Liberal candidate Mark Watson.
Mark Watson says he wants to give Lakeland residents a voice that isn’t conservative in this federal election.
The former deputy mayor of Smoky Lake is the Liberal candidate for the Lakeland riding.
“I look at the issues that are important to the residents of the Lakeland riding and I want to bring those issues and those concerns to the government and influence the caucus and the policies that are going forward,” said Watson.
“With the prospect of the minority government, I think that it is critical for us to represent or have representation on the government benches. I feel that I can be a strong voice to try and make practical choices and get our concerns heard and acted upon.”
Despite running as a Liberal candidate, his priorities don’t necessarily line up exactly with the current version of the party.
Watson supports and looks to expand Alberta’s energy sector, change the equalization formula while continuing to work on the environment.
He wants to continue moving forward and thinks a Conservative plan wouldn’t do that.
“My biggest concern is that we’ve made progress on a number of points and I see the Conservative platform is one that takes us backwards in a lot of ways. We need to move forward. We need to build upon what we’ve already done and not waste our time, money and effort in going back to the past,” said Watson.
“I know that the leader of the Conservatives has talked about some of the concerns he has with the Liberals and the NDP. But when he speaks, I hear echoes of Stephen Harper.”
Influenced in the school of thought of Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien, Watson thinks there is a disconnect between the younger side of the party and the “more seasoned” members.
“I feel that the Liberal Party of today needs to take a step back and listen to some of the more seasoned people. Over the years, I’ve noticed that a lot of the people with more experience in the party have been pushed aside and the younger generation is taken over, but are not listening to the people,” he said.
“They tend to push their own ideas and not listen to what is reasonable, what is feasible and what is simply and not practical at this time.
“I think our current Prime Minister has been getting bad advice.”