Calgary physician and well-known public health care advocate Dr. Luanne Metz is filing her papers to seek the Alberta NDP nomination in Calgary-Varsity.
Dr. Metz is a Professor and the Head of the Division of Neurology at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. She is also a founder of Eyes Forward Alberta, an advocacy group created to support public health care and oppose the United Conservative Party government’s plans to privatize large swaths of the health care system.
“I want to contribute to fixing our health-care system,” Metz said in a media statement released last night.
“My way of dealing with the stress of recent policies that are the opposite of what evidence recommends is to do whatever I can to be part of the solution. UCP policies are hurting Albertans and will increase health care costs,” she said. “I want to continue championing the health and wellness of Albertans in the Legislature.”
According to the University of Calgary website, Metz is recognized globally as an expert in Multiple Sclerosis and, in 2015, was awarded the Alberta Medal of Distinguished Service – which recognizes physicians who have made an outstanding personal contribution to the medical profession and to the people of Alberta.
If nominated as the NDP candidate, Metz could challenge current UCP MLA Jason Copping, now the Minister of Labour and Immigration, in the next election. Copping defeated NDP candidate Anne McGrath (now the National Director of the New Democratic Party of Canada) by 638 votes in the 2019 election.
Calgary-Varsity has been a swing riding that has generally leaned away from the conservative parties since the mid-2000s, being represented by popular Liberal MLA Harry Chase from 2004 to 2012, Progressive Conservative and Independent MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans from 2012 to 2015, and NDP MLA Stephanie McLean from 2015 to 2019.
The next Alberta provincial election is expected to be held between March 1, 2023 and May 31, 2023.
“Anti-lockdown” café owner running for separatist party nomination
Chris Scott, the owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in the central Alberta hamlet of Mirror is reported to be seeking the Wildrose Independence Party nomination in Lacombe-Ponoka.
Scott has become well-known for keeping his cafe open in defiance of public health restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
He was arrested by RCMP at a rally to oppose the government’s public health restrictions held outside his cafe on May 8, 2021. He was released from police custody on May 12.
Lacombe-Ponoka is currently represented by UCP MLA Ron Orr, who, in a Facebook post defending Premier Jason Kenney last week, claimed that Kenney was raised by God to be the leader of his party.
The right-wing separatist party formerly known as the Freedom Conservative Party is currently in the process of selecting its first permanent leader.