership,” while adding he has full confidence in his leadership abilities.
Neudorf said he’s “thrilled” to be representing his party in Lethbridge East again next May. Neudorf carries several roles in addition to representing his riding.
He’s also UCP caucus chair and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Environment and Parks for Water Stewardship.
“I’ve got people in place and today we’re working through our calendars for the summer to begin some of those events and outreaches and fundraisers and all the rest of that. We’re in pretty good shape already but you can always do a little bit more so that’s what we’re working on right now,” Neudorf said.
His focus now is unity “and right now it’s about the economy and recovery and what we can do to manage through the drought that looks like its here again this year,” said Neudorf.
“For me personally here in Lethbridge East and Lethbridge I really focus on the bigger picture. We have had a lot of negative stories that have given Lethbridge a disproportionate reputation across Canada so we need to talk about all the good things happening here so when doctors or potential doctors and professionals look to relocate to Lethbridge, when they Google search it, they don’t just hear pages and pages of bad stories. They also see a better representation of the good things that are happening so they can make their decisions. Lethbridge is a terrific place to live and work and raise a family and we need to tell that story more often,” he added.
“I will continue to try to elevate that and share a broader perspective of good things,” he added.
Neudorf said he worked with the previous Lethbridge city council on setting five priorities: the Exhibition, airport, broadband, Highway 3 twinning and some funding for the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College.
“I achieved all five of those within the first two years of being elected which far exceeded my wildest dreams. And on top of that, we’ve added irrigation spending, we’ve added some spending for farming research, both at the college and the university and both of those are paying dividends. And we’ve got a school for the westside.
“There’s still more work to do. I continue to advocate for an expansion to L’Ecole Laverendrye’s gymnasium – that’s really important for our francophone community.
“We did recently get an announcement that there’s a bunch of road work in the city and right adjacent to the city that is going to be done this summer,” he added.
Among the achievements for Lethbridge since the UCP came to power are the construction of the Agri-Food Hub at Lethbridge Exhibition, renovations to the airport as well as Lethbridge College and University of Lethbridge, with new funding going to both of those latter facilities, the launch of the $6.9 million Lethbridge Broadband Fibre project and the construction of a new school in West Lethbridge.
Another bright spot is the hiring of 11 doctors for Lethbridge with 11 to 18 being in some stage of the interview process, meaning the city could possibly have as many as 20 new physicians here by the next election, said the MLA.
The UCP also recently broke ground on a 50-bed addictions recovery treatment facility, just east of Lethbridge, an $18-million project that is part of a province-wide initiative to introduce a new type of treatment that previously wasn’t provided by the government.
The province also launched a $10 million irrigation rehabilitation program in 2020 which will help ensure there is water for agriculture and irrigation as well as municipal, recreation and other uses.
Neudorf said while recent rain has helped, southern Alberta needs more moisture.
The province has also been investing in the twinning of Highway 3, including $150 million for a 46-kilometre stretch between Taber and Burdett.
Neudorf said no date has been set to select a new party leader.
He said a leadership election committee has been established and he’s “anticipating some announcements and some direction any day and I’ve encouraged them (the party) to be as quick to do that as possible as there are many people waiting to hear that.”

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