With the 2019 Federal Election expected on October 21, political parties in the area are getting organized.
Damien Kurek has won the nomination to represent the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in the Battle River-Crowfoot Constituency, and while the Liberal and NDP have yet to announce local candidates, the Green Party and the upstart People’s Party of Canada (PPC) have fielded candidates.
In alphabetic order, David Michaud of the PPC and Geordie Nelson of the Green Party have stepped forward to represent their parties.
Michaud, originally from Ontario now resides in the most northern part of the riding, in Beaver County. His military career spanned more than 22 years and he participated in three UN peacekeeping operations. After he completed his service he made it a goal to come back to Alberta. Currently, he is a commissionaire working as Military Police Dispatcher. This is his first time running in politics.
“During the early part of
2017, my cousin in Ontario, Betty-Anne Brown, and I were trying to start a new political party to get Canada back where it belongs - into the people’s hands. So, naturally, we were calling it the People’s Party of Canada, however, we never got the name registered,” he said. “Then, when Maxime Bernier officially started a party with the same name, I checked it out, and it is exactly what I was wanting to do. It was, as they say, a no-brainer decision.”
Some issues he feels strongly about are the need to build pipelines to get Alberta resources to market, he is also concerned with the targeting of the beef industry and taxes.
“As I’m sure most Canadians feel, the ever-increasing taxation being imposed on us, especially since as a result of the carbon tax, almost everything, if not everything has also increased in price. Coupled that with the massive federal debt the Liberals keep increasing, and Canada, under either of the other parties plans will not be able to recover,” he said, adding he would also like to see changes to equalization.
“Equalization payments made by the federal government to the provinces must be re-worked to make it fair for all provinces and territories. As it works right now, Quebec gets the lion’s share of the funding, which is not only unfair to the rest of Canada, but to Quebec residents as well.”
He understands that Battle River-Crowfoot has been a stronghold for the Conservative Party.
“What we need the people to do is vote for the conservative issues, not the Conservative name,” said Michaud.
Green Party candidate Geordie Nelson is originally from Ottawa but grew up in the riding. He graduated from the University of Alberta Augustana Campus with a Bachelor of Sciences in environmental sciences and currently works at Augustana as the Conference Services Coordinator. He was acclaimed to be the candidate for the Green Party.
“I have lived over half my life in the riding. I went to high school in Wainwright, and went to university and work in Camrose, and developed a large social network here. These are issues I am really passionate about, so I thought now would be a good opportunity to run and throw my name in the hat. I have always been engaged in politics and thought this would be the next step I would like to take.”
He says he is beginning to get the word out that he is the candidate and is getting a good response.
He says the most important issue for him in the coming election is climate change and believes Canada can have a strong economy and a healthy environment.
“Addressing climate change is really important as I believe we don’t have a lot of time to act and I think this election is the time for us to really make some meaningful changes in learning to live differently in a better way,” said Nelson.
As a student, he completed a conservation science internship with A Rocha Canada in BC, and his studies took him to Quebec, Costa Rica, and France. He volunteers with a local humanitarian group called Sahakarini, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and with local blood drives.
He understands CPC has had a long history of winning elections in Battle River-Crowfoot.
“I literally have the hardest riding to run in for any party in the country. I am aware it is a challenge, but this is where I live… and I want to share that view,” he said. “Even if people think the candidate is already decided, I will provide that option. I am really passionate about democracy and I think it is important people have the choices they want on the ballot.”