Photo: Christine Moore, Gayle Langford, Laila Goodridge and Jane Stroud.
The United Conservative Party has announced the nomination period to choose a candidate for the upcoming Innisfail-Sylvan Lake by-election. The deadline for candidates to enter the nomination contest is April 16 and a vote will held on April 28. The by-election must be called by August 5, 2018.
Seven candidates have now entered the race to replace UCP MLA and UCP Rural Crime Task Force member Don MacIntyre in the central Alberta district of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. MacIntyre resigned in February 2018 after he was charged with sexual assault and sexual interference. He was first elected as a Wildrose MLA in 2015.
- Christine Moore – Councillor in Red Deer County representing the area between Sylvan Lake and Red Deer city limits. She ran in the 2015 election as the Progressive Conservative candidate in Red Deer-North where she placed third with 22 percent of the vote behind New Democrat Kim Schreiner and Wildroser Buck Buchanan.
- Joel Loh is vice-president of Regulatory Affairs & public relations at Simba Industries Transload Ltd. and affiliated with something called the Committee for Proud Alberta Fair Trade Oil (editor comment: I’m not sure they understand the definition of Fair Trade). Loh served as the president of the Canadian Alliance association in Calgary-Southwest in the early 2000s. He was disqualified from running for the Alliance nomination in Calgary-Centre ahead of the 2004 election, according to a 2003 report from the Calgary Herald.
- Victor Sloboda is a plumbing and gas inspector with the City of Red Deer.
Another by-election will need to be called in the Fort McMurray-Conklin district following the resignation of UCP MLA and former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean. Jean was first elected as MLA for this district in 2015 and served as Leader of the Official Opposition Wildrose Party from 2015 until 2017, when he stepped down to join the UCP leadership contest.
The district was first created in the 2012 election from the southern and eastern half of the formerly larger Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo district. Jean was first elected in 2015 with 43 percent of the vote ahead of New Democrat Ariana Mancini with 30 percent and PC MLA Don Scott with 22 percent (Scott was elected Mayor of Wood Buffalo in October 2017).
Sources tell this blogger that Wood Buffalo Municipal Councillor Jane Stroud is planning to seek the NDP nomination to run in Fort McMurray-Conklin by-election. Since 2010, Stroud has represented Ward 4, which includes the communities of Gregorie Lakes Estates, Anzac, Janvier and Conklin. She was named a ‘Woman of Inspiration’ by Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta in 2017.
Three candidates have announced their plans to run for the UCP nomination contest in this district:
- Laila Goodridge has worked as a political staffer in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. She was director of field operations for Jean’s UCP leadership campaign in 2017. Goodridge was the Wildrose candidate in Grande Prairie-Wapiti in the 2015 election where she placed third behind PC incumbent Wayne Drysdale and New Democrat Mary Dahl.
- Elizabeth Keating is a Family Court Counsellor in Fort McMurray.
- Phil Meagher is Wood Buffalo’s longest-serving councillor. He was first elected to Wood Buffalo Municipal Council in 1995 and was re-elected to his eighth term in office in October 2017. He is the chief deputy superintendent of the Fort McMurray Public Schools.
Goodridge and Meagher were considered potential candidates for the Conservative nomination in the 2014 by-election that was held to replace Jean when he resigned from federal politics in 2015.
Unlike Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, which is largely untouched by the boundary redistribution, this district will be significantly redrawn when the next election is called, with most of the district’s population becoming part of a new Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche district.
Here is a look at the vote share by party in Fort McMurray-Conklin in general elections in 2012 and 2015: