Drew Barnes

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Drew Barnes

Drew Barnes.jpg
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Cypress-Medicine Hat
Assumed office
April 23, 2012
Preceded byLen Mitzel
Personal details
Born (1961-05-21) May 21, 1961 (age 59)
Moosomin, Saskatchewan
Political partyUnited Conservative Party
ResidenceMedicine Hat
EducationUniversity of Alberta, Bachelor of Commerce
OccupationMLA, Rancher, Realtor

Drew Barnes (born May 21, 1961) is a Canadian politician who was elected in the 2012, 2015 and 2019 Alberta general elections to represent the electoral district of Cypress-Medicine Hat in the 28th, 29th and 30th Alberta Legislatures, respectively.[1][2] He was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan.[3][4]

In the past he has been the Infrastructure and Transportation Critic, Caucus Whip, Health Critic and Energy Critic for the Wildrose Official Opposition. He has served on the Standing Committees of the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund, Public Accounts, Resource Stewardship and Private Bills. He authored two reports, ("How to Build Alberta Better" and "On Time, On Budget", and co-authored "Twin Highway 63 Now" and "Debt Free Capital Plan".[5]

In May 2020, it was reported that Barnes and his spouse collectively own at least 32 rental properties.[6]

As recently as 2017, Barnes was identified by Alberta Health Services as “the owner” of a property found to be in such a state of “disrepair,” it could be “injurious or dangerous to the public health.”[7]


Barnes has been a resident of Medicine Hat since 1974, where he lives with his wife Frances and three sons. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1983, with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He previously attended Camrose Lutheran College. Barnes owned and managed a real estate office for 26 years until 2009. An entrepreneur and businessman, Barnes owns a number of businesses in Medicine Hat, including a construction company, a storage facility and a property management company. He also owns commercial and residential property all over southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan and has irrigation and ranchland, raising commercial beef and rodeo stock.[8] Barnes has been an active community volunteer with Kiwanis Club, serving as past president, and was past President and also Fundraising Chair of the United Way.[9]

In August 2012, Barnes and a colleague went on a fact finding mission to Fort McMurray to learn more about the notoriously dangerous Highway 63.[10] They called on the government to release a timeline for the completion of twinning the highway.

In late February 2015, Barnes announced he would enter the race for leader of the Wildrose Party[11] and ran a very close second.

On July 22, 2017, The Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party merged to become one entity, namely the United Conservative Party—Both parties voted to merge with >95% approval.[12] Barnes had been vocal about his desire to unite the entities and came forward to endorse[13] United Conservative Party Leadership candidate, Jason Kenney, on August 2, 2017.

Climate Change Controversy[edit]

In March 2017 Barnes funded a controversial documentary questioning the science of climate change. He has been accused of Climate change denial.[14] Barnes has also promoted climate denying websites on social media.[15]

Support for an independence referendum[edit]

In June 2020 Barnes released a response to the Fair Deal Panel's recommendations in which he advocated for putting an independence referendum on the table.[16] Due to these statements, Barnes has been accused of being a separatist by the Alberta New Democratic Party.[17] Barnes indicated that he is not a separatist, but would be open to separation if he felt there was no other option.[18]

Electoral history[edit]

2019 general election[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Cypress-Medicine Hat
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Drew Barnes 16,483
New Democratic Peter Mueller 6,396
Alberta Party Collette Smithers 1,122
  Alberta Advantage Terry Blacquier
Liberal Anwar Kamaran 219
Total valid votes
Rejected, spoiled, and declined
Registered electors

2015 general election[edit]

2015 Alberta general election
Party Candidate Votes %
Wildrose Drew Barnes 8,523 54.5%
Progressive Conservative Bob Olson 3,375 21.6%
New Democratic Bev Waege 3,233 20.7%
Liberal Eric Musekamp 496 3.2%
Rejected, spoiled and declined
Eligible electors

2012 general election[edit]

2012 Alberta general election: Cypress-Medicine Hat
Party Candidate Votes %
Wildrose Drew Barnes 7,098 53.60%
Progressive Conservative Len Mitzel 4,738 35.78%
Liberal Jon Mastel 770 5.81%
New Democratic Manuel Martinez 637 4.81%
Total 13,243
Rejected, spoiled and declined 127
Eligible electors 26,199


  1. ^ "Drew Barnes – Wildrose – Cypress-Medicine Hat". Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  2. ^ Alberta Election 2012: Riding-by-riding results
  3. ^ "Wildrose candidate Drew Barnes hosts open house". Bow Island Commentator. Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  4. ^ About Drew Barnes
  5. ^ "Wildrose MLAs". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  6. ^ https://kimsiever.ca/2020/05/02/17-mlas-claimed-edmonton-living-expenses-while-owning-revenue-properties/?fbclid=IwAR208zULDnXazvvKxWgD7E3Wi2XgZFyKf4hIykhk1Kh9hqd3dMbqfmE_2a0
  7. ^ https://pressprogress.ca/ucp-mla-drew-barnes-company-has-stopped-threatening-a-struggling-tenant-with-eviction//
  8. ^ "Drew Barnes biography". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  9. ^ "Wildrose MLA Drew Barnes". Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  10. ^ "Wildrose MLAs challenge government on twinning". Fort McMurray Today. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
  11. ^ "Barnes announces candidacy for Wildrose leadership". Medicine Hat News. February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  12. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle. "Wildrose and PC members approve unite-the-right deal with 95% voting Yes". CBC. CBC. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  13. ^ Slade, Gillian (2017-08-03). "Barnes Backing Kenney for UCP Leadership". Medicine Hat News. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  14. ^ Julie, Alyssa (March 24, 2017). "Wildrose energy critic Drew Barnes funds doc questioning climate change science". Global News.
  15. ^ "The Wildrose are still playing footsie with tired old climate denial arguments". Progress Alberta. May 16, 2016.
  16. ^ Barnes, Drew (2020-06-17). "Letter to Premier Kenney Regarding Fair Deal Panel Report". Drew Barnes Live. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  17. ^ NDP Caucus, Alberta (2020-06-18). "BARNES TAKES UP LEADERSHIP OF SEPARATIST MOVEMENT WITH FIERY LETTER TO KENNEY". Alberta NDP Caucus. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  18. ^ Naylor, Dave (2020-06-18). "NDP demands UCP throw Drew Barnes out of caucus for "separatist" letter". Western Standard. Retrieved 2020-07-04.