With less than a week to go before the provincial election, candidates are pounding the pavement, meeting with voters and doing their best to get the message out.
In Drumheller-Stettler, incumbent Nate Horner was through the valley last week and says the campaign is going well.
“It has been a busy time. There is a lot going on in the province, especially with the forest fires and all the issues that spring brings, but it feels good to get out around the riding,“ Horner tells the Mail.
He says there's a lot of concern about what party will form the next government.
“From our supporters, they are pretty adamant they want the economy to continue to be on a roll. They like to see all the people moving to Alberta looking for opportunities, they like seeing the jobs, so keeping that momentum is important to them,” said Horner.
Candidate for the NDP in Drumheller Stettler Juliet Franklin says it has been a respectful campaign.
“I have had a lot of very good conversions with folks across the board, regardless of who people are voting for. It seems like the concerns are fairly similar: affordability, healthcare, education, and I will say the vast majority of folks have been respectful,” said Franklin. “It is reassuring to see democracy in action.”
She says everyone is feeling the financial crunch.
“Regardless of who I am speaking to, whether they work in town, or someone who has a small to medium farm or ranch, we are all feeling the crunch on expenses, utilities and rising costs to keep day-to-day things going. I am excited to be part of a team that is really taking that into consideration.”
Shannon Packham is running for The Independence Party in Drumheller-Stettler. She has been a teacher for 28 years, was active in the Freedom Movement, spent time at the Coutts blockade, and has also been involved in the Alberta Prosperity Project.
“I am here to give people an option for a conservative vote. Conservative Christian values with no party whip. The time of two-party politics is over. People no longer need to choose ‘the lesser of two evils.’ I am a strong conservative voice of the people for the people. Basically, at the end of the day, I just want to be the change I want to see in this world. Our legacies depend on that,” she said.
The Mail reached out to Carla Evers of the Solidarity Movement of Alberta and Hannah Stretch Viens of the Wildrose Loyalty coalition but has not heard from them as of press time.
In Olds-Didisbury, incumbent Nathan Cooper of the UCP is looking for a further mandate. He was first elected in 2015 and was elected Speaker of the House in May 2021.
In the running is Cheryl Hunter Loewen of the NDP. She holds degrees in economics and law, and previously worked in the energy, technology and public service sectors. She provides advice as a volunteer lawyer to low-income clients at a free public clinic.
“My goal for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills is that every person here will feel like their government is working with them to ensure their community is a good place to live, now and in the future,” said Loewen. "The Alberta NDP values and supports Alberta’s oil and gas, energy and agriculture sectors. We will champion innovation and be the supportive government businesses need to keep Alberta as a world leader on the energy stage.”
The Independence Party of Alberta is running in the riding with candidate Katherine Kowalchuk. She is a practicing lawyer with Getz Collins and Associates in Strathmore.
Judy Bridges is the candidate for the Solidarity Movement of Alberta.
The Mail reached out to these candidates but has not received comment as of press time.