The next Alberta provincial election will take place on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. With each election cycle comes the possibility of new representatives and electoral boundary changes. Which candidate in your constituency best represents the interest of agriculture? Learn more about the election issues.
Taken together, all constituencies in Calgary (including Airdrie-East) and Edmonton (including Stony Plain-Spruce Grove, St. Albert and Sherwood Park) comprise 51 of the province’s 87 total. Other strictly-urban constituencies include two in Red Deer, two in Lethbridge and one in Grande Prairie.
Our producers live in all but one predominately rural constituency (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo), which means more than 100 candidates could fill seats in the remaining 30 constituencies. Because our producers are so widespread, no constituencies represent a clear majority of our producers, but below are some insights related to our producers’ most-populous constituencies.
Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock (72 producers)
Glenn Van Dijken is the incumbent candidate for Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, which was adjusted since the last election to become the new Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock constituency where he will be running. He is a United Conservative and grain farmer living in Dapp.
The Alberta Party candidate is Wayne Rufiange. He is a high school principal in Westlock and has a Master of Arts in Education. He previously lost the Alberta Party nomination in the Morinville-St. Albert constituency.
The New Democrat candidate is Therese Taschuk, who is a former Town of Smoky Lake Councillor and long-time union activist. She was born in Switzerland but grew up near Bellis and has previously worked in education and child care.
The Alberta Independence candidate is Buster Malcolm. He is a workover and completions consultant in oil and gas, hailing from Rochester.
An independent candidate is Brad Giroux. He is a maintenance manager in oil and gas, hailing from Athabasca.
Taber-Warner (70 producers)
Grant Hunter is the incumbent candidate for Cardston-Taber-Warner, which was adjusted since the last election to become the new Taber-Warner constituency where he will be running. He is a United Conservative and businessman living in Cardston. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Business Administration degree from Brigham Young University in Utah.
The Alberta Party candidate is Jason Beekman. He is an education advocate, small business owner and a red seal journeyman Automotive Service Technician who studied at Lethbridge College.
The New Democrat candidate is Laura Ross-Giroux. She was previously a Town of Taber Councillor and was the first female president of the Carseland Community Association and Agricultural Society. She is also a long-time community volunteer.
The Liberal candidate is Amy Yates, who lives in Coaldale.
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills (58 producers)
Nathan Cooper is the incumbent candidate for this constituency and is a United Conservative who formerly served as interim party leader prior to the election of Jason Kenney, and was formerly a Town of Carstairs Councillor. He supports strong communities and strong families.
The Alberta Party candidate is Chase Brown, who grew up in the Wintering Hills area, south of Drumheller, where his family has been ranching for over a century. Chase holds a Management degree from the University of Alberta.
The Freedom Conservative candidate is Allen MacLennan, hailing from Standard. He previously sought the United Conservative nomination in Livingstone-Macleod.
The Alberta Advantage candidate is David Hughes. He is an earth scientist with more than four decades of experience, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada.
The New Democrat candidate is Kyle Johnston, who lives in Red Deer and works in telecommunications.
Cardston-Siksika (49 producers)
The United Conservative candidate for this new constituency is Joseph Schow, who directed field operations for Jason Kenney’s leadership campaign. He has also worked as a legislative assistant on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and for the UCP caucus in Edmonton. He holds a Master’s degree in political management.
Ian Donovan is an independent candidate who farms near Mossleigh and is a former MLA for Little Bow, representing the former Wildrose Party, with which he served as agriculture critic.
The New Democrat candidate is Kirby Smith, who has worked in economic development for the Piikani Nation, post-secondary education and family and children’s services.
The Freedom Conservative candidate is Jerry Gautreau. He is a Rocky View County Councillor and small business owner who favours industry investment and private business to kick-start local economies.
The Alberta Party candidate is Casey Douglass, who has farmed near Vulcan for almost four decades. He studied agriculture, economics and rural sociology at the University of Alberta.
The Liberal candidate is Cathleen McFarland, who is an administrative management professional from Calgary.
Drumheller-Stettler (45 producers)
Rick Strankman is the MLA for this constituency and was previously a United Conservative agriculture critic but now sits as an independent. He will be seeking re-election as an independent. Rick farms near Altario and formerly volunteered as treasurer for the Western Barley Growers Association for over a decade. In 2002, he took part in a widely publicized protest of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly.
The United Conservative candidate is Nate Horner, a farmer and rancher based in Pollockville who holds an agricultural degree from the University of Lethbridge and a diploma in agricultural business from Olds College.
The Alberta Party candidate is Mark Nikota, Chief Administrative Officer of the Village of Delia and the former Mayor of Hanna. Mark holds Bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance and is working on a Master’s in business and public policy at the University of Alberta.
The Alberta Advantage candidate is Greg Herzog, a Delia-area fourth-generation farmer who strongly believes in constituent representation.
The Alberta Independence candidate is Jason Hushagen, who has worked in oil and gas for over two decades.
The New Democrat candidate is Holly Heffernan, who is a Labour Strategist with United Way of Calgary and Area.
All other producer constituencies (454 producers)
Wes Taylor is the MLA for Battle-River Wainwright, representing the United Conservatives. This constituency has been broken apart three ways. Taylor will not be seeking re-election. The largest chunk of the constituency is now Camrose, where Jackie Lovely is the United Conservative candidate, Kevin Smook is the Alberta Party candidate, Morgan Bamford is the New Democrat candidate, Wesley Caldwell is the Freedom Conservative candidate, Sandra Kim is the Alberta Advantage candidate, Don Dubitz is the Alberta Independence candidate, and Bonnie Tanton is an independent candidate.
A sizable portion of Battle River-Wainwright has also gone to Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright, where Richard Starke, an independent and former Progressive Conservative, is the MLA. He will not be seeking re-election. Garth Rowswell is the United Conservative candidate, Ryan Clarke is the New Democrat candidate, Robert McFadzean is an independent candidate, Jim McKinnon is the Freedom Conservative candidate, Craig Peterson is the Alberta Party candidate, and Kelly Zeleny is the Alberta Advantage candidate.
Pat Stier is the MLA for Livingstone-Macleod, representing the United Conservatives. He will not be seeking re-election. Roger Reid, a businessman raised on a family farm near Claresholm, is the United Conservative candidate. Cam Gardner, a fourth-generation rancher and Reeve for the M.D. of Ranchland, is the New Democrat candidate. Tim Meech is the Alberta Party candidate, Dylin Hauser is the Liberal candidate, Vern Sparks is the Alberta Independence candidate, and Wendy Pergentile is the Green candidate.
Ron Orr is the incumbent candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka, representing the United Conservatives. He lives in Clive and holds a Master’s degree in theology and a journeyman carpenter’s ticket. Myles Chykerda is the Alberta Party candidate, Doug Hart is the New Democrat candidate, Shawn Tylke is the Alberta Advantage candidate, Tessa Szwagierczak is the Alberta Independence candidate, and Keith Parrill is the Freedom Conservative candidate.
Jason Nixon is the incumbent candidate for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, representing the United Conservatives. He lives in Sundre and holds a Bachelor of Commerce. Jeff Ible is the New Democrat candidate, Paula Lamoureux is the Alberta Advantage candidate, David Rogers is the Alberta Independence candidate, Joe Anglin is the Alberta Party candidate, Dawn Berard is the Freedom Conservative candidate, Jane Drummond is the Green candidate, and Gordon Francey is an independent candidate.
The five constituencies referenced in this section above represent 190 of our producers, in addition to the 294 producers represented by the individual constituency sections preceding this one. A combined 20 rural constituencies represent 256 of our remaining 264 producers.
Notable in those 20 constituencies are the 11 most-populous (representing 218 producers), which are currently represented by five United Conservatives, five New Democrats and one Freedom Conservative. Of those MLAs, all are seeking re-election except Scott Cyr of Bonnyville-Cold Lake, which will have Dave Hansen, current MLA for Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills, as a United Conservative candidate.
For more information on party platforms, visit the websites of the Alberta Advantage Party, Alberta Independence Party, Alberta Party, Freedom Conservative Party, Green Party, Liberal Party, New Democratic Party and United Conservative Party. See previous articles by Alberta Pork, and be sure to pay attention to news and social media leading up to the election.
If you would like more information on the 2019 Alberta provincial election, contact Andrew Heck, Communication Programs Coordinator, Alberta Pork by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 780-491-3527, toll-free at 1-877-247-PORK (7675).