2008 Alberta Provincial Election Chris Kibermanis Conflict-of-Interest Legislation Edmonton Castle Downs Thomas Lukaszuk

cro fiasco spreads to edmonton-castle downs.

The Tory CRO scandal continues after it was uncovered that the Returning Officer in Edmonton-Castle Downs is the former Executive Assistant to the current Tory MLA Thomas Lukaszuk. Earlier in the campaign, it became public that after the current Tory government ignored recommendations by the Chief Electoral Officer to clean-up Alberta’s election system, lists of appointees for these positions continued to be generated by the PC Party and the Premier’s Office.

In 2004, Castle Downs was the home to the closest race in the province after Lukaszuk defeated Alberta Liberal Chris Kibermanis by 3 votes after three judicial recounts.

Read previous posts on the CRO fiasco here, here, here, and here.

2008 Alberta Provincial Election Edmonton Castle Downs

alberta election 2008: edmonton-castle downs.

Created in 1997 after the dissolution of Edmonton-Roper, Edmonton-Castle Downs has been a battle ground of close races between the Tories and Alberta Liberals ever since. Alberta Liberal Pamela Paul narrowly defeated Tory Ihor Broda in 1997 (Broda later ran for Mayor in 1998), but later declined to run for a second term after sitting as an Independent MLA in 1999. When 2001 rolled around, Tory Thomas Lukaszuk joined the Tory sweep of Edmonton by defeating Liberal Boris Yaremko in a solid election win. In 2004, Edmonton-Castle Downs was the closest race in the province. After a hard fought battle and three judicial recounts, Tory incumbent Thomas Lukazsuk was declared re-elected by 3 votes over Alberta Liberal Chris Kibermanis, who was originally declared elected by 9 votes on Election Day.

Castle Downs 2008 is Kibermanis v. Lukaszuk Round 2. With both candidates knowing that every vote will count, don’t expect either of them to cede any ground in this race.

Lukaszuk has noticeably matured as an MLA since his “victory” in 2004, but he remains in the Tory backbenches. In 2007, Lukaszuk was involved in a minor scandal involving a contact given to former Edmonton-Meadowlark Tory MLA Bob Maskell in which Maskell billed the government of Alberta $600 for one short meeting with Lukaszuk on the topic of Fort Edmonton Park. Lukazsuk supported Jim Dinning in the 2006 Tory leadership race and is the only Edmonton Tory MLA without a seat at Ed Stelmach’s cabinet table.

Kibermanis works in the construction industry as a welder and is a former draft pick for the former NHL Winnipeg Jets. He’s also active in the “Raise the Roof” campaign for Edmonton Housing and is an active member of the Cumberland-Oxford community league executive in Castle Downs. Like Lukaszuk, Kibermanis hasn’t stopped campaigning since 2004.

The Greens and the New Democrats are running Bob Reckhow and Ali Haymour respectively. Reckhow has been an faculty member at the University of Alberta and Athabasca University, and has a Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Toronto. Haymour is a Sheriff with Alberta’s Solicitor General Department, but is currently on leave while finishing a degree at the University of Alberta.

Between 2004 and 2006, Castle Downs grew by 12.45%, bringing over 3,600 new voters to the constituency. Castle Downs is also a relatively young constituency with only 30% of residents over the age of 45.

Edmonton-Castle Downs 2008 Candidates
Alberta Liberal – Chris Kibermanis
Green – Bob Reckhow
ND- Ali Haymour
PC – Thomas Lukaszuk*

Edmonton-Castle Downs Past Election Results

(Post-Judicial Recounts)
x Thomas Lukaszuk, PC – 5,022
Chris Kibermanis, Lib – 5,019
Peter Cross, NDP – 1,314
Colin Presizniuk, AA – 586
Ross Korpi, SC – 78

Chris Kibermanis, Lib – 5,019
x Thomas Lukaszuk, PC – 5,014
Peter Cross, NDP – 1,317
Colin Presizniuk, AA – 583
Ross Korpi, SC – 78
Voter Turnout: 41.3%

2001 Thomas Lukaszuk, PC – 5,971
Boris Yaremko, Lib – 4,479
Michael Charrois, NDP – 1,235
Voter Turnout: 46.9%

1997 Pamela Paul, Lib – 4,456
Ihor Broda, PC – 4,373
Peter Johnsen, NDP – 1,394
Dave Friesen, SC – 460
Voter Turnout: 50.4%

Brent Rathgeber Calgary Elbow By-Election Chris Kibermanis Drumheller-Stettler By-Election Edmonton Castle Downs Ralph Klein Shirley McClellan Thomas Lukaszuk

by-election nation!

It looks like there will be two and potentially three by-elections facing Albertans across Alberta in the next couple months.

On Monday, former Premier Ralph Klein has said he will resign as the MLA for Calgary Elbow (a riding he has represented since 1989). And yesterday, former Minister of Finance Shirley McClellan declared that she will resign as MLA for Drumheller-Stettler (McClellan has served as MLA since 1987 in it’s previous recarnations of Chinook and Drumheller-Chinook).

McClellan’s announcement comes as no surprise as she had previously declared that she would not seek re-election in the next General Election.

The surprise of the day came yesterday when it was reported that Edmonton Castle Downs PC MLA Thomas Lukaszuk may step down as MLA and run for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in Edmonton-St. Albert. Lukaszuk would be running against former Tory MP Scott Thorkelson and former Edmonton Calder MLA Brent Rathgeber in the race to replace retiring MP John Williams.

Lukaszuk was “re-elected” in 2004 by a court-decided margin of 3 votes against Liberal Chris Kibermanis.

Three potential by-elections would provide quite the mini-election and quite the thermometer in gauging the political feelings of Albertans since Tory Premier Ed Stelmach took the throne in December.

This should be exciting!