Skip to main content

Tag: Chelsae Petrovic

Note asking "who cares?" pinned to a cork board

Who cares?

On the heels of recent temporary closures of emergency services at the Pincher Creek hospital, Alberta Health Services hosted an information session at the Community Hall on the evening of Aug. 15. The meeting was intended to update local residents on what is being done to improve the health-care situation and to give us the opportunity to voice our concerns and suggestions directly with AHS officials.

The hall was pretty much full, a clear indicator that there are many in the community who care and are concerned about the state of, and future of, health care in Pincher Creek.

One got a sense that the AHS officials and hospital administration leading the meeting have the same understanding of the issues as the audience and legitimately care about implementing solutions. They seem to be struggling for answers; their hands are somewhat tied by regulation and funding, but they care and are trying to improve things.

The meeting was attended by the MD reeve and at least one councillor. (I’m unsure of town council attendance as I don’t really know them.) It seems our local government cares.

Local doctors (even one on maternity leave) were in attendance. They care.

Many were there in EMS uniform. They care.

Many hospital staff and retirees were there. They care.

 

Lynn Brasnett in front of bolts of brightly coloured fabric and sewing supplies at Drogon's Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek

 

The Piikani care. An elder spoke eloquently about their issues and how much they value the Pincher Creek hospital and clinic.

However, a key person, someone who might be able to actually do something, was not in attendance. Not unlike what we had come to expect from her predecessor, our MLA was MIA when we needed her support. During the election campaign she missed a similar engagement because of more pressing matters. I wonder what kept her away this time. I wonder if she cares.

I personally don’t have any answers around improving the health-care system but can offer AHS one suggestion: choose your dates carefully. If you would have held the meeting on Saturday instead of Tuesday, there’s a good chance the MLA might have attended. It seems it takes the smell of pancakes or the noise of a parade to bring a Livingstone-Macleod MLA out of hiding.

Cornell Van Ryk

MD of Pincher Creek Resident

Livingstone-Macleod election forum panelists seated at table – five men and one woman, with white-haired female moderator off to right side

Livingstone-Macleod candidates make last appeals at Crowsnest Pass forum

Riding candidates in Livingstone-Macleod gave mostly stock performances at an election forum in Crowsnest Pass on Wednesday, May 24.

The United Conservatives’ Chelsae Petrovic and the Alberta NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem, certainly no strangers to political controversy in what has been a bitterly contested election, were distinctly on-brand, repeating, defending and doubling down on their parties’ campaign planks. 

A re-elected UCP under Danielle Smith would “embrace the renewed Alberta Advantage,” Petrovic said, warning that to vote for anyone else would jeopardize her party’s recent accomplishments — especially this year’s whopping budget surplus.

Smith’s erstwhile promise to replace the Alberta RCMP with an independent provincial police force “is no longer a topic of conversation,” the candidate said. Nor does Petrovic have “any affiliation with” Take Back Alberta, the right-wing populist movement whose Marco Van Huigenbos watched the forum from the back of the room. 

Santa floating in a round tube in the an ad for family passes to the Pincher Creek swimming pool

Petrovic, who told TBA founder David Parker in a February podcast interview that she wouldn’t necessarily cleave to the party line if she were elected, strongly endorsed Smith’s leadership.  

Holding precisely the opposite view was Van Tighem, who wasted little time laying claim to Peter Lougheed’s Progressive Conservative legacy for the NDP. Party leader Rachel Notley would deliver “good government you can trust,” he said, holding up Smith’s “unstable and chaotic leadership” as the mirror opposite. 

An NDP government would eliminate Alberta’s small-business tax, and wouldn’t add to personal income taxes, he promised. He was less keen to engage Notley’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate from eight to 11 per cent, although he said the increased rate would stay the lowest in Canada. 

The Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd, who briefly entertained a run at the UCP nomination, repeatedly positioned himself as an independent voice for Livingstone-Macleod, reminding the audience that his party doesn’t whip votes — unlike the UCP and NDP.

Display of fall clothing at at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.

Van Tighem took knocks for his untrammelled opposition to coal exploration on the Eastern Rockies. 

“It’s a terrible position to take,” Pincher Creek MD councillor John MacGarva said from the floor, drawing thunderous applause from roughly half the audience. 

Lougheed’s PC’s blocked regional coal exploration for perfectly sound ecological reasons, Van Tighem shot back, scoring loud approval from the other half. 

Another resident introduced himself to Van Tighem as “one of those entitled rednecks you despise,” alluding to the candidate’s 2021 Alberta Views article wherein the author paints a disconcerting stereotype of oil and gas workers. 

Acorn earrings by Holly Yashi on ad for Blackburn Jewellers in Pincher Creek

The candidate said the article’s subtext underlined widely held conceptions about a rapacious oil and gas industry — conceptions Van Tighem has consistently said hurt Alberta’s interests on the world stage — but the barb stuck. 

Petrovic and Independence Party candidate Corrie Toone were pointedly asked if they would support a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Neither candidate gave a yes or no answer, despite prodding from moderator Val Danielson. 

Toone and Petrovic each said “life begins at conception,” with Petrovic saying that, while she supported bodily autonomy when it came to vaccines, she and the UCP are “pro-life.” 

The most compelling performance came from the Alberta Liberals’ Dylin Hauser, if audience reactions are to be any guide. 

Sparkly gold-wrapped gift box on ad for Blackburn Jewellers in Pincher Creek

When the candidates were asked to defend their leadership credentials, Hauser was the only one who gave a full “with flaws and all” recounting of a life well lived, but also tempered by ordinary struggles. 

“What do I bring?” he asked rhetorically. “I bring failure. I bring hardship. I bring the ups and downs we all face down in life.”

His answer palpably won over the audience, drawing applause so loud and intense, it rumbled the floor. Many cheered as strenuously Hauser’s call to “vote for who you want,” rather than voting in the least offensive party with the most realistic chances of forming Alberta’s next government. 

Toone and independent candidate Erik Abildgaard spent much time trying to convince the audience that climate change was bogus, that pandemic health restrictions were draconian and that the UCP and NDP were fundamentally untrustworthy. 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

Shelves of bottled liquor in an ad for Town & Country Liquor Store in Pincher Creek

Related articles:

Livingstone-Macleod Candidates Make Last Appeals At Crowsnest Pass Forum

‘Not Notley’ Sign To Come Down, Says MD Of Pincher Creek

Scheduling Conflicts Derail Livingstone-Macleod Election Forum In Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Health-Care Forum Draws Large Audience

UCP Candidate Calls Out Heart Attack Survivors

Claresholm Politician Enters UCP Nomination Race For Livingstone-Macleod

Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

Head shots of four men, one woman and one silhouette on election forum cancellation notice

Scheduling conflicts derail Livingstone-Macleod election forum in Pincher Creek

A forum for Livingstone-Macleod candidates scheduled for this evening in Pincher Creek has been cancelled after the top two contenders confirmed they weren’t coming. 

Emails sent Wednesday morning to Marie Everts, who volunteered to organize the forum on behalf of the Southwest Alberta Sustainable Community Initiative, show a last-minute cancellation from the NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem and more qualified regrets from the United Conservatives’ Chelsae Petrovic, who couldn’t attend owing to a work commitment.   

Van Tighem’s campaign manager Stephanie Keyowski emailed Everts at around 9:45 a.m., writing that, “… given the UCP candidate will not be present, I am afraid Kevin must decline to attend as well.” 

Petrovic’s campaign manager Thane Hurlburt followed suit roughly an hour later. Petrovic, who is an ER nurse in Claresholm, was scheduled to work Wednesday night and couldn’t find another nurse to take her shift, despite her best efforts, Hurlburt wrote. 

 

Dairy Queen menu items – chocolate-dipped cone, chicken fingers and fries, blizzard, deluxe stackburger, pink orange julius and hot fudge sundae, on an ad for Pincher Creek DQ location

 

Hurlburt notified Everts late Monday afternoon that Petrovic likely wouldn’t be able to attend, but SASCI chose not to cancel the forum in hopes the candidate would find a way to come.  

“When putting together a forum, you have to set a date and hope that the candidates do their best to make it,” Everts said Wednesday afternoon. 

“I am saddened that we were not able to host a forum in Pincher Creek, but I’m grateful that Crowsnest Pass’s chamber of commerce will host a forum next week and that technology allows us to watch recent forums that did go ahead.” 

Both candidates joined the Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd, the Independence Party’s Corrie Toone and the Alberta Liberals’ Dylin Hauser at forums earlier this week in Claresholm and High River. 

 

Christmas is too sparkly, said no one, ever, brooch on sparkly silver background of ad for Blackburn Jewellers in Pincher Creek

 

Hauser informed Everts last week that he couldn’t attend the Pincher forum, owing to a long-standing prior commitment, Everts said. 

The Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the five candidates have accepted invitations to attend the chamber’s forum on May 24. 

A sixth candidate, Erik Abildgaard, will not be attending, according to the chamber.

Profiles for all six Livingstone-Macleod candidates are available in this week’s issue of Shootin’ the Breeze.

 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

 

Brightly coloured floaties in an advertisement for pool parties at the Pincher Creek pool

 

Related articles:

Livingstone-Macleod Candidates Make Last Appeals At Crowsnest Pass Forum

‘Not Notley’ Sign To Come Down, Says MD Of Pincher Creek

Scheduling Conflicts Derail Livingstone-Macleod Election Forum In Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Health-Care Forum Draws Large Audience

UCP Candidate Calls Out Heart Attack Survivors

Claresholm Politician Enters UCP Nomination Race For Livingstone-Macleod

Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

 

UCP candidate Chelsae Petrovic – smiling woman with long, straight, light-brown hair, wearing a grey sweater

UCP candidate calls out heart attack survivors

Chelsae Petrovic, an ER nurse and United Conservative Party candidate for Livingstone-Macleod, is refusing media interviews after flirting with “political suicide” by suggesting that heart attack survivors should bear accountability for their poor health. 

Petrovic offered her remarks, first reported by Global Edmonton’s Saif Kaisar, during her guest appearance on a podcast episode of The Canadian Story published to YouTube on Feb. 21, roughly three weeks before she swept the UCP’s nomination in Livingstone-Macleod.

Social media response to reports on this issue has been overwhelmingly negative. 

Speaking as a hopeful nominee and the mayor of Claresholm, Petrovic also disparaged unions, including her own, and made it plain that she would rather be ejected from the UCP’s legislative caucus if she felt supporting the party line would go against the riding’s best interests. 

Petrovic’s campaign responded to Shootin’ the Breeze’s request for comment with a statement saying her remarks about heart attack survivors had been “taken out of context.” 

A statement attributed to the candidate reads: “I understand my comment could be offensive when removed from the longer interview, and I should have chosen better language. I believe we should be a province that not only focuses on reactive health for those in need but also one that teaches our kids to practise healthy living, which includes taking care of our physical and mental health.”

“No interviews or additional statements will be made regarding the situation,” her campaign team wrote.  

 

Advertisement from Pincher Creek Women's Shelter to turn on a light during Family Violence Prevention Month.

 

Accountability, dependence and heart attacks 

Telling podcast hosts David Parker and Zach Gerber that she’d seen “a lot of similarities” between her roles as a nurse and a small-town mayor, Petrovic started talking about hospital patients.

“Everyone comes in with their problems, and how do you fix it? How do you go about being polite to them when you’re trying to save their lives in a high-stress environment?” 

It’s a matter of “balancing saving their life and doing it with a smile on your face as they’re bleeding out,” she told Parker, who founded the right-wing populist movement Take Back Alberta, according to TBA’s website. 

Asked where she saw “a lack of accountability and responsibility playing out in our Canadian society right now,” Petrovic told Parker that what she was about to say “might be political suicide … which is fine with me, because it needs to be said.” 

Canadians have become “so dependent on being saved” by the government, they no longer take responsibility for themselves, she said.

“And I see it in health care,” she continued, dressing down a hypothetical patient. 

 

 

“You know, I’m going to say it: Maybe the reason why you had a heart attack was because you haven’t taken care of yourself. You’re extremely overweight. You haven’t managed your congestive heart failure. You haven’t managed your diabetes and there’s no personal accountability. 

“But they come into the hospital, and all of a sudden, it’s everyone else’s problem but their own.”

Petrovic went on to say that she wanted to rally behind one of her neighbours she said had recently suffered a heart attack. 

“Well, let’s start shovelling his driveway,” she suggested.  

Kevin Van Tighem, the NDP’s riding candidate, issued a statement Tuesday calling on Premier Danielle Smith and Petrovic to apologize for Petrovic’s comments “blaming Albertans for cardiac disease.” 

“Last year, Danielle Smith said Albertans are responsible for developing cancer. Now her candidate blames Albertans for having a heart attack. This is a pattern of cruel and hurtful language that kicks Albertans when they’re down,” Van Tighem said.

Kevin Todd, the Alberta Party’s riding candidate, wrote in a prepared statement, “People of our constituency shouldn’t be made to feel as though their access to medical care is predicated on whether or not they ‘deserve’ help in one of life’s challenging moments.”  

 

Young woman with long, straight, brown hair smiles on Ascent Dental ad. Her Invisalign braces can barely be seen.

 

‘All the nurses are going to hate me for that’

On the subject of front-line nursing, Petrovic said during the podcast, “We have the unions who butt in [to the nursing process]. Let’s be honest, the unions only have [their] best interests at heart and how they make money.”  

“All the nurses are going to hate me for that,” she went on, adding, “Union reps are going to come after me for that one.” 

Livingstone-Macleod above all else 

Petrovic went on to say she’d represent the interests of Livingstone-Macleod if they conflicted with her party’s policy agenda. 

“I promise that I’ll never cross the floor, but I can’t promise that I will always be a UCP representative,” she said, telling Parker and Gerber that she understood that the UCP, like most parties, would boot her out if she won her riding and then voted against the party as an MLA.  

“If that means that … someone says, ‘You have to vote this way, otherwise you’re kicked out,’ and it’s not in Livingstone-Macleod’s best interest — well, I guess I’m no longer a UCP representative.” 

Petrovic several times stressed that she valued Claresholm’s “very diverse” council, and that effective leadership meant honing the ability to change one’s mind. 

The candidate will face the NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem and the Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd when Albertans head to the polls in May.

UCP candidate Chelsae Petrovic – smiling woman with long, straight, light-brown hair, wearing a grey sweater

Claresholm politician enters UCP nomination race for Livingstone-Macleod

Chelsae Petrovic, a licensed practical nurse outside of town chambers, told Shootin’ the Breeze on Jan. 31 that she wants to return provincial politics to its grassroots within the riding. 

“As politicians, we need to take our orders from and listen to our constituents,” she said. 

She’d been generally uninterested in politics until she decided to run for council in Claresholm in the run-up to its October 2021 civic election. 

Her husband, Cody, suggested that she aim higher, so she went for the mayoral spot and won.

 

Young girl in multi-coloured jacket and bright pink helmet and ski pants, grins broadly while skating with arms outstretched.

 

“My specialty is advocating for people,” she said, adding that she resolved to run for the UCP’s riding nomination after some heart-wrenching conversations with local moms and dads last Christmas. 

“When I heard from parents who said they had to choose between buying presents for their children and filling up their gas tank … that’s what put me over the edge.” 

She wants to run under the UCP banner because, in her words, “I’m a mom; a wife; a Christian. I resonate more with the party’s traditional values.”

Petrovic said Premier Danielle Smith needs MLAs who will hold her to account while supporting her policy initiatives, including and especially Smith’s controversial Sovereign Alberta Within a United Canada Act.

 

Baby dressed in Santa suit pushes up from the floor with a big grin on his face in Ascent Dental ad.

 

“I truly believe that’s a good thing for Alberta,” she told the Breeze

As an LPN at Claresholm General Hospital and the emergency department in Fort Macleod, Petrovic said she “lives and breathes” health care. Fixing health care has to be about listening to front-line nurses and doctors and getting them what they need to stay in their jobs, she said. 

Petrovic said she planned to submit her finalized application to the UCP’s constituency association in Livingstone-Macleod within the week.

She will have to contend with a number of other hopeful nominees, including Don Whalen of nearby Parkland. 

 

Dairy Queen menu items – chocolate-dipped cone, chicken fingers and fries, blizzard, deluxe stackburger, pink orange julius and hot fudge sundae, on an ad for Pincher Creek DQ location

 

The UCP reopened riding nominations on Jan. 26, roughly two months after the party disqualified Nadine Wellwood over her social media posts wherein she compared Canada’s Covid-19 measures to public policy in Nazi Germany. 

The party will close nominations in the riding Feb. 9, with the contest to be decided sometime in March, Petrovic said.

 

 

 

More Local Stories