Alberta Politics

McGowan to run for NDP nomination, Tories choose Viersen in Peace River-Westlock

Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan is expected to announce at a press conference tomorrow that he will seek the New Democratic Party nomination in the federal riding of Edmonton-Centre. Mr. McGowan is known as an outspoken advocate for labour issues and critic of the Temporary Foreign Workers program.

Reakash Walters
Reakash Walters

Mr. McGowan was first elected President of the AFL in 2005 and previously worked as journalist with the Canadian Press and Edmonton Journal.

This is not Mr. McGowan’s first time seeking an NDP nomination in Alberta. In 1996, he challenged Raj Pannu for the provincial NDP nomination in Edmonton-Strathcona and in 2000 he sought the nomination in Edmonton-Mill Creek.

He will face at least one other candidate in the nomination race. Reakash Walters, an activist and Alberta NDP Government Caucus staffer, has been campaigning for the nomination since 2014. The NDP nomination meeting in Edmonton-Centre has been scheduled for August 23, 2015.

Arnold Vierson
Arnold Vierson

The NDP had previously nominated educator Lewis Cardinal in early 2014, who later stepped down for personal reasons. Mr. Cardinal placed second with 25% of the vote in the 2011 election.

In Peace River-Westlock, 29-year old mechanic Arnold Viersen defeated three rivals to win the Conservative Party nomination in this new northwest rural Alberta riding. Mr. Viersen is the former treasurer of the Barrhead/Neerlandia local of the Association for Reformed Political Action, a social conservative Christian organization that has spoken against Gay-Straight Alliance legislation for Alberta schools and questioned the existence of human-influenced climate change.

These updates have been added to the list of candidates nominated and seeking party nominations to stand in Alberta ridings in Canada’s October 2015 federal election. 

7 replies on “McGowan to run for NDP nomination, Tories choose Viersen in Peace River-Westlock”

Harper’s lining up some real winners eh? And I don’t mean that as in “they will win”, quite the opposite in fact.

As a staunch NDP supporter and Edmonton-Centre resident, my vote is definitely going to Reakash Walters. She has been tirelessly fighting on our behalf for a very long time.

The Liberal candidate in Edmonton-Centre has gained a lot of the anti-Harper vote already. I worry that Gil’s new involvement may split the vote allowing the Tories to win. (No offense to Marina but Reakash may have a following in NDP circles but not in the riding at large).

Interesting. With the provincial NDP enacting laws to curb union donations and new Democrats trying to shake off the perception that they are mouthpieces for unions, it seems counter-intuitive for Gil to throw his hat in the ring. As for support for the Liberal candidate – while he was confirmed early, I am not seeing much support there. Provincially the Liberal brand wasn’t strong enough to keep the amazing Laurie Blakeman in, and federally I think people are still waiting to see who the NDP candidate is. Hard to say. Randy Boissonnault has been getting lots of high profile assistance as the Liberals focus on trying to take this riding, and he’s a man who is rightly proud of his accomplishments and contributions, but when I last checked in on their campaign it was still about a vote against Harper rather than a vote for something different. Well, either party becomes a vote against Harper. Missteps by Trudeau and the sense that the Liberal “machine” is working on this one might actually be hurting Randy by making him seem like a cog in a party that still doesn’t understand the depth of its own sense of entitlement.

We accuse youth of being apathetic and not interested in politics, but the NDP’s young MPs from other provinces have acquitted themselves very well in the official Opposition ranks. As the generation that will inherit the mess Canada finds itself in from the Liberal and Conservative legacy of poor environment policies, disastrous foreign affairs policies, and the fallout from a series of trade deals and internal squabbles, Raekash’s generation is getting into the fray early. Good for them! I hope she gets the nomination.

Hey… keep an eye out for me.
I’m going to come out hard against the Conservatives and all other parties in my riding very soon.

I wanted to comment here and now though, that the readers here, whether in my riding or not, are going to be able to support and even endorse me.

For truly, my aim is to advocate for the citizen. For the constituent who holds… or should hold sway in legislative affairs.

I am a meager citizen running as an independent for Peace-River Westlock.


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