NEWS

Rob Merrifield retires as MP to work for Alberta Premier Jim Prentice

09/17/2014 04:45 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:57 EDT
Conservative MP Rob Merrifield announced on Wednesday he is retiring from federal politics to work for Alberta Premier Jim Prentice as the province's representative to the U.S.

"Today, after 14 years of serving as the member of Parliament for Yellowhead, I am officially announcing my retirement from the House of Commons, effective immediately," Merrifield said in a written statement.

Merrifield said he will be moving to Washington, D.C., where he will work as Alberta’s senior representative to the U.S.

"I am excited for this new challenge and to continue to build upon the relationships and contacts that I have made working as a congressional liaison and the chair of the international trade committee," he said.

Merrifield, who is entitled to receive a pension after 14 years of service in the Commons, has chosen to donate the value of his pension payments to a charity of his choosing while he is paid to work for Alberta, an official in Merrifield's office confirmed to CBC News.

His appointment is one of three announcements Prentice made today in an effort to get Alberta's resources to key markets.

Prentice also announced that Ron Hoffman, a longtime diplomat, will represent the province's interest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hoffman "will immediately begin to conduct a review of Alberta’s offices in Asia and make recommendations to ensure all Alberta activities abroad are optimally aligned," Prentice said in a statement.

Jay Hill, who was the MP for Prince George-Peace River in northern B.C. for 17 years before he retired from federal politics in 2010, will work as Alberta's representative in Saskatchewan, B.C., the North and to the New West Partnership.

Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan have launched the New West Partnership to increase interprovincial trade.

"These are people who have considerable skills that will advance Alberta’s interests in terms of relationship-building, policy alignment and market development," Prentice said in a written statement.

"Each will work in close contact with our government’s overall efforts to remove barriers and ensure that market access and global prices are achieved.”​

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