Six candidates are vying for your vote on May 29, hoping to be Livingstone-Macleod’s next MLA. All were invited to submit a piece outlining their election platform for publication in Shootin’ the Breeze.
Until last year, I was always non-partisan and was never involved with politics.
But that ended when I saw what the UCP was doing to the province I love and call home.
I started my campaign about a month before being appointed as the NDP candidate for Livingstone-Macleod at a nomination meeting last November.
Since then, I’ve had conversations with people on over 2,000 doorsteps in Coleman, Fort Macleod, Beaver Mines, Pincher Creek, Blackie and High River. When counting the conversations volunteers on our team have had, we’re well past 5,000 doors.
Each conversation has been fascinating, meaningful, and even heartbreaking. After more than three decades of working with neighbours on what matters here, I thought I knew Livingstone-Macleod.
I now realize I had barely scratched the surface.
I’ve talked to people who’ve lost their family doctor and can’t get primary care. The severe challenges facing rural health care under the UCP have forced people to turn to emergency rooms instead of walk-in clinics or doctors’ offices.
I’ve heard about expectant mothers driving to Calgary on winter roads for maternity care because Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek can no longer have it.
On the other side, doctors have told me they are burnt out and frustrated. They’re too busy to take on more patients. A nurse told me she and her whole team are in counselling after three years of constant work, overtime and pressure — all while the UCP government disrespects them.
I spoke with an elderly woman who has to stretch her pension further to keep up with her rising mortgage and utility bills. Now, she has to rely on the food bank. She used to donate before the UCP took the caps off utility rates. Now she’s a client.
Doorway after doorway, I’ve learned of our communities’ challenges. It’s been sobering. It’s also been inspiring.
I’m more determined than ever to represent the people in my community and make sure a trustworthy government hears these concerns and acts.
Politics has to be about more than partisanship and political games; it has to be a sincere offer and commitment to deliver a better future.
That’s why my team and I have been to every community in our riding. It’s why we started hosting meet-and-greet sessions in the winter and have gone to school meetings, health workshops, trade fairs and countless other gatherings.
We are in this for our neighbours and their families.
And what we’re seeing is more Alberta NDP supporters. Almost a third have told me they are conservatives but cannot vote, in good conscience, for what the UCP has become under Danielle Smith’s chaotic leadership.
Last November, I chose to fight for a better future for Alberta by stepping out of retirement to run for the party that puts people first: the Alberta NDP. I am running with a real leader who cares and who’s focused on what matters to Albertans: Rachel Notley.
I want people to know I’ve done my homework, and you can rely on me. I am in this for Livingstone-Macleod and the families, communities and land we all cherish.
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.
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
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