Mayor Jeff Genung believes the appointment of Peter Guthrie as Alberta Energy minister is good news for Cochrane.

Guthrie was sworn in earlier today as a member of Premier Danielle Smith's first cabinet.

"We were quite excited with that announcement," says Mayor Genung. "It aligns with something we've been working hard at here in Cochrane, and that is to elevate our presence with the province"

"I think that only helps us have a voice in most of the rooms that are going to be making a lot of the decisions in the coming months. Seeing him on the Treasury Board, too, that's only a good thing."

Genung says he has personally reached out to Guthrie and will be connecting with the entire cabinet.

As chair of the Mid-sized Cities Mayors Caucus, he says knowing who is on Smith's cabinet allows the group to further increase its presence.

"We're likely going to be moving in more of a direction of action and taking more of a role of being active in voicing our concerns as a group to the province in a productive way.

"It's a relief to have an announcement and know who the ministers are in certain portfolios so that we can now book meetings, write letters, and continue to be on the radar."

He says the next seven months before the next provincial election are crucial.

As they did in advance of the last election, the mayors caucus hopes to host leaders of all major provincial parties in Cochrane.

"Why I see value in chairing some of this is that Cochrane is in the conversation again at a provincial level. I think as long as we're in the conversation we have a chance of not only attracting attention but funding for projects."

He says no matter who is elected premier, it's a win to have them spend time in Cochrane.

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