Saturday , 19 June 2021

Local MLA candidates prepare for spring election

NDP candidate Kari Whan, UCP candidate David Hanson, and Alberta Party candidate Glenn Andersen.

In 22 days, Albertans will head to the polls and decide the government that will run the province for the next four years.

Three candidates are running in the new riding of Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul riding: UCP candidate David Hanson, NDP candidate Kari Whan, and Alberta Party candidate Glenn Andersen.

Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills MLA, David Hanson, said this campaign will come down to a couple key issues.

“I would say 90 per cent of this campaign is based on the economy, pipelines, and jobs. Pretty simple,” said Hanson.

“I think we need a strong voice representing in Northeastern Alberta. We came up with some policies to get our competitiveness on the corporate investment side.”

Hanson’s comments from the UCP nominee race from last year that cuts the UCP would make would “hurt” has been a rallying cry for the NDP, mentioned by Premier Notley in interviews and many times in the Legislature.

“If people would read the rest of the comment I made I was referring to the fact that we’d be paying, in the last year, we paid $1.8B to service debt that we can’t pay teachers and nurses. That was the statement I made,” said Hanson.

“When I made those statements it was basically that as Albertans we’re all going to feel the effect of servicing that much debt and it’s only going to grow.”

Glenn Andersen will rely on municipal experience as a councillor and Mayor in St. Paul.

He says that voters should look for someone who will represent the views of the consituents and not the party leader.

“The Alberta Party is a party that’s responsible to the constituents. That’s the biggest thing. Instead of being a leadership down type of party, you’ve got 87 MLAs and all of them have a voice,” said Andersen.

“In order to make the best decision for Alberta, we need people to take that voice to the legislature, which if you have a leadershop down type of party, you’re just going to get the information for the leader and from the cabinet and the rest of the MLAs don’t have a voice.”

He mentioned Robyn Luff, Calgary-East candidate, who left the NDP party after saying she felt bullied for the three and a half years she represented her consituency under the orange banner, and Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman who said he left the UCP in January to distance himself form the “hyper-partisan, self-centred” politics happening in the province. 

“We’re probably just right of centre. We’re a bunch of people who believe in accountability,” said Andersen.

“We have the economic issue, we have hospital issues, and we’re pretty much ignored out here.”

Kari Whan, school teacher in Cold Lake, was the last to join the race earlier this year and said in an emailed statement she was excited that the writ had been dropped for an election.

“Rachel Notley’s plan to grow and diversify our economy will benefit families in this area. Many folks have not felt that recovery yet but Jason Kenney’s plan would only set us back,” said Whan.

“Rachel has provided real plans to create more jobs and help our local economy. She cut small business taxes by one-third whereas Kenney wants to give his 1/3 tax cut to the wealthiest and corporations.

“It is evident that people in this area care about future generations, public education, healthcare, infrastructure, jobs, and getting fair value for our natural resources. Rachel Notley has shared her vision. Her plan to build the future…Made in Alberta. I am inspired by the support and enthusiasm my campaign is receiving and look forward to being a part of Rachel Notley’s team in order to fight for families in Bonnyville, Cold Lake, St.Paul,” said Whan.

The election is April 16. It is expected that there will be three all-candidates forums. The tentative dates are Cold Lake April 4, Bonnyville April 8, St. Paul April 9.

The Freedom Conservative Party did not respond if there was going to be an candidate.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.