The United Conservative Party has opened candidate nominations in four ridings held by MLAs loyal to Premier Jason Kenney.
Dates for nomination meetings haven’t been announced but a February 28 deadline for candidates to put their names forward has been announced for Calgary-South East (represented by MLA Matt Jones), Calgary-Shaw (represented by Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz), Cardston-Siksika (represented by UCP Caucus Whip Joseph Schow) and Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre (represented by Environment & Parks Minister and Government House leader Jason Nixon).
Farmer Tim Hoven has announced his plans to challenge Nixon for the nomination and will be launching his campaign at the James River Community Hall on Feb. 17. Hoven was a municipal councillor in Clearwater County from 2017 until his defeat in the 2021 election.
Nurse Tonya Ratushniak running for NDP nomination in Camrose
Registered Psychiatric Nurse Tonya Ratushniak is seeking the NDP nomination in the Camrose riding.
“I’m running to become the next NDP candidate in Camrose because mental health, I believe, will be the next wave we need to address. I have the education, passion and experience to ensure the needs of mental health are no longer ignored. No longer thought of as the ugly stepchild of the healthcare system.”
“I see firsthand how rural mental health services have been eroded by UCP policies,” she said. “Wait times have become so long that many problems go undiagnosed, treatment centers have been closed and mental health beds have been reduced.”
Ratushniak works at St. Mary’s Hospital in Camrose as a Mental Health Therapist and serves as the President of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses.
She was the federal NDP candidate in the 2021 election in Battle River-Crowfoot, where she placed second and earned 9.8 per cent of the vote.
Saad Siddiq running for UCP nomination in Edmonton-South
Engineer Saad Siddiq is seeking the UCP nomination in Edmonton-South.
“The UCP party is at a cross roads about its identity and I firmly believe that Millennials and Gen-Z representation must be there to make sure our voices are heard,” Siddiq said. “It’s about time we take the charge into our own hands and make Alberta affordable, a place where you have the freedom to exercise your rights and make your own choices and a symbol of tolerance for everyone living in this province and beyond.”
Siddiq is a 24-year old oil and gas engineer who graduated from the University of Calgary in 2020 and has been involved in the Conservative Student Association.
The riding is currently represented by Independent MLA Thomas Dang, who was first elected in 2015 and 2019 under the NDP banner. He left the NDP Caucus in December 2021 after the RCMP executed a search warrant of his house.
Alberta Party leader running in Brooks-Medicine Hat
Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita confirmed on this week’s episode of the Daveberta Podcast that he plans to seek his party’s nomination to run in his home riding when the next election is called. Morishita served as Mayor of the City of Brooks from 2016 to 2021 and served on city council from 1998 to 2004 and 2010 to 2016. The riding is currently represented by UCP MLA Michaela Frey.
Public school teacher second candidate in Calgary-East NDP race
Public school teacher Rosman Valencia is seeking the NDP nomination in Calgary-East.
“I’m running to ensure the voice of our communities in Calgary-East can be heard and be a part of the decision making in shaping Alberta’s future,” said Valencia. “Not only has the UCP’s response to Covid-19 been a daily challenge for us in the classroom, but I also see families struggling with UCP increases to their expenses like insurance, income tax, and electricity. That’s the last thing families need right now.”
Rosman holds a Bachelor of Secondary Education from the Philippine Normal University-Manila and became a teacher in Alberta through the University of Calgary’s Bridge to Teaching Program.
International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone executive director Alison Karim-McSwiney is also seeking the NDP nomination.
Here are a few other nomination updates:
Calgary-North East: Gurinder Brar is expected to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate at a February 17 nomination meeting. Brar announced his candidacy in January 2022.
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