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Alberta Politics

Danielle Smith’s Fundraising Machine

A special weekend episode of the Daveberta Podcast

It’s rare that I send out a newsletter on the weekend but I thought subscribers would enjoy listening to a new episode of the Daveberta Podcast we recorded this week.

We cover a lot of ground in this episode of the Daveberta Podcast, including:

  • Premier Danielle Smith’s recent packed leader’s dinner fundraisers in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Bonnyville.
  • how the Alberta NDP leadership candidates are leaning into digital advertising on the Meta platform and what this might say about their campaigns.
  • how federal boundary changes are impacting the electoral map in south east Edmonton (I’m calling it the Mill Woods Shuffle) and former Progressive Conservative MLA Naresh Bhardwaj’s campaign for the Conservative nomination in the new Edmonton-Southeast riding (I’ve updated the list).
  • how electoral boundary commissions work in Alberta (one of my favourite topics).

The full episode of this Daveberta Podcast is available to paid subscribers of the Daveberta Substack.

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Alberta Politics

After the election: What different scenarios mean for Alberta

Before the collapse of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2015, being a PC Party member – or at least participating in PC Party events – was extremely normal. Normal to the point that it was barely political.

If you were a business or a non-profit that depended on government policy, you were a participator to some extent – you kind of had to be. As a decades-old political dynasty, it was the only game in town, and the political dynamic in Alberta showed it.

Read the rest on the Daveberta Substack. Sign up for a paid subscription to get access to the Daveberta Podcast and special election extras.

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Alberta Politics

Daveberta Podcast: Who’s on the ballot in Alberta’s election?

I joined Éric Grenier of TheWrit.ca on his excellent podcast this week to discuss Alberta’s election and the candidates who will be on the ballot on May 29. Éric was generous enough to share the audio from that episode so I can share it with the lucky paid subscribers of the Daveberta Substack.

Thank you to Daveberta Podcast producer Adam Rozenhart for editing this so we can share it with you today.

Listen to this episode of the Daveberta Podcast by signing up for a paid subscription to the Daveberta Substack.

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Alberta Politics

Look who’s running in Alberta’s election. There are 349 candidates but it’s still a UCP-NDP race

The official list of candidates was released by Elections Alberta at the end of last week. I’ve been tracking candidate nominations for this election quite closely over the past two years and shared some initial thoughts a few weeks ago. But now that the list of candidates is official, here’s a quick look at the slates on the ballot on May 29.

Read the rest on the Daveberta Substack. Sign up for a paid subscription to get access to the Daveberta Podcast and special election extras.

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Alberta Politics

Elections Alberta releases the official list of 2023 election candidates

The deadline has passed for candidates to get on the ballot for Alberta’s provincial election and, as was widely expected, only the United Conservative Party and the Alberta NDP have fielded a full slate of 87 candidates.

The Green Party has the third largest slate with 41 candidates and Pastor Artur Pawlowski’s Solidarity Movement of Alberta has 38.

The Independence Party (formerly led by Pawlowski) has 14 candidates and the Paul Hinman-led upstart Wildrose Loyalty Coalition also has 16.

The Alberta Party has nominated 19 candidates and the Liberal Party has 13.

There are 14 registered political parties and 349 nominated candidates.

I will update the list of candidates to reflect the Elections Alberta official list this weekend and I will share some thoughts about the nominated slates soon on the Daveberta Substack (subscribe!).

I’ve been tracking candidate nominations for this election since March 2021 and it is always a bit of a bitter sweet ended when we reach deadline day. I want to thank everyone who reached out, emailed, DMed, texted and tweeted me with candidate updates over the past two years.

I’m sure it won’t be long before I start collecting nomination updates for the next Alberta election.

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Alberta Politics

What I learned tracking election candidate nominations in Alberta

“Hey, you’re the candidate nominations guy!”

It’s not what people usually call me when I meet them for the first time, but it’s what a longtime daveberta.ca reader said when I met them for the first time a few weeks ago.

But I guess it’s true.

I started tracking the names of people running for nominations to become party candidates in elections 16 years ago and have since done it for every provincial and federal election in Alberta and municipal election in Edmonton. By my count that’s 15 elections.

Read the rest on the Daveberta Substack. Sign up for a paid subscription to get access to the Daveberta Podcast and special election extras.

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Alberta Politics

UCP slate at 86 candidates with appointees in Edmonton-South, Lethbridge-West and Grande Prairie-Wapiti

The United Conservative Party announced the appointments of three candidates and the acclamation of another, filling the party’s slate to 86 candidates in 87 ridings.

Here are the candidates appointed by Premier Danielle Smith through her powers allowed by the UCP constitution:

  • Edmonton-South: Joseph Angeles is a lawyer who previously ran for the UCP nomination in Edmonton-West Henday. He replaces Tunde Obasan, who withdrew his candidacy last week.
  • Lethbridge-West: Cheryl Seaborn is a Registered Nurse and former president of the UCP association in the riding. She replaces Torry Tanner who won the UCP nomination last month but resigned shortly after when a video surfaced of her claiming young children were being to exposed pornography in schools and teachers were hiding their students’ gender reassignments from parents. 
  • Grande Prairie-Wapiti: Endorsed by the local UCP constituency board of directors, Ron Wiebe will succeed Travis Toews as the UCP candidate in the riding.

And the acclamation: 

Edmonton-Glenora: Melissa Crane is a ministerial press secretary and ran for the UCP nomination in St. Albert in December 2022.

That leaves the UCP one short of a full slate. The UCP nomination in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood closes on April 13. Lieberson Pang is seeking the nomination. 

NDP sets nomination dates

The Alberta NDP have candidates nominated in 78 of 87 ridings and plan to hold nomination meetings to nominate the remainder of the slate before the election is called.

Vegreville Town Councillor Taneen Rudyk is acclaimed in Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville and the NDP have scheduled nomination meetings in Maskwacis-Wetaskwin on April 22 (Samson Cree Band Councillor Katherine Swampy is the only approved candidate at the moment) and Grande Prairie on April 30.

UPDATE: Former Grande Prairie city councillor Kevin McLean is running for the NDP nomination in that riding. McLean served on city council from 2010 to 2017 and placed second in the 2022 municipal by-election. He ran for the Liberal Party in the former Grande Prairie-Smoky riding in the 2012 and 2015 provincial elections and in St. Albert in the 2019 election.

Kevin McLean NDP Grande Prairie Nomination
Former Grande Prairie city councillor Kevin McLean’s statement on Facebook,

The ridings without nominated NDP candidates or scheduled nomination meetings are Cardston-Siksika, Drayton Valley-Devon, Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, Grande Prairie-Wapiti, Highwood and Taber-Warner.

Other nomination news

  • Jason McKee is running for the Green Party in Calgary-West.
  • Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita confirmed today in an email to supporters that he will run in the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding in the next election.

Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack

Daveberta Substack Podcast Alberta Politics Election Dave CournoyerA big thank you to the more than 2,000 people who have subscribed to the Daveberta Substack (and more than 100 who signed up for paid subscriptions!).

Check out my latest column about Premier Danielle Smith refusing to answer questions about her 11-minute phone call with Pastor Artur Pawlowski. Look for the first of many election extra special emails from the Daveberta Substack in your inbox early next week.


Happy Easter to all my readers. I will be taking some time to relax and enjoy the first real weekend of spring, so unless something big happens I’ll be back with more candidate nomination updates next week.

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Alberta Politics

Rajan Sawhney appointed in Calgary-North West on same day Inderjit Grewal wins Calgary-North East UCP nomination vote

Just over a month after she announced plans to not run for re-election in Calgary-North East, MLA Rajan Sawhney has been appointed as the United Conservative Party candidate in Calgary-North West to replace retiring MLA Sonya Savage.

The first-term MLA from north east Calgary was first elected in 2019 and served in cabinet since, currently as Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Sawhney placed sixth out of seven candidates in the 2022 UCP leadership race and was a sharp critic of Danielle Smith during that campaign. She was facing a strong nomination challenge when she announced her plans not to run for re-election in Calgary-North East.

Sawhney was voted Best Alberta Cabinet Minister in the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 Survey.

Sawhney will now face Alberta NDP candidate Michael Lisboa-Smith and Alberta Party candidate Jennifer Yeremiy.

Inderjit Grewal (source: Inder Grewal / Facebook)

On the same day Sawhney was appointed in Calgary-North West, UCP members in her Calgary-North East riding voted to choose her successor. Inderjit Grewal defeated Harjit Soroya in a vote by more than 1,800 members in the north east Calgary riding.

Grewal was criticized by the right-wing news outlet True North for sharing Facebook posts from Calgary-Falconridge NDP candidate Parmeet Singh Boparai.

Grewal will face NDP candidate Gurinder Brar. The Liberal Party has nominated Prince Mugisha.

Both ridings are expected to be competitive in the next election.

Candidates are expected to be appointed in Lethbridge-West to replace Torry Tanner and Grande Prairie-Wapiti to succeed Travis Toews. The UCP board of directors in Grande Prairie-Wapiti unanimously passed a motion last week to support Ron Wiebe’s appointment as the candidate.

Tunde Obasan drops out of Edmonton-South race

Tunde Obasan announced he had withdrawn as the UCP candidate in Edmonton-South (Source: Tunde Obasan / Facebook)
Tunde Obasan announced he had withdrawn as the UCP candidate in Edmonton-South (Source: Tunde Obasan / Facebook)

The UCP is also expected to appoint a candidate to replace Tunde Obasan, who withdrew his name as the UCP candidate in Edmonton-South over the weekend.

Obasan previously ran in the riding in 2019 and was the federal Conservative candidate in Edmonton-Stratchona in the 2021 election. Obasan’s campaign was one of few in Edmonton that the UCP appeared to be focusing local resources in ahead of the election campaign.

Past city council candidate Rhiannon Hoyle is running for the NDP.

“The abrupt resignation of my opponent in Edmonton-South is yet more chaos from the UCP. It follows another UCP resignation in Lethbridge-West, and the parachuting of Rajan Sawhney into Calgary-North West after she bailed out of a competitive nomination race in the riding she already represents,” Hoyle said in a statement released by the NDP.

“I’m focused on offering the people of Edmonton-South a stable, competent and caring government led by Rachel Notley,” Hoyle said.

Alberta Party leader looking for a new riding?

Barry Morishita

Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita may be looking to run in a different riding than his home Brooks-Medicine Hat, according to a tweet from CBC reporter Jason Markusoff.

The former Brooks mayor became leader of the seatless party in 2021 and had his electoral prospects tested early when his own MLA, Michaela Frey, resigned in late 2022 to allow Premier Smith to run in a by-election. Morishita placed a disappointing third place in that by-election, earning only 16.5 per cent of the vote.

It’s unclear what riding Morishita could pick that would be friendlier than Brooks-Medicine Hat, where he is already well-known and respected. Smith deciding to make the riding her own certainly created a tough situation for the aspiring MLA.

Pawlowski loyalists retake control of Independence Party

A slate of candidates loyal to deposed leader and controversial street preacher Artur Pawlowski took back control of the Independence Party of Alberta board of directors at the party’s annual general meeting this weekend . Pawlowski was removed as party leader last week, the day before a recording of his infamous interview with Premier Smith was made public.

Pawlowski’s opponents on the previous party board claimed the street preacher was spending too much time preaching religious teachings and opposition to already lifted COVID-19 mitigation measures and not focusing enough time promoting the party’s separatists policy positions.

The party has nominated at least seven candidates to run in the next election, though it remains unclear at the moment which candidates are loyal to Pawlowski and which are opposed.

Upcoming nomination votes

With Inderjit Grewal’s nomination and Tunde Obasan’s withdrawal, the UCP now has a slate of 81 candidates in Alberta’s 87 ridings. The Alberta NDP have nominated 78 candidates. The Green Party has 27 candidates, the Alberta Party has nominated 12 candidates, the Liberal Party has 8, and the Independence Party has at least seven.

Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled in the following ridings:

  • April 3 – Grande Prairie UCP
  • April 21 – Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville NDP

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Alberta Politics

UCP board approves Premier Danielle Smith’s nomination in Brooks-Medicine Hat, Brian Jean in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche

Premier Danielle Smith has been nominated as the United Conservative Party candidate in Brooks-Medicine Hat.

Because Smith won in a by-election on November 8, 2022, the UCP provincial board decided to accept her candidacy in the south east Alberta riding without opening a new nomination process.

Smith won the by-election with 54.5 per cent of the vote shortly after winning the UCP leadership.

In the upcoming provincial election she will again face NDP candidate Gwendoline Dirk, who placed second with 26.7 per cent in the by-election, and Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita, who placed third in the by-election with 16.5 per cent.

Smith previously represented the Highwood riding in the Legislature from 2012 to 2015.

Brian Jean nominated in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche

Brian Jean Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election United Conservative Party
Brian Jean at an all-candidates forum hosted by the Fort McMurray Metis in 2022 (source: Brian Jean/Facebook)

Also having his nomination approved by the UCP board was Brian Jean, who will run for re-election in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche.

While Jean has been a political figure in Fort McMurray for many years, he most recently won the March 2022 by-election in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche with 63.6 per cent of the vote.

Jean previously represented Fort McMurray-Conklin in the Legislature from 2015 to 2018 and Athabasca-Fort McMurray in the House of Commons from 2004 to 2014. He currently serves as Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development.

He is the only candidate nominated to run in the north east Alberta riding.

Upcoming nomination votes

With just over 80 days left until Election Day, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 75 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 73 ridings and the Green Party has 26 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 14 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • March 9, 10, 11 – Livingstone-Macleod UCP
  • March 11 – Edmonton-Strathcona NDP
  • March 13 – Calgary-Lougheed UCP
  • March 14 – Calgary-Lougheed NDP
  • March 14 – Lethbridge-West UCP
  • March 16 – Cypress-Medicine Hat UCP
  • March 18 – Leduc-Beaumont UCP
  • March 18, 19, 20 – Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre IP

The Daveberta Substack

Naheed Nenshi Calgary Daveberta Substack PodcastIf you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out the Daveberta Substack and listen to the latest episode of the Daveberta Podcast with former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi. And don’t miss Rick Bell’s column about the Nenshi interview in the Calgary Sun.

Sign up for a monthly or annual paid subscription to the Daveberta Substack to get access to future episodes of the Daveberta Podcast and upcoming election extras.

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Daveberta Podcast

Episode 84: The Daveberta Podcast is back! Now on the Daveberta Substack.

The Daveberta Podcast is back after a brief 11-month semi-permanent hiatus! Enjoy the podcast and find future episodes exclusively at the podcast’s new home on the Daveberta Substack.

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Alberta Politics

By one vote! Recount confirms former MLA Scott Cyr beat MLA David Hanson in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP nomination

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and I have a few candidate updates to share with you today.

With about five months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party have candidates nominated in 52 ridings and the Green Party has 23 candidates named. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the latest updates to the list of candidates running in Alberta’s next provincial election:

  • A recount approved by the UCP executive board determined that former MLA Scott Cyr defeated incumbent MLA David Hanson in the Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul nomination vote. There were 8 disputed votes after the final recount but when all the votes were rectified, Cyr beat Hanson by 1 vote! Cyr was elected as the Wildrose Party MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake in 2015. He declined to challenge Hanson for the UCP nomination when the ridings they represented were amalgamated ahead of the 2019 election.
  • UCP MLA Rick Wilson was acclaimed as his party’s candidate in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin. Wilson was first elected in 2019 and has served as Minister of Indigenous Relations since then.
  • Joel Hunt was nominated as the Green Party candidate in Taber-Warner.
  • Edmonton-North West NDP MLA David Eggen confirmed that he is running for re-election, despite what Postmedia columnist David Staples wrote over the weekend. Staples appears to have got Eggen confused with Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview MLA Deron Bilous, who is retiring when the next election is called. Postmedia issued a correction in the online version of the column.

With all indications pointing to a tight two-party race between the UCP and NDP in the next election, it’s a tough road ahead for the smaller political parties trying to breakthrough in 2023.

Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita recently announced that Troy Wason stepped down as Executive Director of the Alberta Party at the end of December 2022. Morishita reported that the party had no intention to replace him and was instead transitioning to an election readiness team and campaign manager. Wason will become the party’s Major Donor Fundraising Chair.

Liberal Party executive director Gwyneth Midgley announced in October 2022 that she was stepping down as Executive Director of that party after eight years in the role.

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Alberta Politics

Danielle Smith wins Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election with 55%

With 75 of 76 polls reporting, Premier Danielle Smith has won the by-election in Brooks-Medicine Hat.

Here are the results at the time this post was published:

  • Danielle Smith UCP – 5,768 (55.5%)
  • Gwendoline Dirk NDP – 2,512 (24.2%)
  • Barry Morishita AP – 1,871 (18%)
  • Bob Blayone IPA – 200 (1.9%)
  • Jeevan Mangat WRIP – 49 (0.5%)

I’ll share some more in-depth analysis on the Daveberta Substack on Thursday, but it’s worth noting that, while a win is win, Smith finished with only 55 per cent support in one of the most conservative parts of the province.

The NDP’s Gwendoline Dirk finished a distant second overall but appears to have won the vote in the City of Medicine Hat, a sign of the growing urban-rural divide in Alberta politics.

Third place is not where Alberta Party leader and former Brooks mayor Barry Morishita wanted to end the night, but 18 per cent in the leader’s riding is not the worst result for a party that is polling at around 3 per cent in province-wide polls.

But more soon on the Daveberta Substack (so subscribe!)

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Alberta Politics

MLA Roger Reid drops out of Livingstone-Macleod UCP nomination race, Nadine Wellwood could be acclaimed as candidate

The big nomination news this week is MLA Roger Reid‘s announcement that he has dropped out of the United Conservative Party nomination contest in Livingstone-Macleod.

Reid was first elected in 2019 and was undeterred from running for the nomination again even when it looked like he would face new party leader Danielle Smith in the contest. But then Reid suddenly dropped out on the morning after the October 31 candidate entry deadline.

Statement from our MLA Roger Reid:
November 1, 2022
After much personal wrestling and conversations with family and friends I have decided to withdraw my name from the United Conservative Party nomination for Livingstone Macleod. While I hoped to serve a second term, I no longer feel it is possible for me to do so.
It has been a tremendous honour to represent the people of this riding as the MLA. I have discovered many amazing places so close to home and it has been my privilege to meet with constituents from High River to the Crowsnest over the last 4 years. I will continue to be focused on the needs of Livingstone Macleod through the end of my term.
The last couple of years have been particularly challenging for our province. Neither I, nor our government have been perfect, but I believe the work we have done has put Alberta back on track. We are stronger and in a better position to weather the current storms than we were four years ago.
There is still work to do. To move forward we must be a united movement to ensure a strong conservative government continues to lead the province. It is essential for our true prosperity.
As I end my term, I will ensure that the concerns and the needs of Livingstone Macleod are kept in front of our Premier and her cabinet until the next election is called.
Thank you for allowing me privilege of representing you.
In Service,
Roger W. Reid
MLA – Livingstone Macleod

Unless there is another surprise candidate in the race, it looks like Nadine Wellwood could be acclaimed as the UCP candidate in the rural southwest Alberta riding.

Danielle Smith and Nadine Wellwood United Conservative Party Take Back Alberta
Premier Danielle Smith and Nadine Wellwood at the Take Back Alberta hospitality suite at the UCP AGM (source: Nadine Wellwood/Twitter)

Wellwood was a candidate for the right-wing People’s Party of Canada in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections and the 2021 Senate nominee election. She is a prolific sharer of internet conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and globalist plots on her social media, and she also participated in the blockade at Coutts border crossing earlier this year.

The UCP has not announced if it has accepted Wellwood’s application to seek the UCP nomination in Livingstone-Macleod.

Well-known conservationist Kevin Van Tighem is expected to be chosen as the Alberta NDP candidate at a November 23 nomination meeting. Van Tighem is the former Superintendent of Banff National Park, author of Our Place: Changing the Nature of Alberta and Wild Roses Are Worth It: Reimagining the Alberta Advantage, and an outspoken opponent of open-pit coal mining on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

NDP drop Calgary-Klein candidate

Marilyn North Peigan Alberta NDP Calgary-Klein nomination
Marilyn North Peigan

Marilyn North Peigan is no longer the NDP candidate in Calgary-Klein.

NDP provincial secretary Brandon Stevens issued a statement about her candidate status after North Peigan retweeted a video clip of City Councillor Dan McLean with an accompanying tweet alleging he was corrupt and that one of his family members was a corrupt board member for the Calgary Stampede.

Stevens also stated that while McLean’s actions in the original video circulating online are racist and unacceptable, the statements made by North Peigan towards his family and the Stampede are not appropriate and not reflective of the views of the Alberta NDP.

North Peigan defeated Heather Eddy and Mattie McMillan to win the NDP nomination in March 2022.

The Calgary-Klein riding is currently represented by UCP MLA Jeremy Nixon and is seen as a potential NDP pick up in the next election.

Other UCP nomination updates

  • Past city council candidate Lana Palmer is seeking the UCP nomination Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview.
  • Construction company owner Dave Guenter is running for UCP nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek. Incumbent UCP MLA Richard Gotfried is not running for re-election.
  • Premier Smith says it’s up to Drew Barnes to decide whether he wants to rejoin the UCP Caucus and seek the party’s nomination to run for re-election. Barnes was first elected as MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat in 2012 and was one of four Wildrose MLAs not to cross the floor with Smith in 2014. He was kicked out of the UCP Caucus in 2021 after becoming one of former Premier Jason Kenney‘s biggest internal critics.
  • Two-term MLA Ron Orr is not running for re-election and Jennifer Johnson and paramedic Dusty Myshrall have stepped forward to run for the UCP nomination in Lacombe-Ponoka. Johnson’s social media feed shows her recently attending events organized by the separatist Alberta Prosperity Project and COVID-19 skeptical Canadians For Truth group.

Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election

Advance voting in the Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election is open until Saturday, November 5. On Election Day, November 8, voting stations will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The five candidates contesting the by-election, UCP leader Danielle Smith, NDP leader Gwendoline Dirk, Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita, Wildrose Independence Party interim leader Jeevan Mangat, and Independence Party candidate Bob Blayone, participated in a forum organized by the Alberta Teachers’ Association Grasslands Local No. 34.

Total nominated candidates

The NDP have nominated candidates in 62 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 36 ridings and the Green Party has 18 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates.

Here are the scheduled upcoming nominations:

  • November 8 – Calgary-Peigan NDP
  • November 8 – Calgary-South East NDP
  • November 16 – Calgary-West NDP
  • November 20 – Airdrie-East NDP
  • November 23 – Livingstone-Macleod NDP

I am maintaining a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!

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Alberta Politics

Nomination Updates: Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election, UCP and NDP open more races, Greens name 15 new candidates

There is no such thing as a boring week in Alberta politics and this past week was no exception. But while we are all trying to pay attention to what the new Premier said then and is saying now, it would be easy to let all the fun candidate nomination news that I enjoy writing about just sail by. I couldn’t possibly let that happen, because there are a lot of updates.

I’ll start with the by-election in Brooks-Medicine Hat.

Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election

A November 8 by-election has been called in Brooks-Medicine Hat and Premier Danielle Smith is running as the United Conservative Party candidate. She will face Alberta NDP candidate and retired teacher Gwendoline Dirk and Brooks mayor-turned-Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita.

Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips was on hand to help Dirk’s kick off her campaign this week. Dirks is a retired high school teacher and Medicine Hat College instructor. She ran for a seat on the Medicine Hat Public School Board in 2021 and is a member of the Medicine Hat Police Commission. Her partner Peter Mueller was the NDP candidate in the neighbouring Cypress-Medicine Hat riding in the 2019 election.

This is Morishita’s first time running in an election as the leader of the Alberta Party but he is a veteran of elections in the City of Brooks. He served on Brooks City Council from 1998 to 2003 and 2010 to 2016, and was Mayor from 2019 until 2021.

This is not Morishita’s first time running in a provincial election. In 2001, he ran for the Liberals against Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Lyle Oberg, earning 15.5 per cent of the vote.

Former Newell County Councillor Mara Nesbitt, who had previously announced her plans to run for the nomination, has withdrawn and is supporting Smith’s candidacy.

The deadline for candidates to enter the nomination is October 21 and it’s looking like it won’t be a crowded race.

Buffalo Party leader John Holberg and party president Raman Bains announced that the recently formed right-wing party would not put forward a candidate to run in the by-election. “We wish the Premier the best of luck in the Brooks-Medicine Hat by election,” the statement declared.

Also out is the Liberal Party. Interim leader John Roggeveen told the Medicine Hat News that the party will not be running a candidate in the by-election. And Wildrose Independence Party leader Paul Hinman, who was once an MLA for a large southern rural Alberta riding, is busy being embroiled in legal action to take back control of the party.

Independence Party of Alberta leader and Calgary street preacher Artur Pawlowski is hosting information sessions on Oct 17 in Medicine Hat on Oct. 17 and Brooks on Oct. 19 but the party hasn’t publicly named a candidate. UPDATE: Bob Blayone has been named as the Independence Party candidate. 


Now to other candidate nomination news from across Alberta:

Alberta NDP

  • Two-term MLA David Shepherd was nominated as the NDP candidate Edmonton-City Centre. Shepard was first elected in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 with 66 per cent of the vote.
  • Dawn Flaata was nominated as the NDP candidate in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright at an October 15 meeting. Flaata is a local author with a long history of involvement in the chamber of commerce in Vermilion and was a Constituency Assistant to former Conservative MP Leon Benoit.
  • Communications consultant Amanda Chapman defeated firefighter Jason Curry to secure the NDP nomination in Calgary-Beddington.
  • Liana Paiva running for the NDP nomination in Peace River with a nomination meeting scheduled for Friday, October 28, 2022.
  • Lawyer Denis Ram is running for NDP nomination in Calgary-Peigan at a November 8 nomination meeting. Ram placed second in the NDP nomination in Calgary-Cross in July 2022.

United Conservative Party

  • Jon Horsman is the second candidate to declare plans to run for the UCP nomination in Calgary-Elbow. Horsman is a former bank vice-president and briefly was a candidate for the leadership of the UCP. Lawyer Andrea James announced her candidacy in June 2022.
  • Adele Poratto is running for the UCP nomination in Red Deer-South. Poratto ran for the nomination in 2018 and for the PC Party nomination in the riding ahead of the 2008 election. Ran for the nomination in 2018
  • Brazeau County Councillor Kara Westerlund is the third candidate to enter the UCP nomination contest in Drayton Valley-Devon. Westerlund has served on county council since 2010 and is a Vice President of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. She joins Carol Vowk and Andrew Boitchenko.
  • It looks like Premier Smith has ceded the UCP nomination in Livingstone-Macleod to incumbent MLA Roger Reid. Reid had been running against Smith for the nomination in her home riding while she was running for the party leadership and he now says he plans to continue to run for the UCP nomination for the next election.
  • The UCP has opened up nominations in Drayton Valley-Devon, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, Livingstone-Macleod, St. Albert and Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright.

Green Party of Alberta

The Green Party of Alberta has nominated 15 candidates, including party leader Jordan Wilkie, who will now run in Edmonton-Rutherford instead of Banff-Kananaskis as he previously announced. Here is the full list of nominated Green Party candidates:

  • Calgary-Buffalo: Heather Morigeau
  • Calgary-Currie: Jonathan Parks
  • Calgary-East: Jayden Baldonado
  • Calgary-Edgemont: Brandy Kinkead
  • Calgary-Hays: Evelyn Tanaka
  • Calgary-Peigan: Shaun Pulsifer
  • Cypress-Medicine Hat: Dustin Cartwright
  • Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview: Michael Hunter
  • Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood: Kristine Kowalchuk
  • Edmonton-North West: Tyler Beaulac
  • Edmonton-Rutherford: Jordan Wilkie
  • Edmonton-South West: Jeff Cullihall
  • Edmonton-Strtahcona: Robert Gooding-Townsend
  • Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills: Daniel Brisbin
  • Sherwood Park: Lucas Bevin

Upcoming nomination meetings

  • October 19 – Lacombe-Ponoka NDP
  • October 20 – Calgary-Fish Creek NDP
  • October 26 – Calgary-Hays NDP
  • October 26 – Edmonton-City Centre Green
  • October 28 – Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul NDP
  • October 28 – Peace River NDP
  • November 8 – Calgary-Peigan NDP
  • November 8 – Calgary-South East NDP

The tally

The NDP have now nominated candidates in 58 of Alberta’s 87 electoral districts. As previously noted, it appears as though the UCP have paused the nomination process until after their new leader is selected on October 6. The Green Party has 15 candidates nominated and the Alberta Party has named three candidates.

See the full list of nomination candidates here.

Daveberta Substack

Daveberta Dave CournoyerA huge thank you to everyone who has subscribed and sent feedback about the new Daveberta Substack.

Read my latest column about the challenges facing Premier Danielle Smith in the short 7-months ahead of the next election.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Michaela Frey resigns, opens up Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election for Danielle Smith

Michaela Frey has resigned as the United Conservative Party MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, opening up a by-election for new party leader Danielle Smith to to claim a seat in the Legislature.

Update: Smith has confirmed she will run as the UCP candidate in the Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election.

Smith was already running for the UCP nomination in her home riding of Livingstone-Macleod but incumbent MLA Roger Reid has publicly shown no indication he’s not still running for the nomination against his new leader.

Already running in the riding are retired teacher Gwendoline Dirk for the Alberta NDP and Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita, who also happens to be the former Mayor of Brooks.

I’ll have more on Brooks-Medicine Hat when a by-election is called (so probably soon).

And, not wanting to get caught off-guard if Smith decides to call an early general election, here are the NDP’s upcoming nomination meetings:

– Second-term MLA David Shepard is seeking the NDP nomination to run for re-election in Edmonton-City Centre. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 11.

Dawn Flaata is running for the NDP nomination in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 15.

Amanda Chapman and Jason Curry are running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Beddington. A nomination vote is scheduled for October 17.

Dave Dale is running for the NDP nomination in Lacombe-Ponoka. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 19.

Rebecca Bousall is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 20.

Andrew Stewart is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Hays. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 26.

Caitlyn Blake is running for the NDP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 28.

Justin Huseby is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-South East. A nomination meeting is scheduled for November 8.